We’ve spoken to healthcare experts to learn the facts about an alkaline diet…
Dr Ellie Cannon is a practising GP and Woman’s regular medical columnist:
“The alkaline diet myth is that it’s a ‘treatment’ for illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and arthritis, and a weight loss tool. As cancer cells thrive in acidic conditions in a lab, the idea is to create an alkaline body. But this fails to take account of the way our kidneys regulate our blood pH levels by filtering out excess acidity/alkalinity through urine. Despite this, the diet involves eating lots fresh fruit and vegetables, rather than processed food, pasta and saturated fats, so it’s based on healthy eating.”
Sarah West is a freelance nutritionist and health coach:
“The alkaline diet claims to improve health by eating 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods. Fresh fruit, vegetables, roots, nuts and legumes are all deemed good, while acid-creating no-nos include pasta, wheat, all dairy products, eggs, meat, seafood, coffee, tea, sugar, fizzy drinks and alcohol. While the diet may help to promote good health and aid weight loss, avoiding entire food groups can make it hard to meet your energy and protein needs. Long-term, it may also lead to nutritional deficiencies.”
Dr Anousheh Alavi is a dental surgeon and scientific affairs manager for Colgate:
“This diet includes lots of fruit and vegetables and limits sugary, processed foods and drinks, such as cola. Snacking repeatedly on refined sugars feeds certain bacteria in the mouth that produce acid and start the decay process. Our saliva is designed to neutralise this acid but it does so slowly. Eating a cube of hard cheese after sweet foods can help. A balanced diet is the healthiest option for your oral health, teamed with brushing well twice daily, one being last thing at night. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and which has an effective anti-bacterial action.”
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*Colgate professional survey, 300 dentists, 2014