If the quarantine 50+ (the elder of the Freshman 15) has you feeling like it's time to consider quitting sugar and embracing something new to lose weight with ease, adopting an alkaline ketogenic diet is a powerful approach to evaluate.
Eliminating simple carbs and sugars naturally regulates blood sugar, balances hormones, and aids in effortless weight loss. But, a bonus is that you get to explore and enjoy dining on fatty fare that would formerly be off-limits on the Sad American (Low-fat) Diet once you decide to follow a low-carb, high-fat diet.
After all, bacon and butter are back in play on a ketogenic diet. But, along with the freedom to indulge in loads of fatty favorites like cheese and ample amounts of protein-packed eggs, eating a significant amount of alkaline-producing organic produce, paired with grass-fed meats and other premium whole foods is ideal for maximizing the lifestyle's multitude of benefits.
Comprising your keto meal plan of loads of dark leafy greens like colorful mustard, collard, or Swiss chard is wise for rapid weight loss and improved overall health that becomes effortless to maintain long-term.
Plus, adding antioxidant-rich greens and other low-glycemic fruits and veggies filled with essential minerals and nutrients to your diet promotes optimal function and aids in boosting and balancing energy levels throughout the day.
Besides, it's easy to incorporate alkaline-rich meals into your low-carb, high-fat diet as many foods we already eat and love boost pH to maintain balanced and beneficial levels.
Our bodies are masterful machines that work non-stop to maintain a healthy balance. And the body’s drive to regulate equilibrium includes balancing acidity and alkalinity, a.k.a pH levels, at all times. Furthermore, the body meticulously analyzes the pH level of fluids like blood and digestive juices we ingest to keep our systems functioning properly.
Blood has a pH range of 7.35 to 7.45, making it slightly alkaline, with our stomach bearing a low pH between 3 to 5.5, which helps the stomach digest food and guards against malicious pathogens.
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14:
- 7: neutral (plain water has a pH of 7)
- below 7: acidic
- higher than 7: alkaline
Advocates of the alkaline diet suggest that the pH of your metabolic waste can affect the acidity in the body and increase the risk of health problems like osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and hypertension.
As a result, proponents of eating more alkaline foods cite that the approach, especially in conjunction with a ketogenic diet, improves your health by creating an anti-inflammatory state in your body that’s inhospitable to disease.
Plus, eating a ketogenic diet offers many chances to choose a recipe filled with alkaline-rich foods without searching far.
Whether tossing some bright broccoli florets or bell peppers into the perfect morning omelet or noshing on cucumber rounds topped with an herbed cream cheese and lox for lunch, adding anti-inflammatory dishes to your low-carb, high-fat diet that you and your family are sure to enjoy can be a hassle-free endeavor.
Plus, improving your health with nutrition can be both an easy and an enjoyable journey once you identify some go-to ingredients to keep on hand at all times. Here are some of our favorite low-glycemic, alkaline food picks that we'd suggest stocking up on and weaving into your keto meal plan:
pH Balancing Vegetables
- Salad Greens: Arugula, Watercress, Lettuces, Microgreens, Dandelion, et. al
- Green Cabbage: Chop some crisp cabbage for a chilled coleslaw or ferment this nutrient-dense veggie for some gut-healthy kraut that's ideal for supporting gut health.
- Celery Stalks: Having some crisp stalks handy is great to pair with nut butter for a quick, no-cook keto snack.
- Green Beans: Whether bare, topped with melted butter, or center stage in a creamy keto casserole, these tasty veggies are always a crowd-pleaser.
- Fennel: Pan-fry some sliced bulbs in grass-fed butter and top with capers for an alternative take on home fries that pairs perfectly with a gently poached egg.
- Beet Greens: Eating dark leafy greens is an excellent option because it's low-carb, nutrient-rich, and harnesses oxidative stress in the body. Steam or sauté some colorful beet greens as the perfect complement to an omega-3-rich seared salmon filet. It's a fast keto meal option ideal for any time of day that’s filled with alkaline-producing fare.
