What to Eat on An Alkaline Diet in Pittsburgh

Image courtesy of MD Anderson

The alkaline diet is based on the idea that you can alter your body’s pH balance in a way that brings you benefits. Your pH balance is the measure of acidity and alkalinity in your body. Acidic environments can make room for harmful substances to thrive, and the alkaline diet is meant to avoid that. Foods that contribute to acidic environments include meat, dairy, and eggs. Foods that make for a neutral environment include fats and sugars, while alkaline foods include fruits, nuts, and vegetables. 

The alkaline diet almost resembles a plant based diet, but it does allow for consumption of non plant food products in moderation. The goal isn’t necessarily to adopt a totally plant based diet, but plant based foods are centered for their alkalizing properties. Focusing on consuming all the right foods can bring you amazing results on this diet. There are a few main foods you should eat, and some you should focus on eliminating while you’re on the alkaline diet. 

What is the Alkaline Diet?

Tacos with lettuce replacing the taco shells.
This meal contains all the most beneficial food groups. Image courtesy of Today

When following the alkaline diet, it is important to understand pH levels. pH measures how acidic or alkaline something is. The measurement ranges from 0-14. Neutral acidity is 7.0, while an acidic environment ranges from 0-6.9, and an alkaline one ranges from 7.1-14. The goal of this diet is to stay within the 7.1-14 range when it comes to your pH levels. You can’t really change the pH level of your blood, but alkaline foods tend to be healthier than more acidic ones. 

The alkaline diet places a large emphasis on unprocessed whole foods. It involves eating a large amount of fruits, vegetables, and other plant based foods. These foods are known to be high in nutrients that the body needs to function well. They also tend to be alkaline in nature. This diet involves restricting processed foods and junk foods. These foods tend to be more acidic. Your body normally eliminates excess acids through your urine, and will have less work to do when you give it less to eliminate in the first place. The alkaline diet limits the harmful substances that go into your body and encourages the consumption of healthy ones. 

Foods You Should Limit or Avoid

The kinds of foods you choose to eliminate can make or break your diet. 

A heart shaped pile of junk food with an 'x' next to it beside a heart shaped pile of vegetables with a check mark.
Having too much of the food on the left will not help your body thrive. Image courtesy of Wise Owl Health

There are many foods that are highly acidic and are overall less healthy for your body when consumed in abundance. Some of these foods include meat. Both fresh meat and processed meat are in the acidic food category. Carbonated beverages like soda and seltzer also fall into this category. Drinks that are high in carbonic acid should be avoided. Carbonic acid exists in all carbonated beverages, and it contributes to your total body acid levels. Starchy foods like rice and granola, as well as dairy products like cheese are also acidic. 

Processed junk food is one of the food types that is most important to avoid on this diet. It can feel easy to grab processed food when you’re on the go or simply don’t feel like preparing food, but that habit brings about harmful negative effects to your body. Processed foods are filled with sodium and preservatives that work against the alkaline diet. 

You don’t have to eliminate all those potentially harmful foods entirely, but it is best to eliminate as much of these foods as you can. You can enjoy them in very small quantities, but the diet is focused on making sure you get as much of the beneficial alkaline foods as possible. These foods should be eaten very sparingly if not entirely eliminated. 

Foods You Should Eat

The alkaline diet relies on you to eat an abundance of healthy foods. 

Several jars filled with different types of beans.
These beans are not only filling, but an essential part of the alkaline diet. Image courtesy of Medical News Today

Many fresh whole foods are acceptable on the alkaline diet. While fruit is acidic, it is considered to have an alkalizing effect on the body. Fruits actually help to reduce acid levels in the body. Vegetables are similar. They have acidic pH levels, but have an alkalizing effect on the body. This is what makes these foods a major part of the alkaline diet. 

Aside from being alkaline, eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help decrease inflammation, improve heart health, and reduce the risks of cancer and diabetes. This is because fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They assist with good bowel function and give our bodies all the nutrients we need. Smoothies help people take in large amounts of fruits and vegetables at a time. You can always go to a shop like Salud Juicery for drinks like The Toned Yogi and Green Anna Bread

Other low acid foods include beans, nuts, and whole grains. These foods should be consumed alongside all the fruits and vegetables. Beans and legumes contain antioxidants that help to fight free radicals. Antioxidants prevent cell damage and fight disease. The protein in beans also helps repair cell damage. Regular consumption of beans reduces the risks of cardiovascular conditions like heart attacks. And like most plant based foods, beans are also very low in fat. You can eat a high volume without suffering lots of weight gain. Adopting this diet change can lead to weight loss as well as reduce your risk of chronic disease. 

The best drink for maintaining an alkaline diet is to drink water. Herbal tea is the next best choice. While most alcohols are best to avoid, some can be enjoyed in moderation. If you’d like to have a drink once in a while, the best choice will be a lower phosphorus red or white wine. 

The alkaline diet will bring your body lots of benefits if you stick to it. This heavily plant-focused diet can be a challenge to get used to if you’re accustomed to processed foods, but the change will ultimately be worth it when you notice your results!