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Alkaline Diet: The Diet Stars Swear By

Alkaline Diet: The Diet Stars Swear By

By Carol Wang. CREATED Feb 8, 2012

Omaha, NE--You watch the stars on the red carpet and you can't help but notice how so many stars look fit and fabulous.

Many celebrities including actresses Kirsten Dunst, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore and Jennifer Aniston, not to mention designer Marc Jacobs say they owe their physique to the alkaline diet.

No, it's not a battery.  It's based on your body's pH balance.  According to Dr. Shawn Schmidt, a chiropractor and natural health advocate, your body prefers a more alkaline environment.  If you feed it foods that are alkaline based, your body will run at its best, giving you a faster metabolism and more energy.  The reality, however, is that the foods in the American diet--beef, soda, and pasta are acidic and that's causing a lot of health problems for people.

"We're seeing children with modern diseases right out of the gate, children with adult diseases before they're teenagers, cardiac symptoms, inflammatory problems.  It has a lot to do with how we're eating on a day to day basis," emphasized Schmidt.

Following the diet for a couple of weeks and Schmidt says you'll see a flatter stomach, weight loss, mroe energy and you'll sleep better too.

However, critics say the largely vegetarian based diet is too restrictive and hard to follow.  They argue while a more fruit and vegetable diet is always good, it can be hard to distinguish what's acidic and what's alkaline.  Take, for example, a plum.  It's considered acidic.  Surely, a lemon would be acidic, too, right?  WRONG! Instead it's alkaline.  

Cranberries and blueberries are also considered acidic, but oncology dietitian Chandy Lockman Hoke says they're considered powerful antioxidants good for fighting cancer.  "You need to have a good balance with this and realize these foods can be used and that you're not going to increase your risk of disease if you eat a blueberry or a cranberry," adds Hoke.

She also questions whether food can seriously change a body's pH balance.

Pat Loontjer says she can tell when she's following the plan because she drops pounds and her body feels good.  But she knows life makes it hard to be a strict follower and this doesn't require 100% commitment to be successful.

She sums it up like this, "It's just being conscious of it and doing the best you can and knowing if you deviate, you'll make it up in some other way."  But at 67, she describes herself as in better shape than most of her peers, she doesn't have to take any pills and her friends call her the 'Energizer bunny.'

Schmidt believes the alkaline diet doesn't have to be so strict as long as you're fairly healthy.  He believes it's a good base for anyone and everyone to follow.

Hoke emphasizes that good nutrition isn't instant.  "Nutrition happens over years to decades.  That's where you see the impact."

Eating healthy and exercising never hurt.