Plant-Based and Alkaline Diets Are Healthy Choices For the Long Term

Every few years it seems that a new fad diet hits the market, and everyone jumps on board. Whether it’s the “caveman diet” where you only eat meat, the “cabbage soup diet” where you only eat cabbage soup, or the “grapefruit diet” where you eat a grapefruit with every meal, diet fads have been around since the 1920s, and they often cause more problems than solutions. The best of the worst has to be the “cigarette diet” where, in the early 1900s, tobacco company Lucky Strike encouraged people to grab a cigarette instead of an unhealthy snack by using the slogan “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.” 

However, the one thing that has remained constant throughout the years is that weight loss and healthy living is a combination of eating healthy foods and moderate exercise. Fad diets are good at losing weight fast, but your health is a marathon and not a spirit. These diets can help you lose weight quickly, but oftentimes the weight comes back and then some. Plant-based and Alkaline diets are a marathon where you are in for the long haul and it can only lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Plant-Based and Alkaline Diets

Alkaline diets and plant-based diets are a healthy choice when deciding on a healthy meal plan, and that will never change. It’s better for your health to choose a healthy meal plan rather than gaining weight over time and losing it quickly with fad diets only to have the weight come back again. 

Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice, and it can prolong your life and help your body fight off disease. A diet doesn’t have to be a short term process. A diet can be for the rest of your life. 

What is an Alkaline Diet?

The alkaline diet, also known as the acid-alkaline diet, focuses on foods with a higher pH, or those that are more alkaline, and claims it can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. An alkaline diet allows the consumption of most fruits and vegetables, soybeans, tofu, and some nuts, seeds, and legumes. These are alkaline-promoting foods, and they are acceptable for this particular diet. However, dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, and processed foods are acidic and not alkaline. Processed foods like canned and packaged foods are absolutely prohibited and are on the acid side. 

The alkaline diet distinguishes between the alkaline load and the acid load of the food you put into your body. Again, alkaline refers to fruits, vegetables, and some nuts, and acid refers to meats, fish, eggs, dairy, carbonated sodas, alcohol, and coffee which promotes acid formation in your body, and are definitely not included in the alkaline diet.

Benefits of an Alkaline Diet

  • Protects muscle mass and bone density  
  • Helps with chronic pain and inflammation
  • Lowers Risk for hypertension and stroke
  • Helps you maintain healthy weight
  • Boosts vitamin absorption 
  • Helps improve immune function
  • Improves cancer protection
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Dr. Sebi’s List of Approved Alkaline Foods

Alfredo Darrington Bowman, better known as Dr. Sebi, created a list of foods that are acceptable for the Alkaline Diet. (Disclaimer: Despite his name, Dr. Sebi was not a medical doctor and did not hold a PhD.)

Fruits

Apples, cantaloupe, currants, dates, figs, elderberries, papayas, berries, peaches, soft jelly coconuts, pears, plums, seeded key limes, mangoes, prickly pears, seeded melons, Latin or West Indies soursop, tamarind.

Vegetables

Avocado, bell peppers, cactus flower, chickpeas, cucumber, dandelion greens, kale, lettuce (except iceberg), mushrooms (except shiitake), okra, olives, sea vegetables, squash, tomatoes (only cherry and plum), zucchini.

Grains

Fonio, amaranth, Khorasan wheat (kamut), rye, wild rice, spelt, teff, quinoa.

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

It’s self-explanatory. Plant-based diets revolve around plants like fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. This diet avoids meat, dairy, and eggs, however some fruits and vegetables are more acidic than others and might be right for a plant-based diet rather than an alkaline diet.  

Plant-based diets also help fight off certain diseases or put you in a better position to fight. These foods can help lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other negative health conditions. Eating healthy can be expensive depending on what you are eating, but some people have said that a plant-based diet is less expensive than that of an omnivore.

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet?

Here are some of the benefits of a plant-based diet:

Nuts and Seeds

Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, raw sesame seeds, raw tahini butter, walnuts.

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Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet?

Here are some of the benefits of a plant-based diet:

Lowers the risk of heart disease

People who eat a plant-based diet have a lower risk of dying from heart disease when compared to non-vegetarians. Plant-based diets have been proven to prevent and reverse heart disease, improve cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.

Lowers the risk of diabetes

Plant-based diets prevent, manage, and reverse type 2 diabetes. Plant-based diets lower body weight, improve insulin function, and increase beta-cells’ ability to regulate blood sugar, which helps reverse symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes.

Helps with weight Loss

Plant-based diets lead to weight loss, even without exercise or calorie counting. Replacing high-fat foods with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes naturally reduces calorie intake.

Lowers the risk of cancer

Avoiding animal products and high-fat foods and eating plant-based foods can lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Improves brain health

Saturated fat and trans fat—found in dairy products, meat, and fried foods—can increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive conditions. A plant-based diet avoids these foods and is rich in antioxidants, folate, and vitamin E, which may offer a protective effect.

The Bottom Line

Limiting acid-forming foods and eating more alkaline-forming foods can help with obesity, inflammation, and your overall health. All life forms depend on maintaining appropriate pH levels, and some believe that it is more difficult for disease and illness to take root in a body that has a balanced pH. Plant-based diets are designed to help lower the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses. It’s also a healthy way to lose weight and keep it off. These diets are encouraged to be longevity diets that become a lifestyle.

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