A ketogenic diet provides a plethora of health benefits, but which foods you eat under the broad cloak of low-carb, high-fat options can further promote balance or wreak havoc in the body.
Minimizing carbohydrates is crucial on keto. However, the quality, micronutrient profile, and pH balance of the foods we eat play a unique and significant role in optimizing health while curbing glucose in the body.
However, enjoying alkaline foods and limiting carbs offers an amplified benefit as their symbiotic relationship fortifies our bodies' health-regulating systems and enhances overall performance.
And more good news on the matter is that eating an alkaline keto diet need not be expensive, complicated, or otherwise cumbersome. Keeping it keto while elevating your body's pH balance to healthier levels is simple, and we will share many foods to eat when following this approach to the low-carb, high-fat diet—even on a budget!
Plus, eating a diet rich in healthy fats and proteins, along with slow-digesting carbs, is an excellent way to support nutritional ketosis, which helps the body release excess fat rapidly and naturally with ease.
Besides, there are many alkaline and keto-friendly food options to choose from, along a spectrum of price points, so you'll always have plenty of ingredients to incorporate into your weekly meal plan to keep your meal plan exciting and enjoyable.
The Importance of pH Balance - Alkalinity vs. Acidity
A healthy body results from many systems working well together correctly. All the body's systems need to exist in balance for the whole to run optimally.
For instance, some foods like meat and other animal-based products tend to run higher on the acidity scale. In contrast, lemons and fatty fruit like avocado are alkaline and help create an equalized state in the body.
Eating alkaline foods helps to offset acid-forming foods you may eat to prevent inflammation and related adverse symptoms or disease.
High-acid Foods and the Keto Diet
As we mentioned, some foods are naturally more acidic, but not all high-acid foods are acid-forming: here’s the vital difference.
For instance, fruit like lemon is acidic, but it doesn’t increase the body’s pH adversely. Lemon instead has an alkalizing effect when consumed.
Conversely, food and beverages like traditional soft drinks loaded with phosphoric acid, red meat, and other animal products, including dairy, are all acid-forming foods, which have the potential to affect the body’s pH balance negatively.
So, you may wonder whether it’s possible to eat a keto-alkaline diet without becoming staunch vegan.
Go ahead and take the plant-based approach to keto, if you choose. However, we’re glad to share that it’s possible to counter the potential effects of certain foods’ acidity by adding low-glycemic vegetables, fruit, or other antioxidant-rich foods to calibrate the body properly.
However, as there are ideal dietary best practices and foods to consume on a keto-alkaline diet, some are best to limit or avoid. Here are some high-acid foods or behaviors to restrict or omit on a ketogenic-alkaline diet:
- Excess protein intake of any kind
- Processed Vegetable Oils
- Grains and starches (e.g., rice, potatoes, etc.)
- Excessive sugar intake (natural or processed)
- Large amounts of caffeine
- Conventional meat and dairy products (opt for grass-fed and finished whenever possible)
Which Minerals Should We Supplement to Balance pH on an Acidic Diet?
Replenishing minerals regularly and consistently is especially vital on a ketogenic diet. As the calculated restriction of carbs and sugar in the diet will trigger a response where the body releases water, minerals, and vitamins more frequently and in more significant amounts.
Although some foods common to the keto diet are potentially higher in acidity, we can consume many other food options to balance our body’s pH. Here are some excellent foods to eat to help calibrate the body:
- Avocado (fruit and oil)
- Dark Leafy Greens (e.g., kale, spinach, collard greens, etc.)
- Olives and Olive Oil
- Sea Veggies (e.g., dulse, kelp, nori, etc.)
- Raw or sprouted nuts and seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Fermented Veggies (e.g., sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, etc.)
- Organ Meats (e.g., liver)
- Pasture-raised Eggs
- Grass-fed Butter
- Herbs (e.g., rosemary, thyme, oregano, turmeric, garlic, basil, et al.)
- Herbal Tea
- Aloe Vera Juice
- Salad Greens: Chicory, Escarole, Lettuces, Mache, Dandelion
- Green or Red Cabbage
- Celery Stalks
- Green Beans
- Beet Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Yellow Beans
Impact of pH Balance on Overall Health
Acid isn’t the body’s enemy; it plays a vital role in the body. And the essential pH balance in the body aids in many vital functions, including digestion.
Excessive acid levels in the body promote inflammation, and inflammation and oxidation increase most disease instances. So, focus on boosting alkaline foods and work to balance your diet over eliminating all acid-forming foods.
The Distinctions Between a Standard Keto and Alkaline Keto Diet: Low-carb Foods to Limit or Avoid to Reduce Inflammation
A keto diet and a keto alkaline diet rely on the same primary protocol: eliminate overt carbs and sugars from the diet while increasing healthy fats and including moderate amounts of premium protein.
However, a keto alkaline diet focuses on including a more significant amount of alkaline foods in the diet and eating with the intention to that end.
