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    What Is the Alkaline Diet, and Is It Safe?

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    What Is the Alkaline Diet, and Is It Safe?

    The alkaline diet promotes good-for-you-foods, but its primary promise doesn’t hold up

    With all the chatter out there about the alkaline diet, it’s easy to think that maybe there’s something to it. It has a science-y name that rings of chemistry-based truth. There are easy-to-follow lists all over the internet telling you what to eat and what to avoid. Pro athletes are hyping it. Celebrity influencers are all over it. Maybe this is the real deal, right?

    Except, like so many things in life, the claims made by fans of the alkaline diet aren’t so clear cut. And its promise to “hack” your body’s functions just doesn’t stand up to scientific rigor.

    “All in all, the alkaline diet can be safe and beneficial if done right,” says registered dietitian Anthony DiMarino, RD. “This diet can help keep you healthy, but not for the reasons you might think.”

    DiMarino breaks down the pros and cons of this trending diet in this website https://thevegangarden.com/ so you can decide if going alkaline is right for you.

    What is the alkaline diet?

    If you remember much from science class, or if you spend time maintaining a pool or garden, you might be familiar with pH — a measurement of how acidic or basic (alkaline) a solution is. It’s scored on a scale of 0 to 14.

    • A pH of 0 to 6 is acidic.
    • A pH of 7 is neutral.
    • A pH of 8 or higher is basic, or alkaline.

    The alkaline diet is based on the unproven notion that there are health benefits to be gained by moving your body chemistry to the alkaline side of the scale. Proponents of the diet say that by eating foods that are alkaline, instead of acidic or neutral, you’ll:

    • Ward off chronic conditions like osteoporosis and cancer.
    • Increase your energy.
    • Lose weight.

    Here’s the thing, though: Some parts of your body are naturally acidic. Some parts of your body are naturally alkaline. And there’s not really anything you can do to change that — nor would you really want to.

    “Your body is a smart machine. It regulates pH very well on its own,” DiMarino says. “Our stomachs are very acidic, so they can break down food. Our skin has a slightly acidic pH to protect against bacteria. Our lungs and kidneys work to remove metabolic waste and keep our body pH where it needs to be.”

    Your blood stays at an alkaline level between about 7.2 and 7.4. If the pH falls out of that range, it can be fatal. Lucky for us, though, nothing you eat will change your blood pH.

    What Is the Alkaline Diet, and Is It Safe?

    Should I try the alkaline diet?

    The alkaline diet emphasizes choosing natural foods that are generally good for you, so in some ways, it can be a benefit to your health. But it’s not without some downfalls.

    DiMarino considers the pros and cons.

    Pro: Alkaline foods are generally healthy choices

    Unlike some other fad diets (here’s looking at you, fruitarians), the alkaline diet is packed full of foods that have high nutritional value. It restricts added sugars and encourages avoiding packaged foods in favor of fresh foods that are well-known for their health value.

    “The alkaline diet encourages low-processed, whole foods, which have been shown to prevent disease in the long term, so in that respect, it can be considered a healthy eating pattern,” DiMarino notes.

    Some of the pillars of an alkaline diet are foods we know to be solid staples of a healthy diet:

    • Fruits and unsweetened fruit juice.
    • Grains like wild rice, oats and quinoa.
    • Legumes.
    • Non-starchy vegetables, like leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage and carrots.
    • Nuts.
    • Seeds.

    These are some of the same foods that research has shown to be heart-healthy, weight loss-friendly and all-around good for you. So it stands to reason that, yes, when you make healthy, whole foods the basis of your diet, you can reap some serious health benefits.

    Con: You may miss out on protein and other nutrients

    Protein is important to help grow and repair muscle, supply nutrients to your body and much more. But if you’re adhering closely to the alkaline diet, many common sources of protein are off limits.

    The alkaline diet is a plant-based diet. Similar to a vegan diet, it doesn’t allow for any animal proteins, including meats, eggs or dairy. People who follow a vegan diet can get sufficient nutrients from plant-based proteins like:

    • Lentils.
    • Soybeans and soy milk.
    • Tempeh.
    • Tofu.

