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Alkaline Diet: Lose weight, gain energy, feel pain free

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pH scale
The Alkaline Diet
(full name: Honestly Healthy Alkaline Programme), set up by Sienna Miller's sister and chef Natasha Corrett, not only reduces bloating, helps you lose weight and makes you feel more awake, but it can also relieve aches and pains you may be suffering with.

Victoria Beckham is a big fan of the diet too.

What is the diet?

The diet revolves around the idea that eating acidic food has a negative effect on your digestion, increasing bloating and generally making you feel lethargic because the kidneys are working overtime to break down the acids in food.

The aim of the diet is to keep the pH of your food at between 7.35 and 7.45 because that's when your body functions best.

The diet suggests you eat 80% non-acidic foods and then meat on top, making up the additional 20% of your meal. It means your meals don't have to be really boring and you can include some high-protein food, despite most being pretty high on the pH scale.

How can I check whether something's acid or alkaline?

If you really want to take this diet on seriously, you should invest in a pH testing kit. If you have an iPhone, the pHood app (available for £1.49 from the App Store) has a comprehensive list of almost every food's pH score.

What should I be aware of?

Some foods, such as spinach, can be alkaline when raw but become acidic when cooked, so be aware of how foods can changes when exposed to heat.

What foods can I eat?

As we said, most meats are acidic, so it's best to stick to raw vegetables with a little meat for some protein. Some of the lowest acid foods include fennel,
broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, kale, spinach, watercress and cauliflower.

Nuts and sunflower seeds are good for a snack, while dates, figs, grapefruit, lemon and lime top the fruit list. Although grapefruit, lemon and lime are all acidic when you eat them, they change to alkaline when digested. For a bit of extra sustenance, brown rice and quinoa can help bulk things out and give a good hit of fibre.

Big no nos are dairy, wheat, fish, shellfish, coffee, tea, sugar, fizzy drinks and alcohol.

What other effects does the diet have?

According to the authors of the book Honestly Healthy, the diet can improve energy levels and memory and help prevent headaches, bloating, heart disease, muscle pain and insomnia. Although not scientifically proven, it's thought minimising acidic food can also help with arthritis, diabetes and cancer. You may also notice your skin is in better condition if you increase your intake of nuts.

What does a typical menu look like?

Breakfast


Bircher muesli with soya milk. Why not try our Blackcurrant Bircher Muesli, but just replace the dairy milk with soy? OR Scrambled eggs with raw spinach on toasted rye bread

Morning snack

A handful of mixed dried fruit and nuts


Lunch

Miso soup with tofu instead of chicken OR Quinoa and butternut squash salad

Dinner

Gnocchi made with pumpkin instead of potato OR Vegetable crumble

Where to next

Continued below...


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