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Alkaline fasting: What are the benefits of avoiding acid-forming foods? | > – Guide

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Alkaline fasting: What are the benefits of avoiding acid-forming foods?  |  > – Guide

As of: February 14, 2024 5:47 p.m

During alkaline fasting, acid-forming foods are avoided in order to regulate the body’s acid-base balance. The health benefits are controversial and the side effects can be unpleasant.

by Dagmar Lüdke-Bonnet

If you believe articles on the Internet, nutrition plans and the manufacturers of food supplements, people in this country eat far too many acid-producing foods and are therefore completely acidic. Alkaline fasting is intended to provide relief because it only involves eating alkaline foods. This is said to prevent diseases such as rheumatism, heart problems and high blood pressure – and can supposedly even alleviate them.

Alkaline fasting treatment: Which foods to eat and which to avoid?

During alkaline fasting, acid-forming foods are avoided. This does not mean sour-tasting foods, but rather those from which acidic chemical compounds form during the digestive process. The following are forbidden during alkaline fasting: meat, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products, most legumes, bread, pasta, sugar, coffee, alcohol and acidic fruits.

Instead, alkaline-forming foods such as low-acid fruits, vegetables, herbs, salads, nuts and seeds end up on the plate – potatoes and lemons, which also have an alkaline effect, are also permitted. Healthy oils are also allowed on the menu. During the fast, you should eat around 80 percent vegetables and 20 percent fruit and drink a lot of water. Alkaline fasting should last at least a week. Acid-forming foods are slowly reintegrated into the diet after the treatment is complete.

Can the human body become acidic?

The pH value of the blood in healthy people is 7.4 and is always constant because the body’s own buffer system neutralizes excessive acids. On the one hand, this happens via the kidneys – acids are excreted in the urine. On the other hand, acids are exhaled through the lungs in the form of CO2.

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A special diet is therefore not necessary to keep the pH value in balance. The danger of real acidosis (medical: acidosis) is usually only threatened by people who suffer from severe metabolic problems such as uncontrolled diabetes or chronic kidney disease. For them, an increased pH value in the blood can lead to muscle weakness, impaired perception and heart problems.

Are nutritional supplements necessary for alkaline fasting?

Acid-base remedies from the drugstore promise to bring the body into an alkaline balance. The pills and powders usually contain the minerals magnesium, calcium, potassium and zinc, which are involved in the body’s own regulation of the acid-base balance. But the amounts required are absorbed through normal diet – so nutritional supplements are not necessary. Many manufacturers include urine test strips with the acid-base agents, which are intended to measure whether you are hyperacidic. These are also superfluous from a medical point of view because they say nothing about the pH value of the blood – so they could not indicate hyperacidity at all.

What side effects can occur with alkaline fasting?

If you are not used to eating only fruit and vegetables, you will probably initially suffer from flatulence, diarrhea or constipation during an alkaline fasting treatment. If you then take dietary supplements, the high doses of magnesium can also lead to severe diarrhea – and both of these together can make the alkaline fasting treatment a painful experience.

A balanced diet is healthier than alkaline fasting

Alkaline fasting can be a good start to changing your diet – away from too many animal foods and towards more healthy plant-based foods. A diet that consists predominantly of animal products can contribute to cardiovascular problems, rheumatism and gout. However, an alkaline treatment is not recommended for longer than 14 days because it involves avoiding too many very healthy foods such as whole grains or dairy products. You cannot deacidify the body with alkaline fasting. According to experts, a consistently balanced diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grain products, lean protein and healthy fats is better for your health.

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Experts on the topic

Specialist in internal medicine
Stephansplatz 3
20354 Hamburg

Nutritionist, ecotrophologist
Heinrich-Barth-Straße 5
20146 Hamburg

Further information

Fasting has a long religious tradition. Today it’s no longer just about abstaining from food and drink. more

If you want to start a fast, you should prepare yourself and your body for it. What you need to consider when fasting. more

Longer periods of fasting can help you lose weight or cleanse your cells, but it can also have undesirable effects. more

Detoxify the body and find inner balance: For many, Lent is an opportunity to consciously abstain. more

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Visit | 02/13/2024 | 8:15 p.m

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