Dr. Mehmet Oz - © mcgill.ca

Foodie Life Lessons: The ‘Alkaline Diet’ fad

I suppose there isn’t anyone anywhere with access to electronic media who hasn’t heard of the so-called Alkaline Diet by now. And most of us have also heard the roar of cautions and protests, that the ‘diet’ is based on junk science. What’s the straight poop, anyway?

Fresh vegetables at farmer's marketFresh fruits and vegetables are featured in the Alkaline Diet.
So it might do you some good, after all!

This new ‘diet’ sensation is courtesy of the phenomenally popular Dr. Mehmet Oz, star of big TV talk shows, national radio (in the U.S.) and best-selling author. He’s described by Wikipedia as, “a Turkish-American cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and television personality.” But he has also been the enthusiastic proponent of a whole string of miracle diets, super foods and revolutionary processes he claims will make you healthier. Scientists and other physicians don’t necessarily agree with him on his ‘great discoveries’.

So it is with the new ‘Alkaline Diet’. Its backers claim that recent scientific research supports the proposition that a pH neutral body (specifically, blood) chemistry is beneficial to humans. They also point out that a lot of what we eat contains acids. From that, they postulate that we need to drink de-acidified water, eat more low-acid or acid-free foods, and take supplements to bring down hour body’s acid levels. Makes sense on that basis.


Other scientists – including those whose acid-related research the Alkaline Diet people rely on as the basis for their theory – say their work has been taken out of context. And doctors insist that the human body is designed to regulate its own acid/alkaline balances. In spite of what Dr. Oz and his followers say, there is no such thing as ‘acidic blood’.

The good news is, those physicians and scientists say the ‘Alkaline Diet’ is probably mostly harmless And it might even be a little helpful in other ways, if it gets you to eat foods that are better for you, in the process. The ‘Alkaline Diet’ is big on fresh fruits and veggies.

I, personally, don’t hold with any of the so-called ‘miracle’ foods, diets or ‘regimens’ that have risen their flamboyant heads over the past twenty years or so. I believe in eating a balanced, varied diet with a sensible calorie count. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and it doesn’t take very long to make your own meals from scratch. Furthermore, you get to say, “I made that!”

The moral(s) of the story:

1. If something looks/sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

2. There is no ‘magic bullet’.

3. Celebrities may be hazardous to your health!

Eat well!

~ Maggie J.