The Alkaline Diet Review
The Acid Alkaline Balanced Diet
Interested in losing weight and having a healthy body? If so, you’ve probably checked out many of the diets floating around the internet these days. There are many diets that have proven be effective, while others are very probably too good to be true.
So which is “The Acid Alkaline Balanced Diet”? Is it an eating plan that can actually lead to improved health, or is it just another fad diet that is almost as harmful as it is ineffective?
A Look at “The Acid Alkaline Balanced Diet”
The e-book “The Acid Alkaline Balanced Diet” was written by Emma DeAngela, a self-proclaimed health enthusiast. According to her website:
“When I was young, I had numerous health problems (digestive disorders, always lethargic), overweight, and constantly succumbing to every little virus floating around in the air. Fortunately, I discovered that our body’s pH level is critical to our health – It controls many of the processes in our body. For optimal condition, our body needs to be slightly alkaline. And the main reason for my poor health was that my blood was highly acidic. I was sick and tired of my lack of health and extra weight that I go for a long journey on the alkaline diet.”
The e-book that is downloadable from her website (http://thealkalinediet.org/) is written by her, but really it’s just her own presentation of information on The Alkaline Diet – a diet made popular by the works of nutritionists like Robert O. Young (author of the book The pH Miracle) and naturopaths like Christopher Vasey (author of the book The Acid Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health).
These two authors – along with many others – have done a good deal of research into the pH balance in the body, as well as how health conditions are linked to this important balance. The Alkaline Diet is the name given to this popular eating plan, and it is one that is covered in great depth by the ebook “The Acid Alkaline Balanced Diet” – the book we are currently reviewing.
About the Alkaline Diet
Before we crack open the book, you need to understand a bit more about the Alkaline Diet promoted by the book.
How it Became Famous
The Alkaline Diet has been featured prominently in the news since January of 2013, when Victoria Beckham tweeted the following words about the Honestly Healthy cookbook:
“Love this healthy eating cookbook.”
That was enough to spark the interest of the thousands of people following her, and soon it was one of the most popular diets around. Despite the fact that it had been researched as far back as the 1990s, it was only in 2013 that it really took off.
The Alkaline Diet
Disclaimer: All of the information on the Alkaline Diet below has been taken from WebMD.
The Alkaline Diet is based on a simple premise: an alkaline pH balance in the body is healthy, while an acidic pH balance is unhealthy.
Understanding basic chemistry will help you understand just how the Alkaline Diet works.
The pH level of something measures just how acidic or alkaline it is.
- If the pH is 0, it is entirely acidic.
- If the pH is 7, it is a neutral balance.
- If the pH is 14, it is entirely alkaline.
The human body has a wide variety of pH balances oddly enough.
- The blood in your veins has a pH balance of 7.35 to 7.45 – meaning it is slightly more alkaline.
- The stomach – with all its gastric acid – has a pH balance of 3.5 – meaning it is very acidic.
The pH levels of your urine changes according to the things you put into your body. In fact, your urine is the best indicator of the pH balance in your body. Any extra acid is expelled through the urine – it’s how your body keeps that pH balance steady.
The Alkaline Diet is tailored to those that are trying to promote a pH balance that trends towards the alkaline rather than the acidic. It claims to be able to help keep the pH balance in your blood constant, but the truth is that your body is designed to do that all on its own.
Likely Pros of the Alkaline Diet
- The diet is ideal for vegetarians and vegans. Dairy is off-limits, as are meat and other highly acidic proteins.
- The diet is all about natural foods – raw fruits and vegetables, grains, and legumes.
- The diet is mostly gluten-free – as it is a wheat-free diet.
- The diet eliminates most of the food allergy triggers – eggs, milk, nuts, fish, and shellfish.
- The diet does not call for additional purchases.
- The diet calls for foods that you can find at any grocery store or supermarket.
- The diet is very high-fiber, making it excellent for digestive health.
