Thursday, April 30, 2009

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Acid alkaline diet for healthy bones

Following on from a recent post about the science of the acid alkaline diet, I have found more research on dietary acid and alkalinity intake. These papers conclude that it appears beneficial for the health of our bones to eat more alkaline foods.

The acid alkaline diet advocates a diet high in alkali foods and low in acid foods. Typically in a ratio of 80:20 or 75:25. Foods rich in both potassium, bicarbonate are considered alkali foods. Looking at an alkaline acid diet food chart helps determine what we want to eat more and less of in our diet.

However in our Western diets there are few foods that are good sources of both potassium and bicarbonate. The scientific literature suggests that eating alkali foods promotes healthy bones and can play a positive role proactively combating osteoporosis. There are a variety of other claims made for the alkaline acid diet from re-energizing your body to preventing migraine headaches.

10 million people are estimated to have osteoporosis in the U.S. today. A further 34 million are estimated to have low bone mass placing them at increased risk. The costs associated with the disease are estimated to have exceeded $20 billion.

An acid alkaline diet is possibly a way to protect people from bone resorption, the process by which bone is broken down. Not only would there be the beneficial effects to personal health but also there could potentially be a massive reduction in health care costs associated with osteoporosis - simply by following an acid alkaline diet.

It is widely believed that our modern western diet is very different from that which early humans once consumed. Sodium and potassium intake in pre-agricultural days was 600 mg/day and 7000 mg/day respectively. Those figures are vastly different these days, 4000 mg/day and 2500 mg/day respectively. Without even thinking about it, our ancestors followed an acid alkaline diet. Perhaps not having green alkaline drinks but just through their regular diet long ago.

What most people would consider healthy eating comes close to what the acid alkaline diet proposes. Whereas consuming a diet high in meat, dairy, breads, sugar, preservatives could be considered an acid diet. The typical westerner now-a-days consumes an acid diet.

Increasing dietary vegetable intake, following an acid alkaline diet, to about ten servings per day has been proven to have positive effects on health. Even without scientific proof of the acid alkaline diet, most people would likely agree that eating more vegetables would have a beneficial effect upon our health.

Reasons to follow an alkaline acid diet
Evidence suggests that a typical western diet has an overall acidifying effect upon the body. Following the acid alkaline diet is one way we can attempt to reduce and neutralize the effects of an acid diet. This means we can get our body back into balance and gain wide ranging health benefits. Discussed above are the beneficial effects the acid alkaline diet has upon our bone health.

The scientific literature supports eating more healthily. The dietary advice promotes similar food types to that of alkaline diet supporters.

Evidence supporting the alkaline acid diet
Eating a typical Western diet which is low in fruit and vegetables while being high in protein has an acidifying effect upon our bodies. This has been proven in various scientific studies, cited below. The effect of this kind of acid diet has is detrimenal to our bones.

In a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, following a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and low in sweets and snacks, similar to an acid alkaline diet, it was shown that the amount of urinary calcium excretion decreased by about 25%. One theory is that the acid alkaline diet allows more calcium to be conserved for bone retention.

When we digest our food and drink, it is broken down and leaves either an acid or an alkaline "ash". Diets high in protein but low in fresh fruit and vegetables generally produce an acid ash. Our bodies have to remain in an slightly alkaline pH balance. So something needs to be done about the acidity of our bodies.

Getting rid of excess dietary acid through going to the toilet seems as obvious as it does logical. However even though this is what happens, there is a catch. Our kidneys cannot deal with any pH below 5. So if our acidic ash is lower than this the body has to dilute it, in other words, make it less acidic.

Alkaline compounds are required to reduce the pH of acidic ash in our bodies. Fruit and vegetables are an excellent source of alkaline ash themselves. Not eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables means our bodies may turn to our bones in an effort to dilute the body's acidic ash. Supplementing diets with chemical salts is another way to counteract the negative effect an acid ash has on our bones.

A seperate study shows that by increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in the diet, the amount of calcium excreted via urine is reduced by about 30%. This tells us that fighting an acid diet by increasing the amount of fresh produce we eat is an effective way to counteract the breaking down of our own bones.

Advice regarding alkaline acid diets
Some studies suggest it is not 100% clear whether the beneficial effects upon bone retention are due specifically to the alkali properties of fruit and vegetables consumed. Others are clear in their support for increasing the alkalinity of our diets. This is easily accomplished by consuming fruit alkaline drinks.

