The Promise It's a pitch Hollywood celebs love: that the alkaline diet -- also known as the alkaline ash diet or alkaline acid diet -- can help you lose weight and avoid problems like arthritis and cancer. The theory is that some foods, like meat, wheat, refined sugar, and processed foods, cause your body to produce acid, which is bad for you. So, according to the "science" behind this diet, eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline can protect against those conditions as well as shed pounds. The alkaline diet really rocketed into the news when Victoria Beckham tweeted about an alkaline diet cookbook in January 2013.
What You Can and Can't Eat Most fruits and vegetables, soybeans and tofu, and some nuts, seeds, and legumes are alkaline-promoting foods, so they're fair game. Dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, and processed foods, like canned and packaged snacks and convenience foods, fall on the acid side and are not allowed. Most books that tout the alkaline diet say you shouldn't have alcohol or caffeine, either.
Level of Effort: High You'll be cutting out a lot of foods you may be used to eating. Limitations: Many foods are off-limits, and so are alcohol and caffeine. Cooking and shopping: You can get fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. It may take a while to learn how to prep and cook your meals when you use fresh foods. In-person meetings: No. Exercise: Not required.
Does It Allow for Restrictions or Preferences? Vegetarians and vegans: This diet is mostly to completely vegetarian. It also works for vegans, in that dairy is off-limits. Gluten-free: The diet excludes wheat, but to avoid gluten completely, you'll need to check food labels carefully, as gluten is not just in wheat. Besides wheat, the diet nixes most of the other major triggers for food allergies, including milk, eggs, peanuts, walnuts, fish, and shellfish. It's also good for people who are trying to avoid fat and sugar.
What Else You Should Know Cost: Many web sites with information about the alkaline diet also sell courses, books, supplements, and alkaline-infused water, food, and drinks. You do not need to buy these things to follow the alkaline diet. There are many free alkaline food charts online that list foods you can buy at the grocery store. Support: This is a diet you do on your own.