The Benefits of Eating an Alkaline Keto Diet
A low-carb, high-fat diet and an alkaline diet offer similar fantastic health benefits: improved overall mind and body function, increased energy and stamina, and both provide a welcome barrier to many forms of disease.
Pairing a ketogenic diet and eating a high-alkaline meal plan is an excellent way to maximize the plethora of health benefits, including accelerated and sustained weight loss!
Here are some of our favorite keto recipes filled with alkalizing, not to mention delicious, ingredients:
- Ultimate Strawberry Cheesecake Keto Shake: Start the day with a potent dose of antioxidants and dense nutrients that tastes like dessert! Enjoy This shake daily for an effortless boost to your micronutrient intake. Cheers to your health!
- Konscious Keto Strawberry Green Goddess Smoothie: Rich and creamy avocado, dark leafy greens, and our Konscious Keto Strawberry Keto Shake combine to make a fast and alkaline-rich meal on busy days when we could use a boost of energy—so pretty much daily!
Konscious Keto Strawberry Chia Smoothie: Chia seeds offer an impressive roster of health lth benefits, like providing healthy omega-3 fats, loads of filling fiber, and curbing cravings!
Plus, chia seeds expand when eaten and can absorb many times their initial weight in body fluid to aid in the feeling of satiety quicker and for longer.
- So Keto Kimchi Salad: This salad is as delicious as it is nutritious. Our kimchi salad recipe is abundant in alkalizing elements like ginger, garlic, and fermented cabbage brimming with gut-healthy probiotics; it’s a super-healthy and effortless dish to make any day of the week!
Keto Savory Pie with Zucchini: Sometimes, the best meals are those that take advantage of a lot of foods you have on-hand or may have prepped earlier in the week and come together to create a revamped dish that keeps meals interesting as the week passes.
This savory pie is simple, beginner-friendly, and a great recipe to get the kids to eat more vegetables on the sneak; a fantastic win for the family chef!
- Amazingly Avocado Keto Buns: Avocado and sesame seeds marry well in this application to provide a delicious, low-carb bun option that will boost alkalinity to boot! Enjoy!
- Keto Corned Beef and Cabbage: While meat is higher in acidity, the process of corning the beef helps with digestibility, especially when paired with the naturally-occurring, gut-boosting probiotics found in cabbage when fermented in the form of keto kraut.
- Avocado Keto Chocolate Pudding: Although this recipe presents as a naughty treat, it’s filled with alkalizing healthy fats and helps tamp out inflammation thanks to the antioxidants found in cacao and avocado fruit.
- Keto Activate Fudge: We know it may seem unlikely that a decadent treat like fudge could help balance the body’s pH, but that is the case when your recipe includes Keto Activate! Try our simple recipe; it’s sure to please the entire family.
And as always, we're here to remove some of the guesswork for you as you journey toward fat-adaptation—once you eliminate most carbs and train your body to run on fat and ketones instead of glucose (carbs).
Here are some fantastic alkaline foods that fall along the lower end of the glycemic index to consider adding to your keto-alkaline meal plan:
Fruits, Veggies & Herbs
Asparagus: These green stalks are low in calories but loaded with nutrients and high on the list of veggies with the most alkalinity. Plus, these vegetables offer antioxidants and plenty of detoxifying components as well.
Plus, asparagus also provides anti-aging benefits, which further enhance their appeal, especially for those looking to remain youthful and vibrant as they mature.
- Arugula: These alkaline leafy greens are perfect for those keeping carbs low and wanting to detox! This nutrient-dense vegetable is full of Vitamin A and has an impressive amount of calcium without containing dairy, especially great for lactose intolerant individuals or those eating a keto vegan diet.
- Chia Seeds
- Pumpkin Meat and Pumpkin Seeds
- Avocado: Some may not think of avocado immediately when considering low-carb fruit options, but this luscious pod is a fantastic choice. Filled with satiating healthy fats and a variety of nutrients, this creamy and dreamy fruit is one to keep on-hand whenever possible when eating a low-carb, high-fat diet.
- Bok Choy
- Collard Greens
- Broccoli: These cruciferous stalks are nutritionally-bountiful and high in alkalinity—offering many health benefits. Plus, in addition to its various health benefits, broccoli is an affordable option to add to your keto meal plan to add texture and variety to dishes.
Cauliflower: You've likely acquired an affinity for this bulbous vegetable, a member of the veggie family of broccoli and cabbage, also bearing similar benefits, including being alkaline, if eating keto—it’s incredibly versatile when remixing high-carb recipes like mashed potatoes!
Plus, cauliflower is rich in fiber and vitamin C! Make a keto-friendly pizza crust or creamy faux mash with it, or steam or stir-fry it; the options are endless!
Cabbage (red or green): Although cabbage may have a similar reputation to Brussel's sprouts, due to less-than-ideal lunchroom experiences, it's packed with nutrition and delicious when baked in grass-fed, salted butter.
Plus, in addition to its alkalinity, cabbage may prevent or reverse certain cancers. Add its health benefits to its high-fiber content and low caloric load, and it’s a perfect addition to any keto diet.
