Alkaline Vegan Diet: What is it?

With veganism on the rise, several claims regarding food and lifestyle come up now and then. While veganism is a good step to preserve our environment, when it comes to food, people find it difficult to make the right dietary choices. And one of the biggest reasons for that is rising of fad diets- keto, paleo, and Mediterranean. But what about an alkaline vegan diet? Is it any different? 

Well, it is very different from what is thought to be. If you think that this diet will make your body alkaline, then you might be wrong. It works differently. No doubt, you will get some benefits from this diet, but you might be exposed to some downsides too. Adding alkalizing foods to your diet is a whole new experience for many. But how to go about it? 

Alkaline Vegan Diet What is it (1)
Alkaline Vegan Diet What is it?

Let’s find that out in this article. Keep reading further to know more about the alkaline vegan diet, its pros and cons, and how to get the best out of it. 

What is an alkaline vegan diet? 

If you can go back to your school textbooks, you will come across a pH scale. According to a pH scale, a solution can be either acidic, basic, or neutral. 

  • a pH of 0-6 – Acidic
  • a pH of 7 – Neutral
  • a pH of 8-14 – Alkaline/Basic

So, an alkaline vegan diet focuses on moving your body to the higher side of the pH scale. But does our body work that way? Can we change the pH of our bodies by adding alkaline foods? 

When the alkaline diet came into the market, celebrities and athletes started promoting it. However, research shows that alkaline foods can not change the pH of our bodies. The pH of our by is tightly regulated. It is nearly impossible to change that through diet. 

But does that mean that you are not going to get any benefits from this diet? Since the focus is on plant-based foods, there are many alkaline diet benefits that you can get. And as said before, you might also face some cons if you don’t do it the right way. 

Let’s find the alkaline vegan foods list to know more about this diet. 

What foods are included in the alkaline vegan diet? What foods are avoided? 

The primary focus of this diet is to add lots of plant-based foods to increase the pH of the food. Though there isn’t enough evidence to support this claim, a plant-based diet is always good for overall heart health, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. 

Here are some of the alkalizing foods that you need to include in this diet. 

  • Fruits 
  • Non-starchy Vegetables
  • unsweetened fruit juices
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

These foods are generally healthy for your body and should be consumed in decent portions. 

Now, let’s see some acidic foods that you need to avoid in this diet. 

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs 
  • Processed foods
  • Dairy and other milk products
  • Some grains like wheat, pasta, bread, and other refined grains

Besides that, some neutral foods should also be avoided in an alkaline vegan diet

  • Refined sugar
  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc
  • Natural fats

Though it might seem to be alright, we need to focus on the pros and cons list to further our knowledge. 

What are the pros of this diet? 

There are several benefits of adopting vegan alkaline foods to your diet.

  • Lessens the risk of heart disease:

As a plant-based diet is generally a healthy option and good for your heart, this diet will help you lower the risk of heart diseases like strokes, built of bad cholesterol in the blood, hypertension, etc. 

This diet is rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium which is great for your heart. 

  • Reduces chronic inflammation:

While inflammation is the body’s natural response to foreign pathogens, chronic inflammation is not at all good for the body. Chronic inflammation is the root cause of several diseases like cancer, type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, etc. Adopting an alkaline vegan diet helps you reduce your inflammatory markers and help you lead a healthy life. Want to know more about inflammation? Here is our article on “Anti-inflammatory vegan diet”.

  • Helps in weight loss:

Well, no doubt highly processed and refined foods contribute to unnecessary weight gain. As going alkaline vegan makes you get rid of all processed foods and sugars, you are also likely to cut some extra weight.

  • A good nutrient-dense option:

The lesser stricter version of an alkaline diet which includes some whole grains and healthy fats is a nutrient-dense option. You will get enough of the nutrients from this diet. Make sure to add clean sources of macros and micros to reap the maximum benefits. 

What are the cons of an alkaline vegan diet? 

While a vegan diet is widely accepted, there are some things off about an alkaline vegan diet, especially doing it strictly. 

  • Not getting enough protein:

As protein is very important for muscle growth and overall development, it could be difficult to hit the daily requirement for some people. One of the main reasons could be because of not having meat, eggs, or dairy. 

But, by doing it the right way, you can achieve your daily requirement of protein. On average, we need 5 to 7 ounces of protein daily. Here are some great vegan sources of protein:

  • Tofu
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Soymilk 
  • Tempeh

  •  Not getting enough iron and calcium:

Iron is an essential nutrient that produces hemoglobin to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the parts of the body. 

Similarly, Calcium helps in maintaining bone, muscle, and nerve health. Doing this diet very strictly might prevent you from getting enough of these minerals. 

In an alkaline vegan diet, you can focus on foods that are rich in these minerals like lentils, beans, leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, figs, etc. 

  • Vitamin deficiencies:

A vegan diet in general has not had enough vitamin B12 and Vitamin D in it. These vitamins are very important for our bodies. You can either try fortified foods that have plenty of these vitamins or take supplements for them. Before you go for a supplementation, make sure to talk to your dietitian before that. 

Wrapping it up

Increased consumption of meat and animal proteins can lead to several fatal diseases. In such cases, going for a plant-based diet might work wonders for you. 

Talking of an alkaline vegan diet, you should focus on getting enough nutrients from the food you eat. While it is a great way to prevent diseases like hypertension, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and cancer, there is also a risk of dietary deficiency. 

Whatever you eat, it is highly unlikely for your body’s pH to change. But, if you are generally concerned about your health, and want to make healthy choices, you can add alkaline vegan foods to your diet. Before you do that, it is better to consult your dietitian and plan it wisely. 

FAQs about the alkaline vegan diet

  • Does an alkaline vegan diet make our body alkaline? 

Our lungs and kidneys make sure to maintain the pH of the body. So, no matter what we eat, it is unlikely to move to the higher side of the scale. 

  • Can I follow an alkaline vegan diet if I have other health conditions? 

While this diet is generally healthy, it still couldn’t be appropriate for people with certain health conditions. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before going for this diet or any diet for that matter. 

  • Why is there a misconception among people about this diet? 

Many people do a ‘dipstick’ test to find the pH of their urine to see if the diet is working for them. It might show your urine to be having an alkaline pH, but it is not an indicator of your current health. 

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