My favourite thing to talk about just so happens to be topical right now thanks to the BS that is COVID-19, so I figured I'd strike while the iron is hot.
This episode will give you the background of the diet, the proposed mechanisms and my (scientific) standpoint.
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Hey, welcome to the Bit Me podcast. Thanks for lending me your ear holes. This is a podcast that's going to be designed to give short, sharp, snappy intros to some misunderstood nutrition topics. So in the space of 5 10 minutes, you can get the low down on what is the background behind these things and why they may be should or should not be taken seriously. Today we're gonna go through the alkaline diet because given the current cove in 19 situation, it's pretty topical. But to be honest, this is a diet that's been around for a while and a few claims out there about it. So I want to take you through the background behind it, the basis behind it, and then also hopefully give you some knowledge so you can decide whether you should be paying attention to it or not. Um, look, before we get into the outline die. We have to go through something called the pH scale. Stay with me now because the pH scale is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. So it's a scale that ranges from 0 to 14 0 being extremely acidic and 14 being extremely alkaline, So some examples of that Ah, stomach acid is has a ph of one. Lemon juice has a pH of to pure water is what we call in neutral, which means it has a pH of seven. So seven is right in the middle of acidic and alkaline baking soda has an alkalinity off nine, and bleach hasn't alkalinity off 13. And so everything has a pH, and we can place it on that scale. So the alkaline diet refers to, ah, its ability to make your body a higher p hate. You know, I'll go into that a little bit later. Essentially, it was developed in the early, I think was 1910 something around that time when they were burning foods in a calorie Mitya to work out their calories. The calories that they contained so essentially they'd put food in a what's called a bomb color image that they would combust it. They would burn it, and they would measure the energy that it gave off. And that's how they would know that an apple contains 80 calories right now. What they did after that is they took the ash from that burnt food. They mixed it with water, and then they tested the P hey h off that ash. And that's how they started to classify foods as either alkaline or acidic. So it's important to note that it's more about what the food looks like after it's been combusted or burnt. Because this is a a vague idea of what goes on in your body as well, right? We break it down, we combust it, we burn it. So some foods that were classified as acidic with fruits that were like, Ah, sugar, whole grains, egg yolk, dairy meat, canned foods they were all classified as acidic. And in the alkaline camp, we have foods like veggies, low sugar, fruits, soy products, nuts, seeds, legumes and and a bunch of other things. Okay, so the idea is that those are your alkaline foods and the other foods. I mentioned your acidic foods, and by consuming Maur alkaline foods and avoiding or reducing acidic foods, you're changing your body's ph. Okay, you're making it either more acidic or more alkaline, based on the food that you choose to consume. Sorry. The thing is, he hates is very, very, very important for chemical reactions. Okay, changing a p the p hey h off something is going to affect a chemical reactions ability to occur. And so what that means is if we change the pH of a system lets, for example, call our body the system if we change our bodies. P hate the chemical reactions that are occurring. I think it's something like 21,000,000,000 chemical, some some insane number like that. Those chemical reactions are always occurring. If we were able to dramatically change our pH, the rate or the ability off those chemical reactions to occur would change. Okay, so I guess the good news is that we can't really dramatically change our bodies. P hates and in fact, the only time where our body's pH does markedly changes in pretty dire situations. Okay, because the thing is, our kidneys and our lungs pay very, very close attention to our body's pH, and they do a very, very good job off keeping it nice and stable. So our lungs release carbon dioxide, which helps decrease the acidity of the system and our kidneys, constantly filtering out blood right that constantly removing acidic products, alkaline products, they're taking all of those out about blood and then excreting them via at your in to make sure that our blood stays between a very, very tightly regulated 7.35 to 7.5 a 7.45 Sorry on that pH scale that I mentioned before. So if blood moves outside of that, P hates kale. Pretty terrible things happen. Okay, So, fortunately, if our lungs in our spiritually system and then also kidney and arino system is working efficiently, we can be confident that RP hatred is going to stay in that range. So what that means there is because the body is filtering these products outs and because the kidneys filtering the blood on and then excreting