The alkaline diet is hotter than ever. What to eat when following this popular plan? We’ve assembled an alkaline food list to serve as your guide. Additionally, you’ll find a basic alkaline diet plan inside, along with a short guide to alkaline foods for acid reflux and more.
Alkaline Diet Plan: The Basics
The alkaline diet plan is a healthy one, with a focus on lots of fresh veggies and fruits. There are a few reasons people choose the alkaline diet over other eating plans:
- It may slow the body’s natural aging process
- The diet may preserve lean muscle mass while promoting fat loss
- People report that they feel more energetic when eating alkaline foods
- The alkaline diet plan is reported to provide protection from issues such as headaches, viral infections, osteoporosis, and more
Additionally, the alkaline diet may offer some protection against diabetes. Researchers published a study in the German journal Diabetologia, with results that suggest that the same foods linked with high acid production are among the same ones that may lead to insulin resistance.
Because animal products are high on the list of acid-forming foods, the alkaline diet places a strong emphasis on plant-based eating. At the same time, some of the best vegan protein sources including many types of beans, grains, and nuts are also on the list of acid-forming foods. Because following the plan simply by avoiding all acid-forming foods can lead to nutritional deficiencies, dieticians urge those who follow this plan to take a moderate approach so as not to miss out on important nutrients.
If you opt to follow the alkaline diet plan, it may be best to reduce acid-forming foods and add more alkaline forming foods to your daily intake. As with other popular diet plans, an extreme approach might do more harm than good.
There are a few different schools of thought on how best to approach the alkaline diet. Some people opt to cut out all acid producing foods as well as neutral and low alkaline producing foods. Others decide to decrease the amount of acid producing food they eat while increasing the amount of alkaline producing food. Some opt for a very sensible approach, attempting to eat about 70% alkaline foods and 30% acid producing foods.
Keep in mind that factors other than food can contribute to an acidic environment in your body. Besides reducing or completely avoiding chemical-filled processed foods, sugar, wheat, dairy, and meat, you’ll want to watch out for lifestyle factors such as excess emotional stress and exposure to toxic chemicals. Certain drugs can increase acid production, too; if you feel that a prescription is causing discomfort, talk to your doctor about finding a suitable replacement. Do not stop taking a prescription on your own; this is likely to make matters worse.
Alkaline Foods Benefits
In general, alkaline foods tend to offer high levels of vitamins and minerals, along with plenty of fiber. Most are very low in fat and none contain high levels of cholesterol, making this plan an excellent one for heart health. Because processed foods are avoided, you’re likely to decrease your sodium intake when you follow this way of eating. This means less water retention and it’s also likely to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Besides offering good nutrition, alkaline foods tend to be low in calories while offering plenty of satisfaction. People who follow this plan tend to lose excess body weight quickly, and enjoy all the benefits that come with weight loss.
Alkaline Food List
This list of alkaline foods includes vegetables, fruits, and other dietary staples that can provide you with the fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals that you need. Note that different alkaline food lists provide different data. This one has been compiled from several sources and includes high alkaline foods, medium alkaline foods, and low alkaline foods, maximizing the amount of variety you can build into your daily eating routine.
When using this list as a guide, it’s a good idea to notice how different foods make you feel, particularly if you are following the alkaline diet plan as a method for managing acid reflux. Some foods that don’t bother people without GERD might cause a problem for you, particularly if you accidentally overeat. These are typically foods that contain high levels of fat, or foods that are traditionally associated with acid reflux, such as peppermint. Try introducing new foods one at a time in small amounts. This will help you root out the culprits and avoid discomfort in the future.
Highly Acidic Foods to Avoid
Alcohol, i.e. liquor
Fish and shellfish (all types)
Meat (all types)
Processed sugar (all types)
Wheat and products that contain it
New potatoes (sometimes sold as fingerling potatoes)
Peppers (sweet and hot varieties)
Squash (all varieties)
Other Alkaline Foods
Aloe vera juice
Almond butter (unsweetened)
Almond milk (unsweetened)
Apple cider vinegar
Brown rice syrup
Brown rice vinegar
Cashew butter (unsweetened)
Cashew milk (unsweetened)
Celtic sea salt
Evening primrose oil
Great Lakes salt
Macha green tea
Mustard seeds (whole, ground, or powdered)
Soybeans (all types, i.e. edamame, soy nuts, etc.)
Soy milk (unsweetened)
Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Unsweetened blackstrap molasses
Vegetable juice (unsweetened)
Wild greens, i.e. lambs quarters, dandelion greens, etc.
Whey protein powder
Alkaline Foods for Acid Reflux
If you suffer from acid reflux, you might find that your symptoms subside when you focus on eating alkaline foods. If you eat acid-producing foods like meat and dairy products, try to consume them in moderation, and be sure that the rest of your meal consists of alkaline foods. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking this approach, since acid reflux can be symptomatic of an underlying disorder. Be sure that you don’t stop taking prescribed medications without your doctor’s consent.
Finding and Creating Alkaline Food Recipes
You can find alkaline food recipes online, as well as in some cookbooks. You can also create your own recipes: With just bit of imagination and a willingness to experiment, you can easily come up with new versions of your old favorites. Substitutes don’t taste the same as the foods that made you feel terrible, but when you discover just how good an alkaline diet plan makes you feel, you’re likely to embrace the lifestyle and re-train your taste buds.
A new way of eating typically takes some getting used to, so be sure to give yourself time to adjust. You’ll enjoy the alkaline diet’s benefits faster if you jump in with both feet, but you may find it easier to take baby steps and learn to make substitutions one meal at a time. Just avoiding the worst offenders – i.e. meat, dairy products, processed foods, and items that contain high levels of sugar – might work wonders for you.
If you’re having trouble eliminating these items from your diet, consider cutting back and using things like meat and cheese more like seasonings. A veggie stir fry with just a little bit of chicken or fish might satisfy your cravings without causing too much discomfort, for example. Everyone is different, and finding what works best for you will keep you on track while helping you feel your best and enjoy at least some of the benefits associated with the alkaline diet.
Whether you take a day by day approach or change your eating habits all at once, you are likely to love the way you feel when you give the alkaline diet a try.