What Is the Alkaline Diet?

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The Alkaline Diet advises against the consumption of cashews.
The Alkaline Diet advises against the consumption of cashews. (Image: Cashews image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)

The Alkaline Diet involves a holistic approach to increasing overall health by eating foods with an alkali content that mimics the human body’s normal pH level of 7.36 to 7.44. Proponents of the diet contend that eating foods with a pH level proximal to that which naturally occurs in the body remedies chronic fatigue, frequent colds and infections.

Function

The Alkaline Diet purportedly lowers circulating levels of acidic compounds in the body by prescribing a minimal intake of foodstuffs that contain high levels of acid, such as meat, and increasing the consumption of items with low levels of acid, such as mushrooms and potatoes.

Purpose

Adhering to the Alkaline Diet supposedly reduces the risk of several ailments, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, and alleviates symptoms of poor health, such as weak nails, hives and excess mucus production.

Considerations

Health professionals do not recommend the Alkaline Diet, according to Stephanie Vangsness, who holds a master’s degree in nutrition and health promotion. Vangness’s report appeared on the Aetna Intelihealth website, in a September 8, 2010, article titled “Alkaline Diets and Cancer: Fact or Fiction?”

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