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Acid Alkaline Diet: Legit or Just Another Hollywood Scam?

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The Acid Alkaline Diet

(Legit or Dog Poop?)

By: Good Looking Kangaroo (w/ Good Looking Loser) 

You may have heard about this relatively new diet.

It’s called the Acid Alkaline Diet, or sometimes referred to as the “pH Diet” or “the Acid Diet” or “The Alkaline Diet”.

Regardless of what it’s called or what the aging housewife who is pedeling her multilevel marketing products says.... it is a COMPLETE SCAM.

I'm going to tell you why...

What Exactly is the Acid Alkaline Diet?

The acid alkalinity diet is based upon a non-scientific theory, suggesting that our blood pH levels are altered directly as a consequence of the foods we eat. It claims that a poor diet made up of acidic foods causes the blood pH levels to become more acidic, whilst a diet made up of alkaline foods will make the blood pH more alkaline. It claims a long list of health conditions are either exacerbated or a direct consequence of having an acidic blood pH and claims to correct/cure many health conditions including:Miracle cure concept.

  • Digestive disorders
  • Skin irritations such as eczema
  • Acne
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Cancer
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Migraines & Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis

What Can I Eat On this Diet?

The diet requires you to supposedly consume foods that are considered "alkaline" and avoid foods that are "acidic".

There's some pretty pictures and a quantitative acid/alkaline scale ranging from 1-10 and you generally limited to the foods that fall 7 and above.

These foods include- apples, tomatoes, corn, mushrooms, cherries, olives, lettuce, celery, blueberries, mangoes, seaweed, lemons, onions, radishes, cauliflower.

See a trend here?

It's a another fucking vegetarian diet without protein.

(No offense, but vegetarian diet without protein is NOT healthy)

No meat, no poultry, no fish, no eggs.

Salmon is bad for you, cooked spinach and black tea might kill you.

It forbids nuts, seeds, coffee and tea. It's even more limited the vegan diet.

Even some "types" of water are off limits.

Any weight loss you experience from is because you are on a near-starvation diet, not because you are "pH balanced".

Homeostasis

Firstly, a quick lesson in physiology.

There is a physiological term called homeostasis, translated in Greek for “standing still”. Homeostasis is defined as the property of a system that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, relative constant condition of properties such as temperature or pH. Our body regulates its temperature quite precisely in order to live. See if our bodies temperature rises over 104oF, we are at risk of dying. To prevent this, our body dissipates heat through sweating and breathing. This process reduces our body temperature and ensures it is maintained within the normal range of 96.8oF-99.5oF. This prevents us from dying– phew! This process is referred to as a homeostatic process. Something our body just does in order to maintain function and keep us alive.

Blood pH, What’s the Deal?

Just like body temperature regulation, our blood pH is also precisely regulated through another homeostatic process. PH is the measure of exactly how acidic or alkaline something is. A pH of 0 is acidic, and a pH of 14 is alkaline. A pH of 7 is completely neutral. Here’s another quick lesson in physiology. Blood is alkaline and it must always be alkaline. Its pH is roughly 7.35 to 7.45 making it just slightly alkaline given that 7 is neutral. The theory behind the alkaline diet is that people who eat a poor diet, directly cause their blood pH levels to be more acidic.

It's inferred that this "acid" attacks, ages and slowly destroys you since [apparently] your body has NO WAY to counteract it (despite the fact that you stomach is made of acid stronger than you'll ever eat).

It’s another great example of the weight loss industry inflicting fear and confusion into the consumer.

Its level of "science" and bullshit is up there with the likes of the detox diets.

The fact is the acid alkaline theory is grossly flawed. Not only is there no scientific evidence to support the acid alkaline diet benefits, but the acid alkalinity concept is based upon human physiology that is actually incorrect. You cannot alter your blood pH levels through dietary intake. This is because the body maintains its pH balance through homeostatic processes that function regardless of dietary intake and are in no way influenced by alkaline or acidic foods. The acid alkaline diet describes the body as having a pH level, which is often more acidic due to the bad foods people eat. However you do not have an overall body pH. Your stomach has a pH ranging from 1.35-3.5 and it needs this in order to be so acidic that it can digest the foods you eat. When alkaline foods are consumed they are digested in the stomach due to its acidic environment. The pH levels of these foods will not change the pH of your stomach, nor will they somehow alter the pH level of your blood. Trying to change the pH of your stomach or your blood through diet is impossible- as it simply won’t happen...EVER!

Blood pH

chart_phThe Alarm Bells

The first alarm bell that goes off regarding the acid alkaline diets efficacy is the fact that it “makes up” physiological processes that don’t actually exist and completely ignores the physiological processes that do exist. Our blood contains a vast number of different components that act as pH buffers. The primary pH buffering component is the bicarbonate buffering system. This system works by monitoring the blood pH levels and adjusting hydrogen and bicarbonate levels in order to maintain a blood pH level within the normal range. If the buffers become saturated and the pH of the blood is altered more than +/-0.4 pH, you will die! No question about it. So to suggest that our blood pH levels are acid whilst we are still alive, is nonsense. It’s not physiologically possible. The physiology simply doesn’t add up, because it’s completely made up!

Another clue of the ineffectiveness of the acid alkaline diet is that whatever food you eat will pass through your stomach for digestion. The acidity of the stomach is affected by three things – stress levels, volume of food eaten, and bacterial infections. Simply eating acidic or alkaline foods will not change the pH levels of your stomach, let alone change the pH levels of your blood. The last alarm bell that rings about this diet is the fact that it tries claiming it will help treat cancer without any scientific evidence. Not only is this completely dodgy but it is also illegal in the UK under The Cancer Act 1939.

What Science Says...

