If you want to a slimmer physique, why not try the pH diet? The diet uses what we eat to restore our body to its naturally alkaline state. pH (potential of hydrogen) indicates how acidic or akaline a solution might be. The higher the pH, the more alkaline it is. When the food we eat ‘burns’ with oxygen in our cells to produce energy a residue is made that is acidic, alkaline or neutral, which is a pH 7. Our kidneys, skin and lungs try to get rid of the residues left by acid-forming foods through urine, sweat and breath. The PH diet suggests that acidic residues in the body accumulate and this slows the body down, causing low energy, lifeless skin and weight problems. ‘Acid-forming foods, such as meat, dairy and sugar, can cause and aggravate inflammatory conditions in the body, ’ explains Yvonne Bishop-Weston, nutrition consultant at the Foods for Life clinic in Harley Street. This can be felt in aches and pains in your body, as well as skin problems, like eczema and acne, and digestive problems, like IBS.
Getting the balance right
According to the pH diet, we should be eating 60-80 per cent alkaline-forming and 20-40 per cent acid-forming foods to get the balance right. Bharti Vyas, co-author of The pH Diet and celebrity beauty therapist, says that a plate of food should be 70 per cent vegetables to get this balance. Vegetables, low-sugar fruits and herbal teas are all alkaline-forming foods. Unfortunately, the taste of a food won’t give away whether it forms an alkaline or acidic residue in the body. Plus, we may think of lemons as being acidic, but they are actually alkaline-forming in the body!
The weight-loss link
Balancing your diet to get the right pH makes sure your system is not overloaded, which reduces your energy, says Bharti. If the excretory organs become exhausted and cannot break down all the acidic wastes, they are stored or solidified, to the bad, LDL cholesterol, for example. Fat cells inflate when they store acid, which is why a PH balance in your diet is linked with weight-loss.
Glenys Jones, a nutritionist at the Medical Research Council, Human Nutrition Research centre, sees it in another way. She says: ‘if you reduce foods like sugar and cheese, which tend to cause urine to be quite acidic, those foods have quite a high number of calories. If you replace them with more alkaline foods such as vegetables, which have a lower energy density, you tend to eat fewer calories.’