The beneficial effects could perhaps be due to other nutrients present. What is interesting to me is that it doesn't overly concern me if the acid alkaline diet is good because of the alkaline content of fruit and vegetables or due to their other nutritional values. The foods championed by the acid alkaline diet have been proven to have positive effects on our health in a variety of areas. That is why I am continuing to move away from an acid diet and follow the acid alkaline diet.

Susan A. Lanham-New - The Balance of Bone Health: Tipping the Scales in Favor of Potassium-Rich, Bicarbonate-Rich Foods - American Society for Nutrition J. Nutr. 138:172S-177S, January 2008

Lawrence J. Appel et al. A Clinical Trial of the Effects of Dietary Patterns on Blood Pressure - The New England Journal of Medicine Volume 336:1117-1124 April 17, 1997 Number 16

Uriel S. Barzel and Linda K. Massey Excess Dietary Protein Can Adversely Affect Bone - The Journal of Nutrition Vol. 128 No. 6 June 1998, pp. 1051-1053

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Alkaline acid diet science

In the U.K., medical advice suggests we should eat five or more servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. The alkaline acid diet simply takes this advice a stage further.

The alkaline acid diet involves basing your diet around vegetables, citrus fruit, nuts, tubers, and legumes (alkaline foods) and steering clear of grains, dairy products, meat, excess salt, caffeine and alcohol (acid foods). Regardless of the term alkaline acid diet, most of you would likely agree that reducing the amount of so called acid foods while at the same time increasing consumption of alkaline foods is a good thing.

After scouring the internet I am beginning to discover some actual science upon which the alkaline acid diet is based. The science suggests that increasing the alkali content of the diet may attenuate bone loss in healthy older adults.

Eating more alkaline foods, or simply healthy foods, like vegetables as we all know is considered better than an acid diet of processed foods which often have high sugar and salt content.

The clinical experiment, quoted above, while not explicitly comparing an alkaline diet to an acid diet does suggest that the same benefits derived from dietary alkaline supplementation could also be observed by moving from the acid diet end of the spectrum to the alkaline diet side.

This study found that doses of bicarbonate reduced the amount of calcium excreted and had a positive effect on bone resorption - the process by which bones are broken down and calcium transferred to the blood stream.

Scientific information that backs up some of the claims made about the alkaline acid diet is reassuring. If a less acidic diet can play a part in reducing the breakdown of bone tissue it could be argued that the alkaline acid diet even promotes longevity. The study that this article about the alkaline diet is based on does not discuss how to lose weight fast. It's focus was more about the overall condition of the body.

Not only that but from my own experiences moving away from an acid diet and now eating and drinking much more vegetables, I feel I am becoming much healthier. Put simply, I just feel better physically and mentally!

So there is scientific evidence supporting the alkaline acid diet. Undoubtedly there will be more available which just makes me more determined to find it as I proceed with my own alkaline acid diet.

Bess Dawson-Hughes et al. Treatment with Potassium Bicarbonate Lowers Calcium Excretion and Bone Resorption in Older Men and Women in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & metabolism

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Acid diet tips

Starting a new diet can be a daunting prospect. Let me be clear, my "diet" has nothing to do with losing weight, I weigh 66kg and am 186cm tall. So could probably be considered under weight. What I want from my alkaline acid diet is to feel healthy and energetic! To feel good about myself.

So here are some tips if you want to start an alkaline acid diet or any other diet for that matter.

Personally the thought of picking a day and deciding my diet will be different from that day forth hasn't worked for me in the past. So when I decided to dabble in the acid alkaline diet I tried a different approach.

Firstly, I decided to work on my breakfast and not worry about changing anything else. For me this approach works really well. Rather than wholesale change I'm taking a much more gradual approach.

For breakfast I am having either:

Grapefruit and a drink of water, or fruit and or vegetable juice made with my Magimix Le Duo juicer and scrambled eggs.

Having the choice of two different breakfasts and further choice in the type of juice I decide to make is keeping my acid alkaline breakfasts interesting.

I still drink coffee throughout the day; drink alcohol (sometimes to excess) occasionally; eat cakes and donuts; eat fatty meat; and probably do a host of other things that aren't particularly healthy.

However taking just one step at a time on the alkaline acid diet is keeping me motivated to continue to improve my health.

Gradual change may be worth considering if you want to improve your diet.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Acid diet confusion

As I read more about the acid alkaline diet I am becoming more confused as to what foods I want to be eating to actually move from an acid diet towards an alkaline diet.

