Have you ever wondered what the Alkaline Diet is but struggled to find real, straightforward answers?
Have you ever wondered how to get alkaline but couldn’t get to grips with what it actually involves?
Or maybe you know the basics of the alkaline diet, but just can’t get started or stick to it…?
After you have read this guide you will have:
1. An exact understanding of what the Alkaline Diet really is.
2. An easy step-by-step path to follow to get started TODAY
3. A set of simple strategies to make it easy to stick to!
What is The Alkaline Diet?
The alkaline diet is a very simple approach to health that is natural, whole-food based and very powerful.
When followed correctly (as I am about to teach you in this guide) it is easy, enjoyable to follow and practically always gets incredible results.
It is designed around giving your body the tools it needs to be in balance, replenish itself and thrive…
And when you do this your energy will be huge, your mental clarity will be sharp, your skin will glow and you will shine.
A Simple Explanation…
The alkaline diet, quite simply is an approach to health that encourages you to consume mostly ‘alkaline-forming’ foods and drinks, while minimizing more acid-forming foods and drinks.
You never have to be perfect. You never have to give up everything.
Backed by extensive scientific research (which we will get onto in just a moment), it is an approach to health that is sometimes misunderstood, but when explained clearly, is a diet that ANY physician, doctor, partner, friend, relative or sceptic can get on board with.
Note: You’re Not Trying to Alkalise Your Body: confused? Let me explain.
The purpose of the alkaline diet is not to try and increase the alkalinity of your blood, cells or any other part of your body. This is the chief ‘told you so’ point of the detractors of the alkaline diet. They say ‘there’s no point doing the alkaline diet because the body has mechanisms to ensure you NEVER deviate from pH 7.365′. I agree – that’s exactly the point.
The purpose of the alkaline diet is to celebrate that fact and provide the body with all the tools it needs to effortlessly maintain that pH 7.365. The Standard American (Western) Diet and modern life in general bombards our body with acids all day long. The damage that these acidic substances (such as sugar) cause is only beaten by the damage caused by the body doing whatever it takes to buffer these acids and maintain the pH 7.365.
The alkaline diet is designed to limit these acidic substances and fuel your body with an abundance of nutrient-dense, life-giving foods that make your thrive. It’s NOT designed to try and increase the alkalinity of your body, rather to support the body’s own delicate balance.
I have explained this in more detail in my Alkaline Diet Myths article here.
This is the second important point: the alkaline diet JUST MAKES SENSE! Try not to get too caught up in the science of it all. The scientific proof and scientific background of the alkaline diet is there, that’s without question (see below)- but don’t fall into the trap of not seeing the wood for the trees!
The alkaline diet is really simple and common sense.
When people (friends, family, doctors, other websites, troublemakers(!) and the like) try to question the alkaline approach, they usually go headfirst into a bunch of psudoscience, fuzzy logic and chemistry (largely based upon the incorrect assumption outlined above – the main argument, which is just silly, is that you can’t change your pH…nobody is saying you can!).
If I were to tell you that the path to abundant health involves:
- Eating a lot of fresh vegetables, salads, leafy greens, healthy oils, nuts, seeds, and low-sugar fruits
- Avoiding trans-fats, sugar, processed foods, refined foods, fast foods, junk foods, sweets, pizzas, chips, ice-cream etc as much as possible
- Keeping animal protein and higher sugar fruits (like pineapple and oranges) in moderation
- Stay well hydrated
- Stay stress-free as much as possible
Does that sound like something your doctor could agree with?
This is, pretty much, the alkaline diet.
Study Shows: “Alkaline Foods Make Up 38 of the Top 41 Most Nutritionally Powerful Foods on Earth”
[Note: this isn't the scientific proof section, that's in just a few minutes]
A recent study by researchers at William Paterson University, aimed to find the world’s most powerful foods and through their study (ranking foods by their nutrient density), they identified the world’s top 41 Powerhouse Fruits & Vegetables.
Of the top 41, 38 were high-alkaline foods, and the other 3 were fruits that are low alkaline or low-acidic (strawberries, oranges and blackberries).
The top 16 were all leafy green alkaline foods.
Are you getting the message?
And Here Is How it Works in More Scientific Terms
Our body is designed to be alkaline.
The pH of most of our important cellular and other fluids such as our blood is designed to be at a pH of 7.365, which is slightly alkaline.
In just the same way that our body will do whatever it takes to regulate our temperature to stay within a very tight range, it does the same for the pH of our fluids.
And while our body does create a small amount of acids naturally through our bodily functions (metabolism etc), we have a small alkaline buffering system that naturally keeps us alkaline.
The problem, however, is our modern diet.
The Standard western diet is chronically over-acid. Fast foods, convenience foods, junk-foods, refined foods, takeaways, sugar, grains, trans-fats, high-fructose corn syrup… pizza, chips, chocolate, cookies, desserts, ice-cream, mac n cheese…
We are stressed, time-poor, health-poor and over-acid.
Remember, your body HAS to keep the pH of your blood, cells and other fluids at just slightly alkaline (pH 7.365) and it will do ANYTHING it has to in order to maintain this pH balance.