those products in the urine out urinary pH can change pretty dramatically, right? If we've got lots of acidic things now blood and the body's getting rid of that, then it's gonna make out you're in various civic on this could be Part of the problem of the acid alkaline diet is that people measure their urine. Repeat hates to measure how successful they're being on the diet. So if they see that that the urine pH is increasing, they feel like the they're being more acidic. Where's if that year ins pH is becoming more alkaline? They feel like they're being successful on the diet. The thing is, the bodies the urine pH is only becoming more alkaline because it's having to maintain your blood's pH. So you're you're INS. PH can rain from range from 4.5 to 8.5. What's your blood's? PH is going to stay between 7.35 to 7.45 on. That's part of the I guess what happens when people are doing the alkaline diet and feel they're being successful. It's pretty much just their body is adapting to the food that they're giving it. They're not actually in changing their internal that their systems ph The reason. The alkaline diet gets promoted as ah for its apparent ability to reduce cancer. That's a very, very big one. But more recently for its ability to apparently destroyed Cove in 19 I'm sure there's a whole host of other illnesses out there that the alkaline diet will supposedly cure. It's because losing cancer is an example. Cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment. If we test the area around cancer cells in the body. It is acidic. So I guess the reasoning makes sense, right? Well, cancer's lacks an acidic environment. Why Icahn? I try and make that environment more alkaline. But the thing is, the environment becomes acidic. Cancer cells create an acidic environment. An acidic environment doesn't create cancer cells. OK, in the same way that getting a runny nose doesn't give you a cold, Ah cold gives you a running nose. The way that cancer cells use up energy and glucose and the way their metabolism works means that I'm creating a whole host of hydrogen ions, which increases the acidity of the surrounds. That's just how they naturally work. You can't change your body's pH and therefore starve the cancer cells. The other claim around other sorts of diseases is generally the one I read recently is that Cove in 19 The Corona virus of the novel Coronavirus can only survive at a certain p hate. And so if you're eating foods at a higher P, hates that a more alkaline they're going to kill that virus. And what probably happened is someone has put a virus in a Petri dish and put something that's alkaline on it, and it's died. The thing is, you can kill almost anything in a Petri dish. If you pull water on top of a Petri dish, it's gonna kill the things they're in the Petri dish that is not a effective or an accurate measure off that diet or that compounds ability to do anything in your body. So, in summary, theat alkaline diet does not work. That is very good news, because if you were able to dramatically change your body's pH. Ah, lot of the chemical reactions that occur that keep you alive would fall down, which means you two would probably fall down and never get back up. So the diet itself does not work. Um, it's the things I like about the diet is a lot of the foods that are classified incorrectly as alkaline, a great foods right eating more vegetables and low sugar fruits or just fruits in general. Nuts, seeds, legumes, soy, all of these air, fantastically beneficial and healthy things that we should all be, including. The unfortunate thing is then the acidic quote unquote foods that are supposed to be excluded include things like dairy and whole grains and lean meats and and all of these things are also extremely beneficial. So I would suggest that maybe you should be including a wide range of all of those things. Really, Though the main issue with the alkaline diet, the most dangerous part of this diet is what it encourages people to do is to stop seeking medical treatment in the belief that they contribute things like cancer or covert 19 by eating more alkaline foods and reducing their acidic foods. And this is just simply not the case. So this is one of the main reasons I have a point about Al Klein died a lot. I like talking about it cause I really, really, really want to get out there. Three idea that it does not work. It is not a diet that you should be following, and you absolutely should not be saying no to proven medical treatments that can help with the disease and instead decide that you're just going to cut dairy. So I know I got a little bit science, you know, Hopefully that all kind of made sense. I forgot to check the time, so hopefully I've come in relatively short. But thank you very, very, very much for listening. If you liked this podcast, what do they say? I don't know. I'm new to this. But something about like you share it. You leave a review. Ah, if you could put a photo up in instagram stories and tag me, that'll be rad as well. But I will be throwing another episode up very soon. And I think unless I changed my mind, I'm gonna be talking about artificial sweeteners, so I will chat you then.