In particular, although finding food charts of acid foods and alkaline foods is easy on the internet, I am left wondering how much authority these various charts have. So far I have been unable to locate an acid alkaline food chart attributed to an actual scientist. This worries me somewhat as I view finding an authority resource on the alkaline acid diet as essential to being able to implement it successfully.

While I search for scientifically proven information, there are certain trends in the available information regarding acid foods and alkaline foods.

For example, on the acid side are things like alcohol, coffee, fatty meats and most things we typically consider unhealthy. I am still looking for confirmation of how much acid, eating these so called acid foods actually produces in the body.

However just looking at the above brief list, these acid foods have been proven to have a variety of adverse effects on health, e.g. excess consumption of fatty foods being linked with cardiovascular disease.

So forgetting about the acid food label, it makes sense to want to reduce one's fatty meat consumption anyway.

For the time being, this is how I am implementing my alkaline acid diet. Reducing consumption of so called acid foods and replacing them with better alkaline foods. Really all I am doing is substituting high fat meats for all kinds of vegetables and at the same time looking to reduce my alcohol and coffee intake.

I'm still eating fish and chicken, rice and bread even though on many of the acid alkaline food charts you can see that these foodstuffs often fall on the acid side.

While I work on improving my diet in general, I will continue to research the alkaline acid diet in an effort to find scientific proof of the benefits it claims.

So far I am really enjoying making juice and eating and drinking substantial quantities of vegetables each day as I continue my journey on the alkaline acid diet.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Magimix Le Duo review

Magimix Le Duo
A vegetable juicer seems like an essential piece of equipment for anyone serious about following an alkaline acid diet. I opted for the Magimix Le Duo juicer as my parents have one and it is still juicing 10 years on.

There are a variety of fruit and vegetable juicers on the market today. The two main types are centrifugal fruit and vegetable juicers and masticating vegetable juicers. The Magimix Le Duo is a centrifugal juicer. Check out a Breville centrifugal juicer review if Magimix is not available in your area.

What I love about the Magimix juicer is that it's so easy to assemble that you can skip reading the instruction manual and get straight to the juicing!

The Magimix Le Duo is perfect for small kitchens as it takes up very little space on the work surface. The juice exit spout is about 15 cm above the work top so it's easy to fit a jug underneath. A possible improvement to the Le Duo would be for the dispensing shute to be slightly higher so that a pint glass could fit below. That said, I quite like using a measuring jug so I can check the exact amount of juice that I make.

magimix le duo parts
Adding fruit and vegetables to the Le Duo is done through an opening in the top of the clear plastic lid. You then use a plunger to push your fruit and veg down into the juicer. The opening is a reasonable size. It requires that carrots be chopped in two length ways and apples to be cut into eighths to be able to fit, if you use massive carrots and apples like I do anyway!

The teeth on the Magimix are amazingly efficient at turning solid vegetables into pulp and the centrifugal cylinder sucks out all the juice. Even though the feeder opening on the Magimix isn't huge, the juicer is so powerful that it is literally a matter of seconds to go from solid vegetables to a vitamin packed juice.

Juicing for one person with the Le Duo is pure joy. There's no need to empty the cylinder halfway through which can be the case if you are making a family sided batch.

Even if you do have to empty the cylinder halfway, it's straight forward. Included in the package is a scoop that is the perfect size to remove the majority of the vegetable pulp from the juicer.

magimix le duo cleaning
I had to pay nearly double the price for my Magimix Le Duo juicer buying it in the far east as opposed to the U.S. or U.K. However I feel it was worth it as it allows me to drink quality fruit and vegetable juices every day.

The Magimix Le Duo juicer also comes with a citrus juicer attachment. It's so fast to blast out some squeezed grapefruit juice!

On the down side, the Le Duo doesn't handle green leafy vegetables as well as more solid vegetables. The leafy greens get kind of stuck in the input funnel and it takes a bit of effort to push them through. It is much more suited to making alkaline fruit drinks.

The Magimix Le Duo is the only fruit and vegetable juicer I have ever used and even though it doesn't deal with green leafs as well as I would like, for the foreseeable future it is the only fruit and vegetable juicer I shall be using. If you are following the alkaline acid diet or not, it is a great piece of kitchen equipment. Check out the Magimix Le Duo juicer today! You can read a further Magimix le Duo review on the site the Juice Fiend.

People in the U.S. may have a hard time finding this machine so you may want to consider a Jack LaLanne juicer instead. This is also a centrifugal juicing appliance that works in a similar way to the Magimix model discussed here.

