Alkalizing foods

Alkalizing foods seem to monopolize a good part of the informative articles that embrace the trend of natural therapies and counter-information, forgetting or even discrediting the opinion of official medicine.

Alkalizing foods: alternative medicine and counterinformation

Nowadays, the champions of counter-information catalyze the interest of millions of individuals disoriented and frightened by the problems of current society, to whom they attribute the blame for their own condition: just as it is very simple to attribute the blame of the personal failures and failures, even on the health front it is convenient to point the finger at others. In the wake of this sick attitude, we end up blaming the pharmaceutical and food industry multinationals, forgetting that – just as every man is almost free to take the reins of his own life – no one forces us to go to fast-food or fill shopping carts with sweets and refined carbohydrates. To justify one's conscience at the expense of others, one even goes so far as to use the term “drug”: according to certain theories, which coincidentally are quite popular, many people are literally drugged by carbohydrates, to the point of not being able to do without them. Thus, the finger is pointed at our home diet, the Mediterranean one, because it is considered too rich in carbohydrates, and praised by “TV nutritionists” only out of ignorance or – even worse – to support the profits of the cereal industry.

As regards alkalizing foods, the finger is also pointed at milk and dairy products, recommended for the prevention of osteoporosis but guilty of aggravating the disorder by promoting the loss of calcium from the bones. Even in this case, official medicine would affirm the opposite only and exclusively to protect the profit of the milk and dairy products industry. In short, the world is drifting due to the famous disease of profit, from which the champions of counter-information are so immune that they sacrifice themselves to protect the rights of the weakest.

Alkalizing foods: what they are and why they are recommended

Most people confuse acidic and alkalizing foods with the concept of food pH. Thus, according to this erroneous view, lemon juice would be a particularly acidic food, when in reality it is one of the best-known alkalizing foods, so much so that it is even recommended in therapy to alkalize the urine and prevent – in predisposed subjects – the formation of stones kidneys of urates, calcium oxalate and cystine.

The alkalinity or acidity of a food is attributed not on the basis of the pH of the food itself, but on that of the solution in which its ashes are dispersed, therefore on the basis of the pH of the inorganic residues, not metabolised by the body. Thus, to take the example of lemon, the organic acids that determine the acidity of this food are metabolised by the body, while the inorganic basic residues are excreted unchanged in the urine, basifying it.

According to this rule, vegetables are generally alkalizing foods, while those of animal origin are acidifying. The consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables should therefore be encouraged, and that of cereals, dairy products, meat, sugars, alcohol, eggs, coffee and mushrooms should be discouraged.

As for the potential benefits, proponents of the alkaline diet claim that a diet based on the consumption of 70-80% alkalizing foods prevents many of the diseases of well-being that afflict the population – obesity, allergies, osteoporosis, some forms of cancer – ensuring greater energy and vitality.

All these benefits are not scientifically proven; furthermore, under normal circumstances, the alkaline diet has not proven capable of producing a significant variation in blood pH levels (which are rather constant and subject to numerous control mechanisms, particularly effective and independent of the diet, first of all breathing ).

Alkaline diet: what's good?

Beyond the rather “imaginative” theories (because they lack solid scientific foundations) on which it was built, the alkaline diet must at least be recognized for promoting the consumption of fresh vegetables, often lacking in Western diets compared to what is recommended by nutritionists, and to discourage the – often excessive – consumption of meat, sausages, cured meats, simple sugars and alcohol. Scrolling through the list of alkalizing and alkaline foods reported on this site in English, we understand how a similar dietary model can actually promote the health of the body, with clear and immediate benefits in the transition from a typically Western diet to the so-called alkalizing one. These benefits, however, are not to be attributed to the concept of acid and alkaline, but to the extraordinary mine of friendly substances contained in fresh vegetables, together with a reduced intake of saturated fats, sugars, sodium chloride and alcohol. Reading between the lines, this list seems largely acceptable and in line with the international guidelines of the new food pyramid; unfortunately it limits the consumption of very important foods in the human diet, such as fish and low-fat dairy products, only because they are considered acidifying. We therefore proceed with blinders on, chasing an abstract concept (that of alkalizing and acidifying) rather than forming a solid food culture, which helps us make the most correct nutritional choices by tackling new food trends with a critical spirit.


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