- Artichokes: Grab a few other ingredients like heavy cream and cream cheese—undoubtedly present in your keto kitchen—and blend with artichoke for a decadent and savory dip that pairs perfectly with pork rinds or cauliflower-based keto-friendly crackers.
- Broccoli: Steam an assortment of florets or bake a bundle of stalks under a creamy cheese sauce for a delightfully healthy comfort food keto dish that supports increased alkalinity.
- Brussels Sprouts: Roasting these tasty cruciferous veggies in olive oil or grass-fed butter with a sprinkling of sea salt is so satisfying that you could eat it alone, but it also works amazingly well with a wide variety of main dishes, and aids in stabilizing the body’s pH levels.
- Asparagus: Grill or broil some flavorful asparagus as the perfect side to some simmered butter chicken or a succulent cut of codfish. It’s a flavorful way to add more alkaline-producing foods to your weekly meal plan.
- Spinach: Add a potent portion of minerals like vitamin E and magnesium that support your immune system to your diet with the addition of this delicious dark leafy green—perfect for everything from juicing it fresh to cooking it down in hearty soups and stews.
- Garlic: Incorporating this pungent ingredient into recipes is essential for more than delivering fantastic flavor. Garlic is also a powerful antioxidant, offering an abundance of nutrients and protective properties to reduce the risk of conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure with a bonus detoxifying effect.
- Zucchini: Slice this hearty vegetable thin to make keto-friendly chips or give them a twirl with a spiralizer to whip up some low-carb pasta perfect to pair with a creamy and fatty sauce.
- Squash: Use the spaghetti variety and partner with a savory marinara for a simple keto vegetarian dish.
- Cucumber: Few foods are more refreshing than crisp, chilled cucumber cubes. Add some to a garden salad, tuna, or chicken salad to boost the alkaline effect while providing a refreshing crunch to any dish.
pH Balancing Nuts
- Almonds: Grinding nut butter from raw almonds or adding them into a luscious overnight chia seed pudding is an excellent option to balance pH and boost your micronutrient intake.
Plus, including almond milk in your pantry supplies is a great way to keep a keto-friendly, plant-based option available that works well in baking or smoothie recipes when other milk options may not be accessible.
Besides, while other nuts like walnuts and pecans are permissible on keto, almonds are a superior choice as their monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids aid in promoting heart health. And the high fiber content in almonds helps you feel full and satiated between meals.
pH Balancing Dairy
- Fresh Butter (preferably grass-fed, organic)
- Soft Cheeses (e.g., ricotta, mozzarella, etc.)
- Egg Yolk — (eggs, of course, aren’t dairy, but you'll find them side by side at the market, so we'll mention them together.)
pH Balancing Miscellaneous Items
- Sea Salt: Add mineral-rich sea salt to meals and beverages like bone broth to replenish levels diminished when in metabolic ketosis; it's a vital inclusion to accommodate while following a well-balanced ketogenic diet.
- Virgin Cold Pressed Oils (e.g., olive, avocado, coconut oil, etc.)
- Herbal Tea (e.g., mint, oolong, yerba mate, etc.)
Like any healthy diet, eating a balanced keto program is about more than minding macros and eliminating foods from your meal plan. It's equally important to make sure that the items included in your diet aid in supporting vitality and reducing the risk of certain lifestyle diseases.
Note the vast array of low-glycemic and alkaline-producing foods available, and you'll likely see you're eating some already. However, with a solid knowledge of the best keto-friendly alkaline foods to choose from, you can confidently make subtle tweaks to your meal plans to intentionally gear your daily recipes toward increasing alkalinity and subsequently boosting immunity, mitigating inflammation, and supporting effortless weight loss.
- Quality aspects of alkaline-fermented foods. (2014). Handbook of Indigenous Foods Involving Alkaline Fermentation, 344–427. https://doi.org/10.1201/b17195-10
- Food PH list - balancing acid/alkaline foods. Trans4mind. (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2021, from https://trans4mind.com/nutrition/pH.html.