- The diet is free of processed foods.
Probable Cons of the Alkaline Diet
- There is still some exposure to gluten and other food allergy triggers – albeit limited.
- Special foods may need to be purchased to ensure a healthy balance between carbohydrates, protein, and fat intake.
- The diet is fairly low-fat and low-protein, with an emphasis placed on carbohydrates.
- For those also exercising at the same time as dieting with the Alkaline Diet, the nutritional imbalance can lead to lower energy levels, slow muscle growth, and other problems.
What Do the Experts Say?
Many studies have been conducted into the effectiveness of having a more alkaline diet, and below you’ll find the results of the studies below.
The Journal of Environmental and Public Health  looked at the role of an alkaline diet in health. The study evaluated not just studies posted on PubMed, but also the book written on the topic. They discovered that the diet:
- Promotes a more alkaline urine pH.
- Could result in lower calcium in urine, which may or may not reflect total bone calcium levels.
- Improve the Potassium/Sodium ratio – benefitting bone health, reducing muscle waste, and mitigating chronic diseases like strokes and high blood pressure.
- Increase growth hormone in the body, possibly improving cardiovascular health, cognition, and memory.
- Increase intracellular magnetism – an important part of enzyme systems in the body.
- Make magnesium more available, helping to activate Vitamin D and benefitting the apocrine/exocrine systems.
- Possibly increase the health effects of chemotherapeutic agents that call for a high pH
Verdict: While the Alkaline Diet may not provide all the health benefits claimed by the book, there are visible benefits of the diet.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reviewed the book The pH Miracle by Robert O. Young, PhD.  in order to see if the claims made by the book were genuine.
They listed the nutritional pros and cons of the diet, but the website goes on to point out that there is limited science behind the claims made in the book.
The authors of the book are vague, citing only a 1991 study – an unspecified study at that – as the proof that the Alkaline Diet promoted by The pH Miracle is effective. While the website promoted the diet as a means of increasing raw food consumption, overall the tone was skeptical.
Verdict: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated “This is not a healthy way to lose weight.”
Stephanie Vangsness, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., clinical nutritionist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital posted on InteliHealth a review of the diet and its effects on cancer.
According to her:
- It is nearly impossible to achieve and maintain a high-alkaline pH for a prolonged period of time.
- There are no human studies supporting alkaline diets for the prevention or treatment of cancer. (Studies have, however, shown that cancer cells do grow faster in an acidic environment.)
- Alkaline diets promote exclusion of foods that are actually healthy – which can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Verdict: The lack of human studies that proof conclusively that an Alkaline Diet can positively affect cancer cells.
In 2011, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition posted the results of a study into whether or not milk and dairy products actually affect the pH balance in the human body.  The study examined the hypothesis that the protein and phosphate in dairy milk causes our bodies to become acidified and promote diseases.
It found that milk and dairy products not only don’t cause metabolic acidosis, but systemic pH is unaffected by diet. While urine pH levels may change, the body’s pH balance will not.
Verdict: Even the foods believed to change the body’s pH levels have no effect on systemic pH – just urine pH.
What does all of this mean? Simple:
The Alkaline Diet is one that has little evidence to back up its claims. While it can be a diet that promotes health, the many health benefits promoted by authors of the books will have little to do with the body’s pH balance – and more to do with the healthy diet itself.
- The fact that you are eating a lot more fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes means that you will be getting the nutrients that your body needs.
- You will be cutting out all processed foods, thus removing a lot of the chemicals and toxins from your body.
- You will be limiting the amount of protein that you eat – ergo limiting the amount of fat you consume.
Who is the Diet For?
- It is not for those trying to lose weight.
- It is not for those trying to cure cancer naturally.
- It is for those who are trying to improve their eating habits.
- It is for those who want to eliminate food allergy triggers like gluten, dairy, and shellfish.