The alkaline buffering system we evolved with is pretty much all used up simply neutralizing the internal acids created by our bodily functions.
So if we keep consuming more acid-forming foods after the buffering system is used up, what happens?
How does the body neutralize these extra acids?
This is where the problems start.
You see, it’s not so much the foods or drinks that are the issue. It is the stress it puts the body under to repeatedly, day after day, hour after hour, try to neutralize this acidity caused by our diet.
Your body will sacrifice ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in the medium to long-term in order to maintain this pH in the short term, and the effects of this are devastating to the body.
To put this in context, the pH scale is logarithmic – so pH 6 is 10x more acidic than pH 7, meaning pH 5 is 100x times more acidic than pH 7 and pH 4 is 1000x more acidic.
Cola has a pH of between 2 and 3.
So you can see how a diet filled with sugar, dairy, fizzy drinks, alcohol, refined foods etc would create huge stress in the body.
Your Body on Acids
When you consume acid-forming foods day after day, meal after meal, the body is put under huge stress.
To neutralize the excess acidity the body has to draw alkaline minerals from wherever it can, notably magnesium, calcium and potassium (while manufacturing it’s own sodium bicarbonate which places further stress on the body).
The depletion of these minerals from where they are needed has a very detrimental knock on effect.
Magnesium deficiency can be traced to pretty much every chronic condition we know of.
To give you two other examples, have you ever wondered why there are so many studies which link cola (strongly acid-forming) consumption with osteoporosis (weak bones)?
And when it comes to acid reflux, to digest these heavy, acid-forming foods (note they don’t help create stomach acid, that’s a different type of acid), the stomach actually has to create MORE hydrochloric acid than it does with natural foods.
Now you have a situation of the acidic food AND the excess hydrochloric acid that the body cannot dispose of. And guess where the excess hydrochloric acid goes? Straight back up the esophagus… and you get reflux.
This is why the alkaline diet is SO effective for reflux sufferers, and research studies such as this show how alkaline water can prevent and cure reflux.
And it Gets Worse (A Cycle of Fat, Anyone?)
On top of this, most acidic foods are sugar and grain/wheat heavy, which means that you get stuck in a cycle of inflammation, hyper-immune response and visceral fat formation.
Let me explain.
When you consume grains, the polysaccharide called amylopectin A (present in all grains) spikes your blood sugar more rapidly and wildly than eating a candy bar.
When your blood sugar spikes like this, it sends a message to your pancreas to release insulin quickly.
Repeated insulin release directly causes inflammation in the body which leads to two responses. One is the formation of visceral fat and the other is to stimulate your immune system into response to the inflammation.
The more visceral fat you have, the worse your response to insulin and thus the harder your pancreas has to work to produce MORE insulin than before.
Which then leads to more inflammation, more visceral fat and so on.
This hyper-stimulation of your immune system also directly leads to more inflammation, more visceral fat, more insulin, more inflammation and so on.
Here are just three of the outcomes of this acidity-inflammation-immune response:
- Your digestive system gets clogged and inflamed, with acidic wastes (such as yeasts and candida, which are fuelled by the acidic diet and the sugars) clogging up your large intestine where your nutrients are normally absorbed. The ‘anti-nutrients’ in grains, we haven’t even talked about also cause holes to appear in the large intestine causing further inflammation and immune response, but that’s a whole other guide!). So even when you DO eat good foods, you’re only getting a fraction of the benefit.
- The inflammation-induced fat formation leads to weight gain, but this is just the start. The acid wastes that the body is NOT able to neutralize and eliminate get stored in more bodily fat in order to protect your vital organs. The stressed pancreas is now also not able to access bodily fat for energy, meaning fat is stored and stays there
- The over-stimulation of the immune system eventually leads to a host of auto-immune conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, Crohn’s and more
And this is just the start.
The longer it goes on, the more it compounds.
You have to break the cycle and replenish and repair your body, from the inside out.
Nourish Your Body & Give it the Tools it Needs to Thrive!
The alkaline diet is focused on giving your body the nutrients it needs to repair, rebuild, flourish and thrive.
The net result for you is abundant energy, your ideal weight, glowing skin, mental energy and a body that is as protected as possible from sickness and disease.
I’m sure you can guess that the foods that are alkaline to the body are therefore…wait for it…
- Fresh vegetables
- leafy greens
- healthy fats
- fresh foods
- whole foods
- raw foods
Get the Complete List of Alkaline Foods
I have actually got a really detailed list of all alkaline and acid foods available for a free download here (it also has a beginners guide to the alkaline diet in it).
And the most acid-forming foods?
- Bad fats
- Refined foods
- Fast foods
- Junk foods
- Artificial sweeteners
- Ice cream
- And so on…
Fake foods, man-made foods, junk foods…
You know the stuff.
Thinking about it this way makes it pretty easy to understand and pretty easy to follow.
I think most people, if given a list of 100 foods could put them into the acid or alkaline group 8 times out of 10.
How to Know If a Food Is Acid or Alkaline
So what makes a food acid or alkaline?