    The strictest followers of the alkaline diet, however, will say these foods are acidic or acid-forming and should be avoided. Other alkaline diet followers allow for small amounts of plant proteins, from soy or lentils for example.

    “Following a rigid alkaline diet will make it difficult to get enough nutrients like protein, iron and calcium,” DiMarino cautions. “Low protein can cause loss of muscle mass. Low iron can cause anemia. And low calcium can be a risk to your bone health.”

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends:

    • Adult women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) consume 5 to 6.5 ounces of protein each day.
    • Adult men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB) consume 5.5. to 7 ounces of protein each day.

    Con: The alkaline diet can be intensive and costly

    If you’re committed to food sourcing and meal prep (or if you have a personal chef à la Hollywood royalty), an alkaline diet can fit into your lifestyle. But the barrier to entry may be too high for some people.

    Keeping all the right fruits, veggies and grains on hand (and fresh) requires some careful planning on your part. Whole, nutritious foods aren’t readily available to all people in all seasons, and their cost can be a barrier. There’s even alkaline water on the market, sold at a premium.

    “An alkaline diet is not inherently easy to follow,” DiMarino says. “It focuses almost exclusively on whole, unprocessed foods, which can depend on the season and may be hard to find sometimes. These foods tend to be more expensive and labor-intensive. An alkaline diet can be sustainable, but you need to be able to plan it carefully and ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs.”

    When you’re following an alkaline diet, eating in restaurants, getting take-out or grabbing a convenient quick bite could prove difficult. And not everyone has time or experience in pre-planning and preparing each meal and snack to ensure optimal nutrition.

    Seeing the results

    People following the alkaline diet regularly use what they call a dipstick to analyze the pH in their urine to see if the diet is “working.” While it’s true that the pH of your pee will change from acidic to alkaline if you follow an alkaline diet (and pretty quickly, too), DiMarino says the pH of your urine doesn’t reflect anything about the current state of your health.

    “Our urine is a great way to get rid of the metabolic waste from what we eat,” he says. “Your urine pH reflects what you had to eat recently, but it doesn’t signify anything about the quality of your diet or current nutritional status.”

    Should I talk with a doctor about the alkaline diet?

    If you’re considering following the alkaline diet, talk with a doctor or a registered dietitian to see if you would benefit, and discuss ways to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.

    “I would recommend to anyone trying to start a new diet, especially a trendy one, to discuss it with their healthcare provider,” DiMarino says. “They’ll be able to provide you with a thorough assessment and evidence-based strategies to meet your goals.”

    No matter what you eat, you won’t change your body’s pH — which means that at the end of the day, the primary promise of the alkaline diet isn’t based on scientific fact.

    If you’re able to put in the work and ensure you meet your nutritional needs, the alkaline diet may effectively help you lose weight and ward off some common chronic conditions. But tried-and-true methods like regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet remain the gold standard — no dipstick-pee-test required.

    How to Go Vegan: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Plant-Based

    How to Go Vegan: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Plant-Based

    Any way you look at it, veganism is growing. More and more consumers—some 20 percent now—are expressing an interest in incorporating more vegan (or “plant-based”) food into their diets. The growth in sales of plant-based food is nine times bigger than that of total food sales, which is one reason that nearly half of all major food companies today have dedicated teams working to develop plant-based products and expand into every grocery aisle. Campuses are evolving too, and by 2025, 42 percent of menus at colleges and universities across the United States will be plant-based.

    Whether you are ready for a lifelong commitment to veganism or you’re just veg-curious, figuring out how to go vegan can be a little overwhelming. The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you might think, and the many positives of being vegan—including health benefits and a lighter carbon footprint—make it worth exploring.

    What is a vegan diet?

    Eating vegan means only consuming foods that come from plants. In other words, vegans eat fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds, and they avoid all meat (including fish), dairy products, eggs, and honey. Defining veganism can get complicated, but that is dietary veganism at its core.

    How to Go Vegan: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Plant-Based

    What are the benefits of a vegan diet?

    A vegan diet feels good. You’re discovering new tastes, enjoying better health, not harming animals, and minimizing your impact on the planet. Here are some of the main benefits that https://thevegangarden.com/ collected.