Clinical studies have shown that people who eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables do in fact experience lower rates of cancer and other diseases. But these outcomes have nothing to do with the pH level of the blood. There is no scientific evidence that dietary intake can change the pH levels of your blood. In fact, the only way your blood pH levels will change is if you have a life threatening disease such as kidney failure. However, if you have kidney failure and your blood pH levels are acidic, you need a medical doctor, not a diet full of alkaline foods – that will not do shit all for you!

If it sucks, then why is it so popular?

The acid alkaline diet has received a lot of publicity through our honest friends in Hollywood. Celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kirsten Dunst have all publicly acknowledged they have followed the acid alkaline diet. It’s been endorsed by celebrity motivational speaker, Tony Robbins and it’s got the usual flood of first hand testimonials from consumers on many online forums.

So the question still remains, why would people do this diet and how are they getting results?

I’m not disputing the acid alkaline diet won’t give you "results".

You'll lose weight (mainly lean mass) because you'll be starving yourself and avoiding protein. You'll be slowing your thyroid to halt and likely losing half of your testosterone production and whatever muscle you had.

Furthermore, another of my gripes with this diet is the flawed physiology behind how they try to sell it to consumers. This diet may help you lose weight and may even help you feel slightly better – placebo effect or not.

The diet categorizes foods into two types depending on the type of ash produced as a byproduct. Some foods produce an alkaline byproduct (fresh fruit and raw vegetables) and some produce an acidic byproduct (meats, diary and seeds). The diet suggests you should include only alkaline foods in your diet, whilst eliminating all acidic foods. However it is important to highlight that many of the foods listed as acidic are actually highly processed, high energy “junk food” whilst many of the alkaline foods are in fact low energy, healthy and nutritious foods. Eliminating the highly processed, high energy junk food from your diet and replacing it with low energy fresh nutritious foods will of course stimulate changes in your energy levels, moods, skin conditions, weight and bowel function. However this has nothing to do with your blood pH levels.

 

pH Food ChartLooks pretty, means nothing...

Nutritional Quality

If you’re looking for a diet to help you lose muscle mass, lose bone mineral density or just suck the energy right out of you until you feel chronically fatigued... you might want to consider this one.

If you can't afford it, simply starving yourself or picking up a meth-amphetamine habit may provide similar results.

However, if you are looking to lose weight and gain muscle mass, then I would strongly recommend you avoid the acid alkaline diet. I’m not a fan of the nutritional quality of the acid alkaline diet. In my opinion it lacks good quality protein and eliminates whole food groups such as diary and meat. It’s typically low in complex carbohydrates so your overall energy intake will be less then you require to gain any lean muscle. Not to mention it is so darn restrictive you will probably find yourself struggling to find recipes or worse so bored with it that you can it.

This diet is not even worth trying.

Tell that next door MLM housewife/scammer/gold digger, lets call her "Nan Eisenberg," to get off your doorstep or you are going to call the police.

You don't need no stinkin' Acid Diet. You got enough acid and your doing just fine.

Conclusion

  • It’s based upon complete nonsense
  • It has no scientific evidence to back it up
  • It's a vegetarian diet with even more restrictions
  • It lacks protein, energy and complex carbohydrates
  • It gets 5 thumbs down from us

It’s a no brainer - Steer clear!!! Need I say more?

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Hi, Chris from Good Looking Loser. "Get a Life" is our safe for work, non-adult site that features lifestyle, health/fitness and style information. Feel free to leave a comment!

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  • Ian Noone

    One other thing: I did find this study that gives moderately helpful data.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195546/

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  • Ian Noone

    Just one thing. In my review of the MLM crowd's materials, they do not claim that this diet alters your blood ph, which they, like you, admit is homeostatic. They claim that acidosis requires your body to buffer excess acid in the digestive process by depleting calcium and minerals that the body needs, and that a ph balanced diet can correct that.

    However, I am very skeptical, especially with the use of all the "miracle", "in 3 days" lingo, as well as the "free" but buy this game.

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  • Tina Quail

    I think following any extreme diet is unwise. If you have any of the symptoms of acidosis you should first test the acidity of your urine using pH strips - if acidity is high, you should eat a lot more alkaline foods and cut down (not cut out!) acidic foods and continue to monitor acidity of urine using the pH strips.

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  • I do agree Tina, thanks for writing in!

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  • [&] Nonsense and another good explanation that has cursing and a bit of offensive language in it here: The Acid/Alkaline Diet: Is it Legit or a Scam? - Get A Life !!! Questions?? Check out the NEW and improved Complete Index !!! [&]

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  • [&] Never has been true. The guy who wrote this article has a bit of a n attitude but he's right. : The Acid/Alkaline Diet: Is it Legit or a Scam? - Get A Life I believe in Primal as written by Mark Sisson. Eating whole real foods as close as possible to [&]

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  • MJ

    in my case I'm always fucking bloated and sick, so I switch to 60% alk and 40 acidic and I feel better now, it means having a bunch of vegetables with a small piece of chicken, instead of having 20 fucking pounds of chicken and beer.

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  • hahaha, glad you are feeling better.

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  • Horny

    yup, I read an article by a doctor or an MD on some anti-hoax or anti-scam site which also said that this diet is based on lies. Damn you Tony Robbins.... you almost fooled me!! ;p

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  • cyclONE

    Thanks for the article , Chris! I think GLL readers would not fall for these diets anyway. That´s more for the women in their 30ies.
    I suggest to add more on social anxiety / get friends /popularity on Getalife , I´m currently working on that subject. Hopefully I will be able to contribute in that area here on GLL as soon as I have won that battle for myself. This problem goes hand in hand with chicks , getting ripped ( the whole GLL package ) , shortly sucess in life IMHO.

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  • Thanks man, yeah I generally agree- although in LA there's so many "men" trying out these "diets" haha

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