There are a few things, but the most important rules are:
RULE ONE: If a food is high in alkaline minerals including magnesium, potassium, calcium or sodium it is likely to be alkaline to the body.
RULE TWO: BUT – regardless of its alkaline mineral content, if it contains any of the following then it will be acidifying:
• is fermented (like soy sauce)
• contains fungi (like mushrooms)
• is refined/microwaved/processed
So this explains the anomalies.
Most fruit for instance is generally, unfortunately, acidifying due to it’s high sugar content.
Bananas for example are very high in potassium, but are around 25% sugar.
The main exceptions are tomatoes, avocados, lemons & limes (great for dressings and flavourings), grapefruit and watermelon (to some degree) that are alkaline because they are so low in sugar.
[Note: with regards to fruit, my general rule is to keep it to one piece per day, and try to make sure it is in-season]
How to Get Started With The Alkaline Diet…TODAY!
STEP ONE: Choose Your Approach (Fast or Steady)
To get alkaline and start to experience those incredible benefits we’ve already talked about, you have two options:
OPTION ONE: The Alkaline Cleanse
Those of you who want fast results, who want to completely clean out the body quickly and don’t mind going through it the tough way might want to start with an alkaline cleanse, to kick off.
The alkaline cleanse is a 5-7 day (or more) raw food, liquid cleanse. During these 5-7 days you are consuming ONLY raw, alkaline juices, soups and smoothies, plus a lot of water (3-4 litres per day) and a selection of important cleanse supplements.
The pro’s of this approach are that it is powerful, it is incredibly beneficial and to be honest, if I could coach everyone on Earth, I would have everyone go through this!
Doing a cleanse properly is an art though. Done incorrectly, it is hard, and most people struggle to stick it out. Or worse, they get to day 7 but have been doing it wrong and don’t get the results they really want.
I have written a Cleanse Quick Start guide (and video) here to help get you on your way, and keep your eye out because I will be opening my Alkaline Cleanse Class for 2015 in the next few weeks.
Last year’s class (our first year) got absolutely incredible results. Some people in the class found it so easy following my guidance and got such fantastic results, they did six or seven cleanses in the year!
Others did it for 7 days and then carried on for a further 7 days!
Doing it alone is not for the feint of heart, but the results can be superb.
Again, look out for the 2015 Cleanse class, which is coming soon!.
OPTION TWO: The Day-by-Day Transition Approach
Without the guidance of someone (like myself), a cleanse can be difficult, and the easier, more realistic way to start the alkaline diet is to adopt the transitional approach.
This is the way I teach a lot of my students to get alkaline, and it is a simple strategy that involves focusing on just five CORE alkaline diet actions each day, while removing the most damaging acid-forming foods one at a time.
No Stress, No Anxiety, No Deprivation…
In my experience of teaching the alkaline diet for the past 10-11 years, the #1 reason that causes people to fail and give up is stress, pressure and the feelings of being deprived.
My approach to getting you alkaline is very different to this.
If you join one of my courses, this is something you’ll learn very quickly!
It’s all about taking the pressure away, removing the stress and making it easy, enjoyable and dare I say it, FUN to get alkaline and get to your health goals.
It’s all about focusing on the five key actions each day that are the easiest to do, and have the biggest impact.
STEP TWO: MAKING IT HAPPEN
The Five Core Alkaline Actions
If you can do most of these, most days (again, no pressure), you will THRIVE.
CORE ALKALINE ACTION ONE: DAILY GREENS
As we’ve already seen, green foods make up almost all of the 41 most powerful foods on earth.
These foods were ranked by their nutrient density, so it is clear that eating an abundance of green foods each day is going to do wonders for your health, body and energy.
Green foods are alkaline, nutrient-dense and rich in chlorophyll which is a potent blood builder, antioxidant, cleanser and helps the body to rapidly clear acids from our system.
So getting a big injection of greens into your diet is hugely important!
You have to focus on the small, simple stuff that has the most impact and in my opinion, getting green foods in is the single most powerful thing you can do to dramatically change your health, energy and vitality.
You have to get greens in and while this may seem daunting – here are a few suggestions to make it a LOT easier and less intimidating:
Have a salad with every meal: carry on eating what you’d normally have eaten, but just add a side salad (no unhealthy dressings though!). This TOTALLY takes the pressure off but the cumulative effect of having several salads a day will have a big impact.
Disguise green foods: you can shave broccoli heads with a knife over foods or into pasta sauce giving you heaps of broccoli, but you can’t see, taste or smell it. OR wilt spinach down with a little butter, salt and pepper – this gives you a HUGE amount of spinach in just a couple of mouthfuls. OR make pasta sauce by blending tomatoes with steamed pumpkin, broccoli, spinach, watercress etc. When it’s all blended down it still tastes very rich and tomato-ey, but you’ve got a heap of green foods in there too!
Get into Sprouts: sounds weird but it’s SO worth it – sprouts are sprouted seeds of plants such as broccoli which, when harvested at the sprout stage, contain all (or more) of the nutritional content of the fully grown plant – this means you can easily eat one handful and get a HUGE hit of nutrients. I’ve blogged heaps about sprouts (and have a guide coming) so click here to read all about sprouts.