Acid diet grapefruit breakfast

Eating grapefruit for breakfast as part of an acid alkaline diet is a refreshing way to start the day. Two grapefruits and a large glass of water perhaps doesn't sound particularly filling but I feel pretty full after putting it away. What's even better is that it is often close to lunch time before I start to feel hungry.

As I aim to eat a more alkaline based diet, eating grapefruit in addition to making juice with vegetables a few times a week for an alkaline breakfast will be an enjoyable way to start the day.

A question you may have when you start to eat a shed load of grapefruit is "What do I do with all the peel?". One option would be to use it in your garden. Now it's not too much use throwing raw peels about the place so one solution would be to use a compost tumbler to help get things into a more nutritious state for the soil.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Giving up coffee - plan

On various alkaline acid food charts, coffee appears on the acid food side.

As part of my alkaline acid diet I am going to give up coffee for the month of May and observe any changes to my health. Living in Japan makes it easy for me to simply drink green tea instead.

If it really is an acid food I expect to see some positive health changes as I usually drink about five cups (not mugs!) a day.

A possible problem with this acid diet challenge is that I am continuing to increase my fruit and vegetable consumption. So positive health effects, assuming there are any, may come not from reducing my acid food consumption but from increasing the quantities of alkaline foods in my diet. Even with this caveat, I am going to continue with this test. Then in June, when I start drinking coffee again after my fruit and vegetable consumption stabilizes at a higher level of about ten portions a day, perhaps I will notice a change in my condition at that time.

I'm not sure how important, if at all, giving up coffee is as part of the alkaline acid diet. It will be an interesting challenge anyway. How addicted am I?

Other than the alkaline acid diet, there are other reported health costs and benefits associated with drinking coffee.

As I proceed with this dietary challenge, I will continue to research whether coffee really is an acid or alkaline food. This is possibly the hardest part of the alkaline acid diet, determining which side of the scale foods fall on.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Magimix Le Duo ordered

After having my grapefruit, water and protein shake for breakfast I was excited to be on the way to alkalinity. I remembered while at work that years ago I bought my parents a Magimix juicer. So I decided to search the online Japanese shops for a good juicer for myself.

I have seen a few juicers in Japan and compared to the Magimix one I bought my parents they are rubbish. They have a tiny cylinder that revolves and don't have very many "teeth" with which to juice the fruit and vegetables.

As I searched the Rakuten online shop I actually came across a Magimix Le Duo juicer!

Remembering the fun I used to have with my family when we made our juices together with the Magimix Le Duo juicer, I felt compelled to opt for the same one.

After work I went to a nearby electrical store but was very disappointed with the standard of Juicers that they were selling. There was no Magimix in sight. So it was back to the internet to purchase online. It came to just over 31,000 yen.

Up till this stage I was feeling great that I managed to find a juicer I know works well. Then for some reason I decided to go and look at the Magimix website. There I discovered that the juicer I just ordered in Japan costs 87.99 pounds in the UK. That's not much more than half what I paid for my Magimix Le Duo!

I'm hoping that my one has been adjusted to the correct voltage here. Perhaps if I used one from the U.K. I would find that it lacked power.

Even though I may have paid over the odds for my Magimix Le Duo juicer I am looking forward to its arrival. It will certainly help with my alkaline acid diet breakfasts and possibly a whole lot more.

I want to track down some recipes for making juice before my Magimix Le Duo arrives.

Edit: My Magimix Le Duo has arrived. If you are interested in a quality centrifugal juicer the review may interest you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

alkaline breakfast

The alkaline acid diet is all about reducing the amount of acid producing foods that we eat and increase the amount of alkaline foods in our diets. This is to help us with the pH balance of our bodies. If you want to eat a high alkaline foods diet, hear are some alkaline diet breakfast ideas.

The suggested ratio of food types in this diet seems to be 80/20 - alkaline/acid. The alkaline acid diet is a great diet if you want to feel healthier and more energetic. It could also be used as part of a weight loss plan along with appropriate exercise. It is not specifically a weight loss diet but rather a pH balancing diet to cleanse the body of excess dietary acid which the typical western diet contains.

Focusing on one meal at a time is a great way to test whether you are interested in following a particular eating regimen. This article discusses ways we can change the food we eat in our breakfast diet to eat what we could term an alkaline diet breakfast. Moving away from an acid breakfast is not particularly difficult, it just requires us to ensure that we have fruit and vegetables in our fridge that we can prepare easily in the morning as part of a high alkaline foods diet. Following you will find some specific alkaline diet breakfast ideas.