    Improved health

    The list of ways that a vegan diet improves your health is practically endless: lower risk of cardiovascular disease, protection against certain cancers, reduced risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, improved gut health, lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, healthier skin, reduced arthritis symptoms, and more. Indeed, it seems that every week researchers discover new ways that plant-based eating is better for our bodies.

    Better for the environment

    Raising animals for meat, eggs, and dairy takes a major toll on our planet. Not only does it use vast natural resources such as water and land, but it pollutes the air and water, leads to deforestation and biodiversity loss, and is a leading contributor to human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In contrast, a recent study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen suggests that a vegan diet is the optimal diet for the environment because its production results in the lowest level of GHG emissions.

    Helps animals

    Reducing animal consumption directly leads to fewer animals being raised and killed for food. That alone is one reason many people choose a vegan diet. But a lower demand for meat, eggs, and dairy also helps animals living in the wild since animal agriculture destroys habitats as it clears land to grow feed crops and create grazing pastures, and the industry kills predators, such as coyotes and bears, who prey on farmed animals. A vegan diet even benefits the ocean, not only because fewer fish are consumed but because runoff from factory farms ends up in waterways, leading to oceanic dead zones.

    Sounder sleep

    Research shows that diets rich in fiber and low in saturated fats, such as vegan diets, contribute to a better night’s sleep. One study examined the sleep duration and quality in 106 women ages 20 to 75 and found that those who consumed the most plant-based protein slept considerably longer and had better sleep quality than those who ate animal protein. Another study found that eating processed meat and animal-based foods can worsen sleeping conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea.

    Stronger brain

    According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vegan diets can lower the risk of cognitive health conditions by up to 33 percent. One reason could be a plant-based diet’s high content of brain-protective antioxidants, which may prevent progressive damage to the brain and help slow or halt the onset of dementia. Meanwhile, micronutrients known as polyphenols, which are abundant in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, may even help reverse cognitive decline.


    Not surprisingly, a plant-centered diet is associated with a longer lifespan. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association concluded that people who ate a healthy diet rich in plant foods enjoyed an 18 to 25-percent lower risk of early death from any cause.

    Better mood

    It seems that a vegan diet really does make people feel better. A large-scale survey by Tracking Happiness found vegans in the United States to be happier than meat-eaters by 7 percent. A study conducted in the UK and published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found similar results, with participants who ate more fruits and vegetables and exercised regularly reporting more happiness overall than those who ate fewer fruits and vegetables and exercised less. Biological reasons for this could be that the arachidonic acid present in meat is associated with depression or that the complex carbohydrates so abundant in vegan diets increase the feel-good hormone serotonin.

    Elevated consciousness

    In addition, many vegans find that this compassionate diet has a spiritual benefit, even if they are not especially religious. Maybe that’s because there is a connection between the inherent nonviolence of veganism and its calming, healing effect on our spirits. Of course, the mindful consumption of plant foods can make this connection even stronger.

    Do vegans get enough protein?

    The first thing to know about protein—an important building block of muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, and blood—is that humans do not need as much of it as popular culture would have us believe. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is just 0.8 grams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. So, someone weighing 130 pounds, for instance, should consume 46 grams of protein every day.

    The second thing to know is that there are many, many protein-rich legumes, beans, vegetables, and grains. Eat a simple meal consisting of, say, one cup of quinoa (8 grams of protein), half a cup of cooked black beans (8 grams), and two cups of cooked broccoli (5 grams), and you’ve consumed 21 grams of protein—nearly half the daily recommendation for a 130-pound body. Adding a scoop of vegan protein powder to a smoothie is also a convenient remedy for anyone worried about their intake.

    What’s wrong with a vegetarian diet?

    For many consumers, adopting a vegetarian diet—that is, eliminating meat but not eggs, dairy foods, or honey—is a step toward a healthier lifestyle. Granted, transitioning to a vegetarian diet is widely considered a positive change for heart health and is certainly better than eating meat. But any diet that includes animal products may not offer the full suite of benefits that a well-balanced vegan diet does. Vegan diets tend to be higher in fiber, for instance, and they may be better at protecting against cardiovascular disease because they do not include eggs and dairy, which contain cholesterol. Moreover, dairy consumption has been linked to numerous health concerns, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers.