Making sure you up your green food consumption from 0-1 times per day to 3-5 times per day is easy and it will blow your mind the difference it makes. Your body will thank you, I can absolutely assure you.
CORE ALKALINE ACTION TWO: Hydration is the EASIEST Way to Alkalize
The vast majority of people are chronically dehydrated, somehow barely getting through the day on less than 800ml of water. This dramatically effects mental clarity, digestion, the immune system, weight, energy, skin…just a 5% drop in body fluids will cause a 25-30% loss of energy in most people. It is a HUGE problem and SO easy to fix.
Please just start drinking at least 2-3 litres of water every day. This will have as much impact on you than all of the other points in this article combined – it’s that important.
Ideally you’d be drinking 3-4 litres, but if you can even get to 2.5 per day for a week you’ll never look back.
In fact, right now, make the promise to yourself that you are going to drink at LEAST 2.5 litres per day. Write it down.
Set a reminder in your phone!
The problems/questions most people have when it comes to hydration
In my experience as a hydration junkie, I find that most people have the same few questions when they first start to get hydrated:
– what type of water to drink (tap, bottled, reverse osmosis, ionized, lemon squeezed in etc)
– how much to drink
– …but I keep needing to pee!
– won’t it wash all of my minerals out of my body?
– I can’t remember to drink enough – I always forget!
Thankfully, I have created a very in-depth guide to hydration here for you to download totally for free.
It will answer every question you might have about getting alkaline with water – it’s very very good.
So please do download the guide, follow the steps to choosing the best water for you and read my Guide on How to Remember to Drink Enough!
CORE ALKALINE ACTION THREE: Daily Minerals & Alkaline Salts
Alkaline minerals are simply essential to maintaining proper health, having abundant energy and creating the balance in your body that you need to thrive.
The most alkaline minerals: potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium are quite easy to find in any multi mineral, but I do recommend a particular supplement called pHour Salts from pH Miracle.
It is a blend of those four alkaline minerals in the bicarbonate form, which makes them incredibly bioavailable to the body and form a powerful way to buffer dietary acids (i.e. the ones you consume).
If you can’t get pHour Salts, look for a good range multi mineral that is preferably split into two capsules per serve so you can take one in the A.M. and one in the P.M.
You’ll be getting a good source of alkaline minerals from your greens, but it is essential to have a safety net of these critical minerals.
CORE ALKALINE ACTION FOUR: Getting Oiled Up
This is another really easy fix and is something 90% of people are not currently doing:
You HAVE to get at LEAST 2 tablespoons of Omega 3 EVERY day
Eating more oily fish is great for the health benefits this can bring, but you’d have to eat a really silly amount to get enough omega 3 – and this goes twofold for eating nuts and seeds to get enough omega 3.
Omega 3 deficiency was named in a Harvard Medical School research paper as being the 6th Biggest Killer in the USA – yes it’s that important. It’s critical for our health, energy, metabolism, cardiovascular system, eyes, hair, skin, digestive system…everything – yet around 90% of people in the Western world are chronically deficient.
If you change nothing else but add 2 tablespoons (30ml) of omega 3 to your diet you will really see a massive difference in your body.
5 Minutes Per Day to 24-Hours of Alkalinity
IF you read my guide The 7 Most Alkaline Foods you’ll already know the answer to this, but it’s SO super easy, quick and powerful that I just HAVE to say it again:
DRINK A GREEN DRINK EVERY DAY!
You’ve just gotta. It’s 5 minutes and it will change your life forever. Honestly, it’s so quick and easy to knock together a juice – it really does take under five minutes from getting the food out of the fridge, to washing, to juicing, to cleaning the juicer to drinking.
But this five minutes a day give your body a waterfall of easily absorbed nutrients that will instantly boost your energy, flood you with antioxidants, rapidly strengthen your immune system and dramatically alkalise you all day long.
Remember – the best thing about this is, it means you’ve already exceeded your five-a-day serves of vegetables before 9am!
And if you want to know what to juice here are some recipes for you:
…and of course – The Big Bad Green Drink
The Most Damaging Acids to Avoid
These are the acids you want to transition away from first. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once!.
In fact, I recommend focusing on them one at a time and only moving on to the next once the one you’re working on is nailed!
1. Cola/Soft Drinks:
Cola has to come in at number one and I could write a whole thesis on why. But let’s just touch on the main points as to why I quite literally never touch colas, lemonades, sports drinks and other fizzy, carbonated beverages. Full of sugar, chemicals, sweeteners and ingredients that are actually known and proven as being dangerous for human health (hello phosphoric acid).
It’s almost impossible to know where to start with listing out how SHOCKINGLY BAD cola and soft drinks are for our health (and chemically addictive), so I’ll start with the ingredients and then move onto the research that proves just SOME of the health problems that cola causes (again, proven).
- Sugar: colas contain sugar. Loads and loads of it. About 10 teaspoons per 330ml can. This. Is. Crazy.
Remembering that sugar is more addictive than cocaine, it would be very wise to begin your transition away from cola and sodas right now. Today.
