I have the benefit of sitting next door to a real, live dietitian—the kind that went to school for a million years and will probs pay off her student loans for the next several decades. Recently, she informed me that a diet followed by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and other celebrities, is too good to be true. The diet in question is called the alkaline diet, and it is apparently 100% a scam for a multitude of reasons. I nearly spit out my iced coffee when I heard this. The internet has led me astray?! Say it isn’t so.
So, before you set off on a journey to reset your body’s pH levels, here’s everything you need to know about the alkaline diet and why it’s a waste of time and money.
What The Alkaline Diet Is
According to WebMD, my source for anxiety, the alkaline diet is a diet based on the theory that “some foods, like meat, wheat, refined sugar, and processed foods, cause your body to produce acid, which is bad for you.” It also claims, “eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline can protect against those conditions as well as shed pounds.” So that’s the science behind this plan—eat healthier foods, avoid processed garbage, fix your pH levels, and SHED THOSE POUNDS.
As for why people ever subscribed to this in the first place? “The theory goes that consuming acid-inducing foods and drinks creates an unhealthy cellular environment and sends distress signals throughout the body, leading to colds, outbreaks and inflammation. It’s suggested that continual acid-dumping via food can create chronic disease such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer,” says Greatist. Sounds like a conspiracy theory, but ok. So, again, the idea is that if I eat basic (IT’S A PH JOKE, EVERYONE) food and avoid acid, I’ll live forever and be skinny. Yah, totally!
Why It Doesn’t Work
So basically, and for those of us who didn’t go to dietitian school, here’s the bottom line: the only way you can change the pH in your body is by hypo or hyperventilating, which means adding more oxygen to or taking oxygen away from your blood. No amount or type of food is going to have an effect on that. PERIOD. END OF STORY.
According to WebMD, our bodies are slightly alkaline to begin with, with a pH of 7.35-7.45. Our stomachs are obviously acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or less. WebMD says, “nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. Your body works to keep that level constant.” Thanks, WebMD, for the science lesson (NERDS!). But, yes, at the end of the day, a diet that claims to fix your body’s acid levels—which are perfect as they are—is utter crap. That’s what you get for following a diet peddled by self-proclaimed doctors like Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop followers.
And, as a note, the guy who literally invented the alkaline diet, Robert Young, PhD, MAY BE GOING TO PRISON FOR PRACTICING MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE. Yeah. He helped to write the book on this whole alkaline diet and the theory that all diseases are caused by too much or too little acid. According to Health.com, he was convicted of practicing medicine without a license. As an added bonus, “A jury was deadlocked on several other charges against him, including defrauding patients out of money.” He allegedly convinced terminally ill cancer patients that they could be cured by dping some weird expensive baking-soda treatments “to flush dangerous acid out of the body.” Yeah… This guy DEFINITELY sounds like someone who could make up a diet based around acid in your blood. What a jackass.
“But I Lost Weight, So You’re Wrong”
Here’s the thing: the alkaline diet may “work” in that you lose weight, but you’re not losing weight because of any kind of radical pH changes or sorcery in your blood. You’re losing weight on the alkaline diet because the cornerstones of said diet are to EAT HEALTHY. WHAT AN IMPRESSIVE CONCEPT. By cutting out things like meat, refined sugar, and processed foods, you’re most likely going to lose weight. Granted, this diet says you don’t have to exercise—which, no, yes you do—but starting with eating better and cutting the crap is definitely going to give you a leg up. So fight me in the comments, and I’ll teach you about why the diet industry is a billion-dollar system and you’re a dope for getting duped by these shenanigans. Oh, and why you shouldn’t follow a diet invented by a quack doctor so he can swim in his dollar bills.
I hope I ruined everyone’s day. Bottom line: Diets in general don’t work because you’re applying a temporary fix to what should be a lifestyle change. Eat better, exercise more, and don’t inhale pizza every meal, and you’ll be healthier.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (3)
It’s Monday which means you either spent the last 48 hours in a desert dressed like a slutty homeless person, becoming one with the music or you just spent the last 48 hours crying over Snapchat watching other people party it up in the desert and wishing your were that slutty homeless person becoming one with the music. Either way I’m sure your body is like, one Chainsmokers song away from giving out completely. And like, it’s hard work
living your best Instagram life surviving festival season. We need to take care of ourselves, girls. And what better way to rejuvenate our bodies than by drinking more?? *breaks out into cold sweats*
Because I don’t treat my body like a temple—if anything, more like a PF Chang’s, or more accurately, the back alley behind a PF Chang’s—I try and get my daily dose of health the only way I know how: through drinking the latest fad diet drinks. I’ve already told you about how I would gladly become a side-piece to the man who invented Dirty Lemon, aka the drink that lets you drink yourself pretty, but kombucha might be giving him a run for his money.
And if you’re sitting there thinking, like, WTF is kombucha? I knew there would be at least one of you. Kombucha is a concoction of bacteria, tea, and sugar that we’re supposed to pretend is V good for us when really we only love it because it looks good AF in our Instagram photos.
But people are always trying to bring me down by using “facts” and “science” as an argument for why I can’t just reset my body by taking the easy way out. So because I love proving people wrong (Hi, Mom), I decided I would take it upon myself to get to the bottom of this kombucha discussion. Is it actually good for me or am I just drinking mold for nothing? Here’s what we know:
Apparently aside from being trendy AF kombucha also has alcohol in it. Hmm I knew I tasted something I liked. After all, kombucha is a fermented drink and depending on how long it’s fermented for it can contain between .5 and 3 percent of alcohol, which some are claiming can have long-term adverse side effects on your body. I’m convinced that the only reason people are saying this is a “bad thing” is because the Cady Herons of the world don’t want us to have nice things and are trying to tarnish kombucha’s good name.
So what you’re saying is that we can get low-grade fucked up in public and no one can say shit because we’re technically drinking tea? And this is a bad thing because?? Tbh if you can’t handle .5 to 3 percent of alcohol in your beverage then you shouldn’t be sitting with us in the first place. That’s, like, less than a shot and doesn’t even come close to the amount of Bailey’s that frequents my coffee most mornings. Grow the fuck up and drink like an adult.
So moving on to the positives (though it’s still unclear as to what the negatives were here…), the ingredients found in kombucha are actually super good for your skin. Through the natural fermentation process, it’s naturally enriched with highly beneficial vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, and B12, as well as a ton of repairing acids. Beauty products with kombucha as their main ingredient have been proven to lighten, brighten, smooth, repair, plump, and protect skin. So if you’re struggling with, say, uneven skin tone, dark spots, hyperpigmentation and/or sagging skin then it’s either a really hard Monday or you just got back from Coachella. Either way kombucha enriched beauty products are literally designed to fix those issues. And they say we can’t have it all.
So just to recap here, not only will this make me look healthy on my Instagram story, but kombucha will also make me, like, really pretty and I get to drink alcohol in the process? As if I needed one more reason to
flirt with hipsters visit a Whole Foods.