These diets cause quite a bit of controversy among the medical profession and elsewhere, with some critics even describing its publication as “dangerous”. This is somewhat overdoing it. Total nonsense the diet may be, dangerous it is not.
The diet is based on the theories of discredited nutritionist Robert Young who has suggested that all diseases, including cancers, are caused by excess acidity in the blood, and that this acidity can be controlled by diet. Dr Young – whose “qualifications” come from correspondence courses – explains how almost all foods release either acid or alkali into the blood: grains, fish, meat, poultry, shellfish, cheese, milk, and salt all produce acid, and our high ill health levels are due to the excess of these foods in our diets.
It is all, of course, rubbish. Supporters of such theories only show their profound misunderstanding of basic mammalian biochemistry.
All foods that leave the stomach are highly acidic but are neutralized by secretions from the pancreas as they enter the small intestine. No matter what is eaten, food in your stomach is acidic and food in the intestines is alkaline.
Add to this the fact that blood is of differing pH depending on whether it is in arteries or veins and you can see this diet’s reputation begin to crumble. The diet also mentions how stress acidifies the blood and so leads to disease. Again, this has never been proven in any study to date.
But while the alkaline diet theory is bogus, as a basic eating plan you could do a lot worse. OK, so it doesn’t get the proportions of the food groups quite right and cutting out dairy completely without adding in a suitable substitute is never ideal but it advocates drinking plenty of water and fresh vegetable juice, eating “good fats”, plenty of fruit and vegetables, cutting down on red meat and refined sugar and doing regular exercise. Even I can’t find much fault – its advice doctors have been giving their patients for years.
What is so depressing is that the public only seem to listen to health advice if it is either endorsed by a celebrity, costs money, or is disguised in a costume of ridiculous pseudo-science that makes endless promises based on absolutely nothing. We are inherently lazy, and if something offers a quick fix to all our health problems then we want it. The more science a pot of face cream has printed on it the better it sells, and the same seems to apply to diets too.
Unfortunately, like most face creams, their promises are empty.LOL…