As Mercola says “It is a proven fact that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging and many more negative side effects. Most sodas include over 100 percent of the RDA of sugar.”
- Phosphoric Acid: known to interfere with the body’s ability to use and absorb calcium, this is one of the main reasons why cola consumption is so strongly linked to osteoporosis
- Caffeine: caffeine is of course not only highly acidic, but also a cause of dehydration (as a diuretic). Most colas would contain around 55mg of caffeine, which is just shy of the 65mg found in a shot of proper espresso. This is a LOT of caffeine to get from a beverage that isn’t even coffee! Caffeine has also been shown to increase the risk of insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral depletion, breast lumps, birth defects and more.
- High-fructose modified corn syrup: geez, where do you even start with HFCS. Unquestionably linked to obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, liver failure, kidney failure and more. It’s no surprise to find that since the US consumption per person of HFCS went from 0 to 60 lbs per person per year obesity has tripled and diabetes has grown seven-fold. Of course, there are other variables but you can’t ignore this. Now I could go into a LOT of depth here on HFCS but let’s just leave it here. It’s a horrible, horrible curse that has been put upon our modern society by the food industry in the last few decades. Thank goodness for people like Dr Mark Hyman and others – we’re all smartening up!
- Other random chemicals: While the federal limit for benzene in drinking water is 5 parts per billion (ppb), researchers have found benzene levels as high as 79 ppb in some soft drinks, and of the 100 brands tested, most had at least some detectable level of benzene present
- Aspartame: the worst of the worst when it comes to sweeteners (and the reason why diet sodas and colas are just as bad as the regular kind), aspartame is the sweetener with over 92 different health side effects that have been associated with it’s consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilispsy/seizures and more.
And the simple fact is, sugar, caffeine, HFCS, sweeteners are all HIGHLY acidic, and sodas contain them in abundance.
Let’s put it like this – you can’t be alkaline and consume cola on a daily basis.
But here are some other scary facts about regular cola/soft drink consumption:
- The British medical journal “The Lancet” published a study showing that, during a two year study, those 12-year olds who drank soda on a daily basis had a 60% increase in the risk of obesity!
- One cola per day can increase your risk of diabetes by up to 85%
- Sheffield University research discovered that the chemical called sodium benzoate which is found in almost all colas and soft drink actually disrupts and damages DNA! The researcher reported that “And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA – Parkinson’s and quite a lot of neurodegenerative diseases, but above all, the whole process of aging.”
- and so much more!
Sugar is sugar is sugar. It’s at the root of all acidity!
SEE ALSO: How to Banish Sugar Cravings
Sugar is quite literally an acidic waste product that for acids in the body is like petrol on a fire. And this counts for all sugar, white, brown, raw, cane, corn, malts, honey, molasses, sucrose, fructose (yes fruit), lactose, maltose, glucose and anything else ending in -ose.
Now, I know this isn’t exactly an easy one to give up entirely and so it sticks out in this list a little (and this article as a whole) but I do want you to start to lower the amount of sugar in your life and move slowly away from it. It’s at the root cause of all sickness and disease.
All sugars cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which then creates an environment for the creation of bacteria, yeast and mold within the body (i.e. a hugely acidic digestive system, candida overgrowth, digestive issues, mal-absorption of nutrients and any sickness or disease you can think of).
The worst thing is, of course, the more sugar the body gets, the more acidic it gets, and so the more it craves – to keep feeding these acidic microforms. As I said earlier – sugar is more addictive than cocaine – and so the only way to cut this off is to alkalise the body and slowly transition away.
Giving up sugar is normally really hard, but with the alkaline approach – the more alkaline you get the less you’ll crave. It makes it so much easier and less stressful to give up this drug.
And something I’ve used myself to overcome sugar addiction (as have thousands of our customers) is pH Miracle’s pHour Salts. Remember, sugar cravings are often your body’s cry for salts, and this is a pure alkaline mineral salt product that dramatically alkalises the body. Check it out here.
But as you look at our sugar consumption increase over the past 300 years, it’s clear to see that something needs to be done:
Refined Sugar Consumption Trends in Past 300 Years:
In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
In 2009, more than 50 percent us consume 1/2 pound of sugar per day, which is 180 pounds of sugar per year.
4. Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Fats/ Trans Fats:
As healthy as the healthy oils (omega 3, 6 and 9) are to the body, the wrong fats are devastating. We all know just how bad the bad fats are, and we’ve been told about them for many decades (clogged arteries, heart disease, cancer etc). Animal fats, cheap vegetable oils, butter and (worse, much worse) margarine, trans fats and a lot of saturated fats (coconut aside) are all absolutely shocking for our health.
Trans fatty acids, also known as trans fat, is an artery-clogging fat that is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening. It’s found in all of the most acid-forming foods – takeaways, fried foods, refined foods, cakes, biscuits, chocolates and chocolate snacks, chips, pizzas etc. You know the drill.
The consumption of trans fats is one of the main causes for the current obesity epidemic and absolutely a huge reason for the diabetes epidemic. Trans fats are proven to increase blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, while lowering levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), known as “good” cholesterol. The swines!
