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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can anyone suggest Alkaline Diet Tips?

    My mum has been advised to eat more alkaline foods than acidic due to the inflammation in her arm. I really want to help her out and suggest some ideas to her and maybe take the diet on board myself, for extra support. Can anyone give me any suggestions. Thanks!
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  • 3

    Thanks

    Nyema Hermiston

    Homeopath, Naturopath, Registered Nurse

    Nyema has been in ‘general practice’ treating adults and children for acute and chronic illnesses for over 20 years. She is Vice President of The … View Profile

    An alkaline diet means eating higher proportions of fruit and vegetables than acid forming foods like protein foods, fats, breads  and other starches. Large amounts  of information are dedicated to this topic, but generally it's really as simple as increasing fruit and vegetables in the diet - at least five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day to change the balance from more acid to more alkaline.
    Three direct measures can quickly alkalise the body:
    1. A daily fresh juice (carrot, celery and apple)
    2. Water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in (rinsing the mouth afterwards to prevent tooth enamel erosion) one or more times daily
    3. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily.
    So that you know when you've reached a satisfactory alkaline status, you can get acid/alkaline test strips from your health professional (or ask at your local pharmacy). You can test both saliva and urine with these strips, aiming for a result of pH 7.0 - 7.5. When you get this result consistently, you know that the measures you're taking are enough. If not, increase the alkalising methods above.
    When alkalising your body, it can be surprising how many symptoms reduce in severity, or disappear altogether, leaving you feeling great. Everyone benefits from having an alkaline system. Enjoy!

  • 1

    Agree

    4

    Thanks

    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Unfortunately there seems to be no evidence backing up the acid-alkaline diet and in fact it was voted in the top 3 worst diets for 2011 by Australian Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs). APDs are the experts in food and nutrition, who promote healthy eating to patients by providing them with practical ways of getting a nutrient rich diet everyday.

    The body is extremely well equipped to handle changes in pH and it is tightly regulated. When we eat foods, whether it be carbohydrates, protein or fats, the body breaks them down in the stomach which is acidic. The acidity of the stomach is important for proper digestion of foods. Once broken down the stomach contents enter into the small intestine where the pancreas releases its juice (contains bicarbonate). This pancreatic juice lowers the pH of the food bolus so that various enzymes found in the small intestine can further breakdown and absorb nutrients.

    The only benefit I can see from the acid-alkaline diet is that it promotes the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables. Cutting out protein foods, fats and breads will ultimately lead to nutrient deficiencies. The best advice is to follow a diet that is in line with the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

    Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five core food groups:

    1. Whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, noodles, quinoa, couscous, barley
    2. Fruits
    3. Vegetables
    4. Lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish, legumes, nuts and seeds
    5. Low fat dairy (e.g. cheese, yoghurt, milk)
    And of course choose water as the preferred drink of choice

    An APD can help you to understand what foods are included in a healthy diet. Find one at www.daa.asn.au :)

  • 2

    Thanks

    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I agree with Chris - there are well-understood physiological processes which keep body pH within narrow limits, irrespective of diet.

    The notion of an "alkaline diet" is essentially an urban myth and, as Chris wrote, talking with an evidence-based health professional like an APD is a great way to get advice about eating in a healthy way.

     

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