    Yet many people looking to transition to a vegan diet have found success by first adopting a vegetarian diet, feeling that a sudden switch from omnivore to vegan is a bit too daunting. Going vegetarian and learning to eliminate meat products can be a winning formula for taking the next step: going vegan.

    How to go vegan one day a week

    Another approach is to set aside one day a week to be vegan. This gives you three opportunities to discover how nutritious, delicious, and satisfying plant foods can be. Of course, it would be simple to dine at a restaurant offering vegan options or to have food delivered, but an important step in going vegan is learning how to prepare plant-based foods yourself. So, find one or two vegan cookbooks with recipes that appeal to you, including comfort foods, and plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner based on them.

    Next, prepare your meals by buying the freshest ingredients you can find, whether it’s at your local grocery store or farmers’ market. You can even clean, cut up, and store fruits and vegetables in the fridge the night before your “vegan” day, which will save you time in the kitchen.

    Also, learn about alternatives. There is a vegan substitute for nearly every animal-based food. Try oat milk on your morning cereal, for instance, or one of the many vegan cheeses with your sandwich. Baking a dessert? Ground flax seeds make an outstanding alternative to eggs. Many vegan cookbooks will offer plenty of suggestions on vegan substitutes. Tip: As delicious as pre-packaged meat alternatives can be, they are not particularly healthy and should only be enjoyed occasionally; instead, try seitan, tempeh, or extra-firm tofu to satisfy any meat cravings.

    You will likely discover that being vegan gets easier and more rewarding with each meal.

    How to go vegan every day

    No one wants to feel like they’re missing out on something, so try not to think of veganism as a sacrifice. Instead, gradually crowd out the animal-based foods on your plate with nutritious plant foods. The idea is to fill up on healthier choices first so that by the time you’ve given your body essential nutrients from veggies, legumes, and fruits, you’ll have no appetite for animal-based foods. Here are 10 tips to make going vegan every day easier.

    1. Take it one step at a time. Make small changes and gradually replace animal-based foods in your meals with plant-based foods over time. For example, use oat milk instead of cow’s milk the first week. The next week, replace the meat on your plate with a protein alternative such as tofu, beans, or a veggie burger, or simply add more vegetables and fruit to your meal. Soon you will have crowded animals right out of your diet.
    2. Like taking on any endeavor, going vegan means learning new skills, and preparing meals may be the most fundamental. Invest in two or three vegan cookbooks that look good to you, or check some out of your local library, then try at least one new recipe every week until you’ve got a wide variety of dishes you enjoy, including comfort foods.
    3. Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with essential ingredients, such as beans (dry or canned), grains (rice, flour, and quinoa), pasta, tofu, nuts, fresh produce, nutritional yeast, cooking oil, vegetable stock, oat or nut milk, agave, egg replacer, and seasonings. With these staples on hand, you’ll be prepared to make a wide assortment of meals.
    4. Eat more fruits and veggies at each meal. These are not only healthy, but they’ll make you feel fuller.
    5. Discover the wonder of shopping at Asian markets, which are filled with vegan foods and ingredients.
    6. Get involved with a local vegan group, either online or in person, where you can meet like-minded people, share recipes, and feel supported.
    7. Bring a vegan dish when going to a non-vegan gathering, such as holiday dinners. Not only will you be guaranteed to have at least one meal you can eat, but you can share it with others and impress them with how delicious veganism can be.
    8. Find one or two restaurants in your area that serve vegan-friendly dishes, so you have a place to dine on days you don’t feel like cooking. If you’re not sure what vegan entrées your favorite restaurant offers, ask them. You’ll be surprised how many non-vegan meals can be made vegan!
    9. Make sure you are getting the nutrients you need, including vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and iron. Nothing will curtail your vegan path as quickly (or permanently) as feeling tired or malnourished.
    10. Consider a subscription to VegNews Magazine, which offers motivation and mouthwatering recipes with every issue.