Sadly, and truthfully, many food companies use trans fat instead of oil because it reduces cost, extends storage life of products and can improve flavor and texture.
Bear in mind too, and you’ll know this if you’ve seen Hungry for Change, you’ll know that the three ingredients that food companies use to get us addicted to foods are the acid-forming-combo of fat, sugar and salt.
Steer clear of these fats!
And to counteract all of this, remember to add in the GOOD fats too!
We’ve already touched on why grains are one of the top, top foods to avoid.
I know this will come as a shock to many, as we’ve been told for decades to consume a minimum three serves of whole grains a day.
But remember – where there are substantial profits in the food industry, there is substantial power and substantial vested interests in ensuring that we continue to consume.
And the grain industry is a multi-hundred-billion-dollar powerhouse.
But financial and political agendas aside, grains have to be avoided because:
- They are acid-forming, first and foremost
- They directly cause inflammation
- They contain ‘anti-nutrients’ that not only slow your metabolism, but also block the absorption of vital minerals and nutrients. Not good.
- The gluten in grains is dreadful for the brain. Polypeptides created from gluten consumption have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, that separates the bloodstream from the brain. Once gaining entry into the brain, wheat polypeptides bind to the brain’s morphene receptor, the very same receptor that opiate drugs bind to. Not only does this make you ADDICTED to gluten, but also leads to a host of cognitive conditions.
- Grains also stuff your digestive system, as we’ve already discussed, with a mix of inflammation and toxins that poke holes into your large intestine.
The list can go on and on, but that’s possibly enough for now to reiterate that the grains have to go!
5. Monosodium glutamate:
Monosodium glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate or MSG, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid. Even though it was classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) the FDA still stated that:
“Studies have shown that the body uses glutamate, an amino acid, as a nerve impulse transmitter in the brain and that there are glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body, as well.
Abnormal function of glutamate receptors has been linked with certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s chorea. Injections of glutamate in laboratory animals have resulted in damage to nerve cells in the brain.”
Eeek. If the FDA are saying things like this then it’s time to get worried…
Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills” explains that MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death (the same as aspartame and other sweeteners which we’ll get on to), causing brain damage to varying degrees and possibly even causing the worsening of learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease plus more. Wow.
MSG was always known as being something that we only found in Chinese food. This is very misleading – it’s everywhere. Well, it’s everywhere if you eat a lot of refined and fast foods. MSG is a very powerful flavour enhancer so it’s used in products such as crackers, chips, microwave meals, canned foods etc in order to make them taste fresher and more flavoursome.
MSG is hidden in lots of foods within ingredients, so look out for the following on your food labels: Autolyzed Yeast, Calcium Caseinate, Gelatin, Glutamate, Glutamic Acid, Hydrolyzed Protein, Monopotassium Glutamatem, Sodium Caseinate, Textured Protein, Yeast Extract, Yeast Food, Yeast Nutrient.
…and is often found in Flavors and Flavorings, Seasonings, Natural Flavors and Flavorings, Natural Pork Flavoring, Natural Beef Flavoring, Natural Chicken Flavoring, Soy Sauce, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Protein, Bouillon Stock Broth, Malt Extract, Malt Flavoring, Barley Malt, Anything Enzyme Modified, Maltodextrin, Pectin Enzymes, Protease, Corn Starch, Citric Acid, Powdered Milk, Anything Protein Fortified, Anything Ultra-Pasteurized…
[props to Mercola for his research on MSG]
For further reading, I recommend you check out my other guides:
How to Banish Sugar Forever
The Simple Anti-Inflammation Diet
The Seven Most Acidic Foods
These will all help you to further understand these acids and transition away from them!
Putting It All Together
If you can focus on these five daily actions, you will start to feel fantastic and will start getting alkaline quickly.
Your digestive system will start to restore itself and clear out the acids, inflammation will start to subside and the fat will start to melt away.
If you’re under-weight, this too is a sign of acidity and inflammation and you’ll quickly find yourself gaining weight back up to your ideal body shape.
Once you have these five core actions as habits, you can then start to branch out and extend your alkaline activities to other areas of your diet and lifestyle.
But to get started, these are the best first steps.
But What Do I Eat?!
This is the first question most people ask when they look at the list of alkaline and acid foods.
And I understand! I felt that way too! At a glance it feels like it’s just salads for the rest of eternity.
But fear not, once you dig a little deeper (and I’ve done all of the digging for you) you soon see that it is SO easy to eat a ‘normal’ diet, but just make it alkaline!
I recommend checking out two resources:
- My crazy-popular Alkaline Diet Recipe Book (which you can get right now with 40% off PLUS the Recipe Book II included in your shipment too!) – together these two paperback books contain over 250+ delicious, easy to make alkaline breakfasts, lunches, dinners, soups, smoothies, juices, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Indian, British, American and European cuisine!
- And as a starter, to get you going right away, check out the 21 most popular recipes I’ve posted to this site!
You’ll soon see that cooking alkaline is SO easy and is pretty darn delicious too.
Put it this way, it’s not just salads and ‘bird food’.
