Hey, friends! What’s shakin, bacon?
Everyone wrapping up Summer with a smile? I sort of wish I could I could issue Summer a speeding ticket, but Fall’s pretty dope too (sigh…). Call me a weirdo, but sometimes I become a bit of a Stage 5 Clinger with whatever current season is upon us. I actually have to find ways to psych myself up for the next one (Winter being the exception- #ByeFelicia). These days I’m getting pumped about football (Go Ravens), some races I have planned, and of course, all of the scrumptious and hearty veggies I’ve missed over these warmer months.
I write, post, and speak often about adhering to a low carb, high fat lifestyle. Yes, this means I enjoy a ton of quality grass fed animal products! But, perhaps one thing I have neglected to discuss more frequently is the importance to keep our bodies ALKALINE, despite being in a state of ketosis. Let’s recap both of the basic principles of these two diets. “Keto”, or Ketosis, is a metabolic state whereby your body utilizes ketone bodies as its primary source of fuel or energy, opposed to glucose. Your can read about the many benefits of this here.
What does being alkaline even mean? And what is a pH level anyway?
Quite simply, pH is the abbreviation of potential hydrogens and is the measure of acidity and basicity of a solution. The scale pH is evaluated on ranges from 1-14. Anything that registers a value of less than 6.8 is considered acidic and anything above 7.2, alkaline or basic. Human blood typically carries a neutral measurement of 7.35-7.45. Stomach acid, used to break down food consumption, is generally around 3.5. A fair number of physicians that would argue we have little ability to control the pH in our bodies. That being said, there is a growing faction of practitioners, particularly Osteopaths and Naturopaths, who advocate eating foods that– when processed and metabolized– leave behind alkalinizing minerals traces. Alkaline– good. Acidic? Not so good. The hypothesis being that acidic blood prevents oxygen from fully reaching cells. As a result, this halts the cells’ ability to function properly. This creates excess inflammation in the body, which may be a breeding ground for a host of diseases, including increased risk of cancer. Additionally, bone density can potentially suffer, as calcium (an alkaline mineral) is leached from the bones to neutralize blood’s pH, if blood becomes to acidic.
So, what foods are considered to be alkaline?
Well, interestingly, the pH of food in its natural state has little to do with its pH after metabolization. For example– citrus fruits, like lemons, are acidic in nature but produce an alkalinizing effect in the body. Conversely, meats will test alkaline outside of the body but leave behind traces of acidic residue post metabolization. Keto friends, hang tight… I’ll get back to this in a hot sec, promise! Leafy greens, celery, avocados, peppers, asparagus, cucumbers, kombu, nori, and so many other fabulous veggies carry an alkaline effect in the body. And, alkalinity doesn’t have to mean eating tasteless or less seasoned food! Plenty of herbs, like dill, mint, cilantro, parsley, basil, and ginger, produce a higher pH level. As someone that tries to shy away from sugar, the good news is that low glycemic fruit- your berry group- is also great for raising your pH.
Okay, let’s get back to that meat comment, because I can already sense my carnivorous friends are getting ancy.
Yes, many foods that typically fall under the umbrella of the ketogenic diet are considered acidic. BUT, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in ketosis AND fill up on your fair share of alkaline foods! It’s important to have a good balance and JUST EAT REAL FOOD (J.E.R.F.). When you’re trying to stay in ketosis, make every attempt to eat whole, unprocessed foods (typically more alkaline). Get your fat consumption from healthy fats, like avocados, rather than trans fat produced in a lab. Sugar, trans fats, yeast, MSG, oatmeal are ranked up at the top of the acidity list. If you’re keto, you don’t want any part of these guys anyways, right? Also, always go for your grass fed meats and wild caught fish versus conventional or farm raised. The fat in these is generally loaded with more Omega 3’s (anti-inflammatory) versus Omega 6’s (inflammatory). Did you know grass fed butter is actually alkaline in the body?
Yes, you can still drink your Bulletproof coffee! ; )
Alright peeps, thanks for tuning in! Lots of fun stuff planned over the next couple months! If you should be interested in trying an introduction to my 14 Day Paleo Program (really, a hybrid of Paleo and Ketogenic), join our group that begins on September 19th! The program is yours to keep, and a great tool to utilize when you find yourself in need of a little bit more structure… because we all do every now and then : ) You can get more deets and purchase the program here.