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Diet fads are like social media personalities—they come and go very fast, most often. Yet some stick around, like the alkaline diet, and for some good reasons, too. However, these reasons are probably not the ones you think (or what multiple online sources regurgitate as medical facts), and a too-alkaline diet can even be harmful. Read on to learn why, especially when taking cannabidiol ( CBD), alkaline diets can be the stuff that changes lives.

Myth Buster #1—Alkaline Diets Change your Blood pH

Many sources claim boldly that the reason eating more alkaline foods works is because over-acidic bodies are diseased ones, and alkaline foods change your serum or blood acidity. The reasoning is that more alkaline blood restores balance and health by reducing systemic acid.

While it’s true that a great acid load in the body can be harmful, especially in the long term, heaven forbid you should be able to change your blood pH with what you eat every day. This can be very dangerous, even life-threatening.

RELATED: Alkaline Diet and pH Balance: A Scientific Evaluation

The causes of a disturbed serum pH are usually very severe and most often of a clinical nature. This could mean that if your diet changes your blood acid-alkaline balance, you’re very ill and that something else is very likely going on in your body. [1]

Most acid testing is done via the urine or sputum, which is not an indication of blood pH.

Myth Buster #2—Alkalinity Fights Cancer and Osteoporosis

These claims are other soundbites oft repeated by the proponents of alkaline diets. Yet, they are not rooted in sound science.

The cancer studies are all petri-dish and lab-based, and so far, their encouraging results could not be replicated in any animal or clinical models.

Myth Buster #2—Alkalinity Fights Cancer and Osteoporosis

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The link between cancer and diet is neither tenuous or insignificant, but any claim that an alkaline diet will prevent or heal cancer is still completely unproven. [2]

The claim that it fights osteoporosis is also not research-founded. In fact, a recent review of data says that too little protein is often associated with bone loss, especially in the elderly. Meat, a rich source of protein, is acid-forming and is usually first to be scrapped off the list of alkaline-diet foods. [3]

Yet, this article is not an attempt to discredit this way of eating, because many do find that they benefit enormously from ingesting fewer acid-forming foods. So, let’s look at why this could be a great dietary change for anyone.

Why Alkaline Dieting May Be a Great Idea

First of all—the organs that neutralize the acid in your body will thank you profusely. These are your kidneys, and studies demonstrate that when dietary acid is neutralized with alkali or increased intake of certain fruit and vegetables, it reduces markers of kidney injury and can even slow down the progression of disease.

Any person suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) is advised to change their diets by reducing acid-forming food intake, usually by their doctor. The following table with dietary instructions was taken directly from an article looking at the benefits of an alkaline diet and how it works to combat CKD (Journal of Renal Nutrition, 2017): [3]

Food and Drink Instructions
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash (4 g protein) Have 1 portion (5–7 oz/150–200 g) a day (unless raised serum potassium)
Green leafy vegetables—for example, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage. Onions, garlic, celery, zucchini, rutabaga. Salad vegetables, for example, lettuce, cucumber, radish, bell pepper, arugula. Sprouted seeds. Have 2 to 3 portions (3 oz/80 g) at 2 meals a day (advice individualized according to serum K concentration)
Spinach, sorrel, chard, beetroot, rhubarb Avoid due to oxalate content
Peas, sweet corn  Avoid as acidic due to protein content
Fruit Have 2 to 4 portions (3 oz/80 g) a day (advice individualized according to serum K concentration)
1/2 pint milk (280 mL)/yogurt daily (9 g protein). Less acidic than other animal proteins because of citrate in milk and lactate in fermented products.
2-4 oz (50–100 g) meat or fish (12–24 g protein) Or equivalent protein portion as egg. Discourage cheese because of high PRAL.
Lentils, beans, or chickpeas. Almonds or hazelnuts. Encouraged to include as alternative to some animal protein meals as lower PRAL (low quantities of acidic amino acids) and less damaging.
Bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, biscuits, cakes, pastry (10–20 g protein) Wholemeal/wholegrain foods are encouraged (lower PRAL) but limited quantities advocated when patient trying to lose weight.
All foods acidic but provide essential energy for patients with advanced CKD and are generally low in potassium.
Fats and oils Mono- and polyunsaturated oils encouraged. Allowed freely.
Sugar and preserves Allowed freely (unless diabetic or trying to lose weight).
Fizzy drinks including diet drinks and carbonated water. Avoid. Acidic because of carbonic acid ± phosphoric acid.
Salt No added salt (as it inhibits acid excretion)

What may come as a surprise from this list is that sugar and preserves are not as acid-forming in the body as is commonly proclaimed. Also, fats and oils are freely allowed, debunking the all-fat-is-bad mythology. Animal protein intake is limited, while fruit and veg consumption is encouraged—all because this lifts the workload off your kidneys.

It would be prudent to repeat here that this diet is mainly prescribed for people with insufficient kidney functioning. Too little protein intake, for instance, can cause trouble, too—as was mentioned earlier.

Yet, why does the alkaline diet also seem to benefit those of us with healthy kidneys?

Why Alkaline Dieting May Be a Great Idea

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This could be mostly ascribed to increased nutrient and decreased caloric intake, with a significant cut-down of “dead food.” Which means that on this diet, your body gets fed with the foodstuffs it craves and can easily assimilate to remain healthy and balanced. Also, eating fewer calories could translate into the loss of excess and unhealthy body fat, which is normally a good idea.

How are CBD, diets, and alkaline foods linked, then?

CBD, Alkaline Diet, and Your Health—The Perfect Combo?

CBD is well known for many health benefits, and science also supports this notion. Yet, one prominent benefit indicating that a CBD diet addition to your health regimen could be good, is its apparent ability to combat depression. This has been demonstrated in countless animal studies, and millions of users attest to CBD’s almost miraculous mood-lifting properties.

CBD, Alkaline Diet, and Your Health—The Perfect Combo?

RELATED:  CBD For Depression: CBD Can Help Improve Your Mood

Depression is usually stress-related, and stress is also the main reason why we binge-eat on unhealthy food. Lifting the mood while also changing the diet to include more health-enhancing foods could cause a huge turnaround for any person.

CBD has furthermore been shown to soothe the gut in ways that are still under investigation.

So, eating more alkalizing foods may not be the panacea it is advertised as in popular media. Yet, all in all, CBD, alkaline dieting, and other healthy habits might just be what you could tackle with confidence to change your life.

Sources:

  1. http://www.anaesthesia.med.usyd.edu.au/resources/lectures/acidbase_mjb/causes.html
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959804910007033
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1094695013001534
  4. https://www.jrnjournal.org/article/S1051-2276(16)30188-1/fulltext

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