The Scientific Proof…In Case You Need It!
The alkaline diet works. That is a fact. An irrefutable, scientific fact, as I am about to prove to you.
Even without the science I know it works. I’ve seen way too many results in my life, in my family’s life, in my friends lives, and in the lives of the thousands of people I’ve coached, taught or had random emails from after they’ve actioned what I teach on this site.
BUT, I know it’s important for people to see the science, read the facts and see the proof before they commit.
And with more and more celebrities seemingly adopting this approach to health, there is the risk it’s going to be chewed and spat out by Hollywood and the media.
So here are my favourite research studies that confirm the effectiveness of the alkaline diet. This is just a handful of the articles I’ve collected over the past 10-11 years (I’m a research geek from my academic days).
Alkalinity Reduces Arthritis Pain
Alkaline foods and supplementation of alkaline minerals can help with improved function and decreased pain in arthritis sufferers
Article Title: Alkaline Mineral Supplementation Decreases Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Pilot Study
Article Published: The Open Nutrition Journal, 2008, 2, 100-105
Authors: Regina Maria Cseuz, Istvan Barna, Tamas Bender and Jürgen Vormann
Link to Original Article
“The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the efficacy of an alkaline mineral supplement as a means of suppressing disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients…This study suggests that an alkaline supplement may improve function and pain in rheumatoid arthritis and may represent an easy and safe addition to the usual treatment of RA patients.”
Alkaline Diet Supports Kidney Health
Chronic acidosis is common among those with kidney disease and studies show that alkaline supplementation and diet can slow the progression of the disease
Article Title: Does correction of metabolic acidosis slow chronic kidney disease progression?
Article Published: Current Opinion in Nephrology & Hypertension: March 2013 – Volume 22 – Issue 2 – p 193–197
Authors: Goraya, Nimrit; Wesson, Donald E
“Recent studies support that dietary acid reduction with oral sodium based alkali or base-inducing food types add kidney protection to that provided by current kidney-protective interventions. Recent studies suggest that metabolic acidosis mediates nephropathy progression, and its treatment with the comparatively inexpensive and well tolerated intervention of dietary acid reduction holds promise to be an additional kidney-protective strategy in CKD management.
Alkaline Diet Reduces Chronic Acidosis
Acidosis is Prevalent in those with kidney problems, and an alkaline diet can help improve this by reducing the acidosis
Article Title:Dietary Acid Load and Metabolic Acidosis in Renal Transplant Recipients
Article Published:Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology November 07, 2012 vol. 7 no. 11 1811-1818
Authors: Else van den Berg
“Acidosis is prevalent among renal transplant recipients (RTRs) and adversely affects cardiometabolic processes.In addition to conventional factors contributing to acidosis, diet might influence acid-base homeostasis in RTRs. Higher intake of fruits and vegetables and lower animal protein intake is associated with less acidosis in RTRs (renal transplant recipients).
An Acidic Diet Leads to Increased Risk of Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension and Chronic Kidney Failure:
Modern diet is devoid of alkalinity and the compounding effect of chronic acidosis leads to a host of problems in the body.
Article Title: Diet-induced metabolic acidosis
Article Published:Clinical Nutrition, Volume 30, Issue 4, August 2011, Pages 416–421
Authors: María M. Adeva, Gema Souto
“The modern Western-type diet is deficient in fruits and vegetables and contains excessive animal products, generating the accumulation of non-metabolizable anions and a lifespan state of overlooked metabolic acidosis, whose magnitude increases progressively with aging due to the physiological decline in kidney function.
In response to this state of diet-derived metabolic acidosis, the kidney implements compensating mechanisms aimed to restore the acid-base balance, such as the removal of the non-metabolizable anions, the conservation of citrate, and the enhancement of kidney ammoniagenesis and urinary excretion of ammonium ions. These adaptive processes lower the urine pH and induce an extensive change in urine composition, including hypocitraturia, hypercalciuria, and nitrogen and phosphate wasting.
Even a very mild degree of metabolic acidosis induces skeletal muscle resistance…and dietary acid load may be an important variable in predicting the metabolic abnormalities and the cardiovascular risk of the general population, the overweight and obese persons, and other patient populations including diabetes and chronic kidney failure.
High dietary acid load is more likely to result in diabetes and systemic hypertension and may increase the cardiovascular risk. Results of recent observational studies confirm an association between insulin resistance and metabolic acidosis markers, including low serum bicarbonate, high serum anion gap, hypocitraturia, and low urine pH.
Alkaline Diet Can Prevent and Stop Progression of Type 2 Diabetes:
An adoption of the “HFV” diet that replicates the alkaline diet (lots of vegetables, fresh foods and no red meat, processed foods, sugar etc) has been proven to slow and turn around type-2 diabetes.
Article Title: Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes by Dietary Patterns: A Systematic Review of Prospective Studies and Meta-Analysis
Article Published: Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. December 2010, 8(6): 471-476. doi:10.1089/met.2010.0009
Authors: Katherine Esposito, Christina-Maria Kastorini, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, and Dario Giugliano.
