The Alkaline Diet
” I had more vitality, my skin wasn’t dry, I stopped craving sugar, my mood stabilised, and I lost weight around my middle”
~Supermodel Elle McPherson at 50, talking about her alkaline diet.
What is an alkaline diet?
A diet filled with green vegetables, particularly leafy greens, good healthy energy efficient fats, quality protein and low in sucrose fructose, and grains, is the best alkaline diet.
We should know. We’ve been studying and practising it for 15 years.
Why Are These Foods the Best For An Alkaline Diet?
– To Keep Low Blood Sugar Levels
Rather than filling up the stomach (satiating) with acidic starchy foods (such as grains), we eat plenty of good fats. These good fats help to keep the stomach full, there’s be no compulsion to snack on acidic sweet foods to keep the energy high – and this in turn prevents swings in blood sugar. Keeping blood sugar levels low and stable is the best way to avoid overtaxing of our major alkalizing organ, the pancreas.
Our pancreas creates insulin to mediate blood sugar. When we overtax it by forcing it to produce excess insulin due to too much sugary and starchy foods, it will essentially become exhausted and, ultimately, stop working.
– Keeping a good level of Stomach Acids for Digestion
Stomach acids whilst eating high starch diet tend to get lower and lower with age. Good stomach acids are benefited by foods with a high alkaline mineral content and low starch content.
– Sugar in Fruit is Acidifying because of its High Sugar Content
While fruit is often said to be alkaline because of its mineral content, the sugars in fruit have the effect of making these foods acidic. Some fresh fruit as a treat is not a problem but drinking fresh fruit juices is neither a good idea nor eating excess fruit with the thought that it is a healthy food.
Add to this that some types of sugars in fruit cannot be digested because of a lack of certain digestive enzymes in the small intestine in about 20% of people, causing inflammation.
– To Prevent Bone Loss and Provide plenty of Alkaline Minerals
An alkaline diet will greatly aid in the reduction of inflammation and along with plenty of alkaline minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium can decrease bone loss and aid in bone formation. Preventing bone loss also depends on the micro biome in the bowel (see below) to make an essential vitamin called vitamin K2. When the bowel flora is not healthy this vitamin should be supplemented by eating grass finished meats (the fatty parts) or by using a supplement.
Adequate magnesium and calcium is also been shown to be very good for heart health by the World Health Authorities (WHO).
– To stop Inflammation from Food Intolerances/Sensitivity which in turn causes more Acidity
One of the most acidifying things to the body is inflammation. We believe it is very important to find out what food intolerances you might have and eliminate those foods. One of the biggest food intolerances for a lot of people is lactose found in dairy products. Lactose is a sugar, so eliminating this sugar from your diet will lower the intake of another sugar that is acidifying to the body. The next most common food intolerance/sensitivity is “normal” wheat. Normal wheat used by most manufacturers to make wheat goods is a wheat variety that turns to glucose very rapidly and raises the blood sugar levels fast, in fact as quickly as sugar does.
Spelt wheat often doesn’t cause as much of an inflammatory reaction in the body as the particular sugar in it is not as pro inflammatory as normal wheat.
The other part of dairy products that can cause food intolerance/sensitivity is a protein in them, called casein. Sometimes just avoiding dairy can be very helpful for reducing inflammation.
More foods that might need to be checked for intolerance/sensitivity are the Nightshade family of foods. This particular family’s consumption if not eliminated altogether, should certainly be reduced. Consumption has increased radically in the western world in the last 50 years with an increase in the consumption of white potato, tomato, eggplant, goji berry, capsicum (pepper) and paprika.
FODMAP Foods (see below for a list) are often a problem as these foods have sugars that in about 20% of the population are impossible to digest and cause inflammation. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the diseases that occur from eating these foods.
Inflammation is now being recognized as one of the main causes of heart disease, premature aging and other illnesses.
– The Most Important Part of the Body – The Bowel Flora
The place that is most effected by the foods we eat is the bowel. It is now known that the micro flora of the bowel is the most important area in the body to mediate inflammation. If this micro flora is fed mostly with highly starchy foods, such as grains, sugar and other starchy foods, then the micro flora or micro biome in the bowel will grow certain bacteria that increase inflammation. The best way to decrease these bacteria is to lower the amount of these starchy foods. Increased inflammation in the bowel can make the barrier between the bowel and the blood stream “leaky” allowing particles of food to enter the bloodstream that shouldn’t be there.
Trying to get rid of the wrong bacteria by using drugs won’t work in the long run as the reason these bacteria exist is the bowel needs them to break down the starchy foods. These wrong bacteria just need to not be fed in order for a good balance of correct bacteria to inhabit the bowel.
– Meat versus Vegetarian Protein in an Alkaline Diet
A lot of alkaline diets say to omit meat from the diet and become vegetarian. The difficultywith this idea is that while we know that meat is acidic forming it is also the best quality form of protein for the body. If meat is omitted from the diet then there is a need to get protein in some other form and often this is from grains and legumes. As already stated, grains are very often pro inflammatory and legumes can be difficult to process as they contain a certain sugar that (for many people) is not digested in the small intestine – causing much distress. Nuts are also quite difficult for most people to digest so eat very small amounts only. Nuts which cause most distress are almonds and cashew, but all nuts are usually only partially digested.
You don’t need much meat to have adequate protein and a good amount of leafy greens and good fats will alkalize and satiate hunger. It is a good idea to eat a small amount of quality protein with every meal as this will also maintain fullness till the next meal.
– A Day in the Life of our Alkaline Diet- A Day of Meals
Breakfast: Eggs (just egg yolks if whites are a problem), bacon and rocket (arugula), perhaps some baby mushrooms, liver, with lemon juice.
Lunch: Soup of a small amount of pumpkin and spinach cooked and blended. A salad with prosciutto homemade mayonnaise (made with olive oil). Yum!
Dinner: Sautéed, roasted or steamed vegetables (always including a generous serve of Greens with a small steak with a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice or mayonnaise. Use Celtic salt to season all the above.
Dessert: A small amount of fruit. (Bulk fructose!)
Alkaline Diet Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Vegetables – eat as much as you like except the nightshade family members
Capsicums*nightshade family member
Cherry tomatoes *nightshade family member
Eggplant *nightshade family member
Lettuce- (can be troublesome for some)
Pickled cucumber- homemade
Spring onion – (green part only)
Squash – (can be troublesome for some)
Tomatoes *nightshade family member
Zucchini (can be troublesome some)
Fruit – Eat Occasionally as all Fruit is Higher in Carbohydrates
Dairy – Only Eat If Tolerant
Meat- A small amount with every meal
Fish and Seafood
Eggs (without the white if sensitive to them)
Bacon (without additives such as high fructose corn syrup)
Healthy Fats- Eat as much as you like
Meat Fat from Grass Finished Animals