Even though they are citrus fruits, grapefruits often appear on the alkaline side of alkaline diet food charts and are one alkaline breakfast suggestion. Initially you might think that grapefruits are acidic foods however when we "burn" them, grapefruits leave an alkaline ash. Grapefruits are typically associated with breakfast anyway so it's easy to start, or continue, eating them.

In a quest to find the perfect alkaline breakfast foods I also want to do it while sticking to a tight budget. My aim is to increase my financial health at the same time as my physical well being. So what are the best foods for an alkaline diet breakfast that will satisfy both my stomach and wallet?

Particularly in the summer, eating a couple of grapefruits and drinking a large glass of water is appealing. It's a pretty simple and cheap alkaline breakfast. While you might think that grapefruit would be an acid breakfast, it is not the acidity of the grapefruit that counts, it is the pH of the "ash" in our bodies after we burn, or digest, our food. So these refreshing fruits make perfect alkaline diet breakfast foods.

Living in Japan, another easy alkaline breakfast idea is miso soup with seaweed. Adding some tofu is another way to enjoy miso soup. You can also get miso in the west although it might simply be a little more expensive.

Other alkaline breakfasts include eggs cooked in your favorite way with a side serving of tomatoes or possibly making juice, for example apple and spinach juice may be more to your liking. Many alkaline breakfast foods are available to choose from.

There are various alkaline acid food charts available online advising what are acidic and alkali foods. Sometimes the information is conflicting however we can get a rough idea of what side of the scale foods fall on as we endevor to improve our pH balance and alkalize the body. Looking at these food lists will help you decide what alkaline diet breakfast food to eat.

Changing your diet, starting with your morning meal is an easy step to take. Trying some of the ideas above or making your own decisions based on alkaline acid food chart lists will allow you to have some good tasting, nutritious, alkaline breakfasts.

Once you are happy with your breakfasts you can then consider altering other areas of your diet on your alkaline acid diet journey. For me eating an alkaline diet breakfast sets me up perfectly for the day ahead. Alkalie breakfast foods contain plentiful amounts of energy and nutrition.

I hope the above alkaline breakfast tips are useful.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Acid diet or alkaline acid diet?

The alkaline acid diet has many different names which all refer to the same type of diet, namely one that is high in alkaline foods and low in acid foods. Typically the proposed ratio in is 80:20 - alkaline foods : acid foods. The diet is often referred to as an alkaline diet, acid alkaline diet or even alkaline ash diet.

Why might you consider the alkaline acid diet?

The acid alkaline diet is worth considering if you often feel run down; lethargic; tired; are prone to colds or just generally un-healthy. Research also indicates that a diet rich in acid foods may also be a factor in increased bone loss in otherwise healthy individuals. It could certainly also be used as a part of a weight loss program.

The typical western diet could certainly be termed an acid diet. An acid diet is high in meat, grain, processed foods with high sugar and salt content.

It is widely accepted that eating much more fruit and vegetables is a gateway to health and well-being although it is a route so many of us often avoid. Why is this? Possibly just because the typical Western diet is easier than preparing fresh fruit and salads. But this needn't be the case.

The premise of the alkaline acid diet is that we should eat foods that reflect the natural pH level of our own blood which is slightly alkaline.

Foods of the acid alkaline diet: vegetables, fresh low sugar fruit, roots and tubers, nuts and legumes.

Foods to avoid: grains, dairy, meat and too much salt and alcohol.

Looking at the foods to eat and foods to avoid of the acid alkaline diet, it looks pretty similar to simply eating healthily. But everything needs a name...

There are some so called acidic foods that it's hard to believe are that bad for you. Is bread really un-healthy? At least the alkaline acid diet doesn't propose cutting it out completely.

Living the alkaline acid diet?

Rather than completely changing the way you eat in an instant it is easy to move gradually to a healthier diet. This is definitely one of the attractions of the acid alkaline diet. Rather than the focus being on what not to eat it is more concerned with raising the amount of alkaline foods you consume. Particularly if you are more interested in health than weight loss, simply consuming more alkaline foods will likely make you feel more energetic throughout the day.

One way to start would be to begin to eat more of an alkaline breakfast. This is a great introduction to pH balance. An alkaline breakfast not only tastes great but also gives you energy to start the day, keeps hunger at bay and is a great motivator to get you more interested in the alkaline acid diet itself.

It is easy to alkalize your body. Why not give it a try? The alkaline acid diet is very similar to common sense healthy eating that we all know but don't necessarily do.