“Dietary patterns characterized by high consumption of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and poultry, and by decreased consumption of red meat, processed foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, and starchy foods may retard the progression of type 2 diabetes. Healthy diets can help people to live more years without type 2 diabetes.”
Low Alkaline, High Acidic Diet Leads to High Risk of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
High acidic, low alkaline diet leads to cortisol production, known to dramatically increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Article Title: Acid–base balance may influence risk for insulin resistance syndrome by modulating cortisol output
Article Published: Medical Hypotheses Volume 64, Issue 2, 2005, Pages 380–384
Authors: Mark F. McCarty
“Recent evidence suggests that the moderate metabolic acidosis associated with a protein-rich diet low in organic potassium salts – quantifiable by net acid output in daily urine – can likewise evoke a modest increase in cortisol production. Since cortisol promotes development of visceral obesity, and has a direct negative impact on insulin function throughout the body, even a modest sustained up-regulation of cortisol production may have the potential to increase risk for insulin resistance syndrome and type 2 diabetes. This thesis appears to be consistent with previous epidemiological reports correlating high potassium consumption, or a high intake of fruits and vegetables, with reduced risk for diabetes and coronary disease.”
Alkaline Diet Helps with Kidney Issues:
An acidic diet can be a contributor to renal (kidney) problems, and dietetic intervention with alkaline foods and substances can be advantageous.
Article Title: ACID-BASE IN RENAL FAILURE: Influence of Diet on Acid-Base Balance
Article Published: Seminars in Dialysis Volume 13, Issue 4, pages 221–226, July–August 2000
Authors: Thomas Remer
“It is well established that diet and certain food components have a clear impact on acid-base balance. Because urine pH is a relevant risk factor in most types of urinary stone disease, a dietetic manipulation of renal hydrogen ion excretion would be advantageous for a number of individuals at risk. Also patients with poorly functioning kidneys – in whom metabolic acidosis is a common manifestation of an impaired renal capacity to excrete the daily acid produced – could benefit from specific dietetic means that reduce daily acid load.”
Alkaline Water Reduces Acid Reflux
Alkaline Water helps to relieve and remove acid reflux and provides good acid-buffering capacity.
Article Title: Potential Benefits of pH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease
Article Published: Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2012 Jul;121(7):431-4.
Authors: Jamie A. Koufman, MD; Nikki Johnston, PhD
“In addition, human pepsin remains stable at pH 7.4 and may be reactivated by hydrogen ions from any source. Thus, most tap and bottled waters (typically pH 6.7 to 7.4) would not be expected to affect pepsin stability. The purposes of these in vitro studies were to investigate whether artesian well water containing natural bicarbonate (pH 8.8) might irreversibly denature (inactivate) human pepsin, and to establish its potential acid-buffering capacity.
The pH 8.8 alkaline water irreversibly inactivated human pepsin (in vitro), and its hydrochloric acid-buffering capacity far exceeded that of the conventional-pH waters. Unlike conventional drinking water, pH 8.8 alkaline water instantly denatures pepsin, rendering it permanently inactive. In addition, it has good acid-buffering capacity. Thus, the consumption of alkaline water may have therapeutic benefits for patients with reflux disease.
Alkaline Diet Helps with Gout/Hyperuricemia
An alkaline diet leads to a higher alkaline urine, providing an effective treatment of Hyperuricemia / Gout – alkalising helps remove uric acid from the body.
Article Title: Effect of urine pH changed by dietary intervention on uric acid clearance mechanism of pH-dependent excretion of urinary uric acid
Article Published: Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:39
Authors: Aya Kanbara, Yoshisuke Miura, Hideyuki Hyogo, Kazuaki Chayama and Issei Seyama
“Within the framework of the Japanese government’s health promotion program, we made recipes which consisted of protein-rich and less vegetable-fruit food materials for H+ load (acidic diet) and others composed of less protein and more vegetable-fruit rich food materials (alkaline diet). Among the five factors which are associated with calculating clearances for both uric acid and creatinine, we identified a conspicuous difference between acidic and alkaline diets in the uric acid concentration in serum as well as in urine; uric acid in the serum was higher in the acidic group than in the alkaline group, while uric acid in the urine in the acidic group was lower than that in the alkaline group. These changes of uric acid in acidic urine and in serum were reflected in the reduction of its clearance. From these observations, it is considered that uric acid may be reabsorbed more actively in acidic urine than in alkaline urine.
We conclude that alkalization of urine by eating nutritionally well-designed alkaline prone food is effective for removing uric acid from the body.”
And THAT is a Wrap
While this guide is extensive, the take-away steps and strategies are simple:
- Follow the Five Core Actions: greens, oils, hydration, minerals and juices!
- Check out the alkaline recipes (here’s that link to the Alkaline Diet Recipe Book mega-discount again)
- Transition away from the most damaging acids (sugar, grains, bad fats)
- And relax! Take it day-by-day, step-by-step, and if you make a mistake or have a crash, just dust yourself off and keep going!
The alkaline diet is meant to be easy, so keep it simple and go get alkaline!
I would LOVE to hear from you! If you have a question, a success story or feedback, just leave it in the comments below!
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