A Look at the Acid Alkaline Balanced Diet Ebook
Now, we’ve examined the Alkaline Diet promoted by the Acid Alkaline Balanced Diet Ebook, but let’s take a look at the book itself.
What Makes it a Great Book
I read over the e-book, and there were a few things that stood out to me:
You know how there are always programs that just give you basic information, without really getting into details into the reasons why you should “eat this”, “do this workout”, or “cut this from your diet”.
This e-book, on the other hand, gets into the details of why the Alkaline Diet is healthy. It breaks down the claims made, and explains it in a way that’s easy to understand. It’s a complete book that comes with everything you need to know about the Alkaline Diet.
Layout is Good
I have a hard time reading long chunks of text on blank white pages, so I loved the layout of this e-book. It’s formatted to be very easy to read, and I was able to skim from one topic to the next without getting lost.
Pictures break up the text, and colors are used to make it a bit more lively. I’d give it a much better rating than many of the e-books I’ve read!
Simplifies Difficult Concepts
One good thing about this e-book is that it broke down the complicated topic of systemic pH and explained it in a way that pretty much anyone can understand. It provides clear details, but without being too complex.
This makes it great for the people that just don’t have the time to read a scientific manual on why the diet works. It explains it in an easy way that is simple and concise.
Useful, Practical Information
The book is more than just the diet itself, but there’s plenty of helpful tips throughout – such as the ones below:
- Wait for 15 to 30 minutes after eating fruit to eat other foods.
- Only eat until your stomach is 80% full.
- Limit fluids while eating.
- Add alkalizing foods to every meal.
- Eat more alkalizing foods than acidifying foods.
- Have no less than 5 servings of fruits or veggies per day.
These tips are simple common knowledge, but they help to bring the diet home and make it easy for people to understand.
Bonus: There are even recipes at the end that you can use to get started cooking for the Alkaline Diet.
The e-book has taken a lot of information from sources like the USDA Hanbook and the various books written on the Alkaline Diet. The information on the various foods is accurate, and it’s laid out in a way that’s easy to see. No dry statistics in this book – just simple, accurate facts in a reader-friendly layout.
While many diet books only advocate the meal plan being promoted, there are a few pages near the end of the book dedicated to exercise and healthy living. I like the fact that it reinforces the importance of doing exercise, not just eating. After all, while a healthy body is made 70% in the kitchen, the other 30% is made in the gym!
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What the Book is Lacking In
While it is an enjoyable read, the book isn’t perfect…
The e-book does mention a number of studies, but there are no links to those studies. There is no way for readers to verify the information provided in the e-book, meaning anyone interested in the Alkaline Diet has to take everything at face value instead of being able to find out for themselves.
Based Off Books – Not Studies
The information in the e-book comes from the various books published on the Alkaline Diet – books like The pH Miracle and The Acid Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health. While these books are popular, the reviews of these books by nutritionists and dieticians have pointed out the flaws in the diet theory (see Case Study #2 above…).
There is no information obtained from scientific journals to back up the claims made by these Alkaline Diet books, and even if there were, there are no links to the studies.
So, what’s our verdict on The Acid Alkaline Balanced Diet e-book?
- The book itself, the layout, and the reader-friendliness of the content.
- The simplicity and in-depth explanations of the diet.
- The breakdowns of the diet, and simple steps for readers to take to start on the Alkaline Diet plan.
We’re not trilled about
- The studies proving that the Alkaline Diet is little more than a fad diet.
- The lack of resources for those who want to study the diet further.
All in all, the book itself earns high marks for being a great read, but the diet it promotes earns lower marks for being a less-than-effective meal plan! If you’re trying to lose weight and living an effective lifestyle, we recommend The Gabriel Method Instead as it is effective and healthy.
Resources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195546/  http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=10484#.UvPT4fldWSJ  http://www.intelihealth.com/article/alkaline-diets-and-cancer-fact-or-fiction?hd=null#harm  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22081694