Probably most people have heard about the alkaline diet. This diet is also known as the name acid-alkaline diet. This popular diet has its roots in the many studies of Claude Bernard, a biologist. Claude studies the effects of the kidneys on controlling the acidity of fluids present in the body.
It is said that this diet has different features which mark it as a healthy diet and flexible diet. Read on, to find out more about the alkaline diet and diabetes.
More About the Alkaline Diet and Diabetes
The theory of this diet is that the food we consume affects the pH levels in the body.
According to this theory consuming specific foods can raise the acidity in the body, while on the other hand there are other foods that make the body alkaline.
Based on this theory:
The Acid Foods:
- Increase the dietary acid load;
- Produce more sulfate during metabolism.
The Alkaline Foods:
- Are lower in protein, but higher in potassium;
- Lower the dietary acid load;
- The metabolic by-products of consuming alkaline foods lower acidity and buffers hydrogen ions.
The natural pH level in the body is from 7.35 to 7.45 and it is slightly alkaline. Moreover, the body maintains this pH level with different mechanisms such as the respiratory system and the kidneys.
Furthermore, some promoters of this diet believe that this particular diet can help with specific health issues that might be caused or triggered by the excessive amount of acids.
They believe that such conditions are the following:
- Back pain;
- Excess production of mucus;
- Ovarian cysts;
- Seasonal Flu;
- Common colds;
The Aim of This Diet
The purpose of this diet is to stop the body from going into a more acidic state. Moreover, it prevents the body to have to take corrective action to restore the natural pH level of the body.
What Do We Eat on an Alkaline Diet?
The good news is that this diet is a healthy diet which might be beneficial if it is planned correctly. As a matter of fact, the alkaline diet is mostly a vegetarian diet that consists of olive oil, a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, certain kinds of legumes and nuts, and soy.
All foods above mentioned are thought to be low acid-producing foods.
Foods to Eat on Alkaline Diet
- Olive oil and flax oil;
- Beans such as soybeans and lima;
- Brazil nuts and almonds;
- Buckwheat groats and quinoa;
- Seeds such as caraway seeds, sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin.
Foods to Avoid on Alkaline Diet
- Sweeteners and sugar;
- Dairy foods;
- Ocean fish;
- Black tea, alcohol, coffee, and soft drinks;
- Certain nuts such as peanuts and cashews;
- White grains;
- Corn oil, butter, and margarine;
- Processed foods.
People who follow this diet try to ensure that around 80 percent of the food they consume is actually alkaline food. Some might wonder why specific foods like fruit are part of the alkaline diet it is like that because after digestion the foods have the alkaline effect.
Health Benefits of the Alkaline Diet
It is believed that this diet can benefit the body in this way:
- Lower muscle wasting;
- Facilitate weight loss;
- Lower the risk of diabetes-related complications;
- Improve the health of the heart;
- Improve the health of the bones.
Is This Diet Good for Those with Type 2 Diabetes?
Some people believe that this diet can help since it lowers the risk of diabetes-related complications.
According to this study, increased vegetables and fruits in this diet might help improve the K/Na ratio. Moreover, it might lower muscle wasting, benefit the health of the bones and mitigate chronic diseases like strokes and hypertension.
The increase in growth hormone with this diet might help improve outcomes such as memory, cognition, and cardiovascular health.
But the big downside is that other than the study above mentioned, there are no large clinical studies that support these claims. There is no evidence that by changing our diet we will change the acid-base balance in the body.
Such claims should be seen with skepticism. There is a need for more research on this topic. All we can do is wait and hope for the best.
In case we are on a diabetes drug that can bring on hypoglycemia, we need to make sure that this diet won’t raise the risk of low blood glucose levels. People should consult a doctor before they start a diet that is different than their current one.
Our doctor should know about any change in our diabetes management plan.