- Beet Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Bell Peppers
- Pumpkin Meat & Pumpkin Seeds
- Brussels Sprouts: These bulbous veggies are not what you may recall from childhood lunches at school. When made right, these veggies are divine, with a delightful texture, not soggy, and are an alkaline food that's worth adding to your diet.
Celery: Rich in water and high in alkalinity, celery is an ideal veggie to help stay hydrated, especially when in ketosis, as the body naturally releases more fluid, electrolytes, and minerals once we eliminate overt sugars from the diet.
Plus, along with being alkaline, celery provides the body with an immune-boosting dose of vitamins A, C, and calcium.
- Yellow Beans
- Green Beans
- Brazil Nuts
- Fresh Butter (it's easier than you think to whip up a homemade batch; all you ultimately need is heavy cream and a hand mixer, or a lidded mason jar if you want to shake it by hand.)
- Soft Cheeses (well-drained)
- Egg Yolk
- Flax Oil or Flaxseeds
- Olive Oil
Complete Proteins (contain all nine essential amino acids):
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
Additional Alkaline Protein:
- Irish Sea Moss: Plus, sea moss provides many other health benefits beyond its rich protein content. This rich seaweed is also known to aid in fat-burning and muscle-building thanks to a specific amino acid (protein) found in the magnificent moss called taurine.
- Keto-friendly Protein Powder (e.g., KK Slimming Shake)
- Coconut products: Full-fat coconut milk, coconut cream (unsweetened)
- Oils: Olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, avocado oil
- Nuts and seeds (e.g., almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, macadamia nuts, and pumpkin seeds.
- Nut and seed butter: Peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Dark leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, or mushrooms
- Vegan full-fat “dairy”: Coconut yogurt, vegan butter, cashew cheese, cultured kefir cheese, vegan cream cheese
- Avocados: Whole avocados, oil, or guacamole
- Berries: Enjoy blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries in moderation
- Condiments: Nutritional yeast, fresh herbs, lemon juice, salt, pepper, spices
- Goat's Milk
- Fresh Butter
- Soft Cheeses (well-drained)
Herbs, Spices, and Other Foods
- Sea Salt:
- Basil: In addition to giving pesto its signature taste, basil is also an herb that aids in alkalinity. Plus, basil offers loads of other impressive nutritional value, such as flavonoids, which help the body heal.
- Herbal Teas: Mint, Verbena, Linden, etc.
- Chili Pepper
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bee Pollen
- Green Juice
- Probiotic Cultures
- Vegetable Juice
- Water (mineral, alkaline)
Alkaline Foods and Acid Reflux
Alkaline foods help balance pH in the body, and certain low-acidic, alkaline foods are particularly well-suited if eating a ketogenic diet:
Vegetables: We get to enjoy a wide variety of antioxidant-rich veggies on a low-carb, high-fat diet. From crisp and buttery stalks of asparagus to staple items like cauliflower and cucumbers, keto-friendly produce is often alkaline along with easy on glucose impact.
Plus, enjoying dark leafy greens in a hefty salad or green beans in a keto casserole are sure to please your palate as well as helping to balance the body’s pH.
- Lean meats and seafood: Try incorporating lighter meats like chicken, turkey, or seafood if you notice reflux issues when eating heartier meats.
- Ginger: Banish heartburn, soothe upset tummies, and receive the anti-inflammatory benefits of this sweet and spicy alkaline food.
- Healthy Fats like MCT oil, avocado meat and oil, salmon, and other omega-3-rich fish, like mackerel or sardines, are strongly advised on a keto-alkaline diet.
- Egg Whites
What do “alkaline-forming” foods mean?
Our body’s pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline it is, and our blood pH needs to maintain a slightly alkaline state to keep us well. Our blood is always a bit alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45.
We aid our bodies in maintaining pH balance by eating more alkaline-forming foods and fewer acid-forming foods. Eating anti-inflammatory foods shifts our body’s blood pH back into balance by releasing alkaline-rich minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium into our bloodstream.
What do alkaline foods do?
Both acid and alkalinity have their role in balancing the body. Eating more alkaline-forming foods can balance the acid-forming foods we eat to maintain an environment that promotes health and prevents disease.
However, we can experience severe or fatal results if our blood pH value drops out of the ideal range. As a result, it is vital to consume ample amounts of alkaline foods to counteract the potential impact of acid-forming foods in our diet.
Do Alkaline foods help you lose weight?
Weight loss requires a caloric deficit. So, if you’re eating alkaline foods but blowing through your macronutrient targets daily, you’re not likely to see the results you desire on the scale.
However, alkaline foods provide the body with the minerals and nutrients needed to run optimally and support hormone and other body systems’ health, which all—even indirectly—contribute to weight loss.
Does cooking alkaline foods make them acidic?
Cooking foods at high temperatures can alter their structure in harmful ways, from lessening nutrients to converting otherwise healthy foods into carcinogenic ingredients that can lead to devastating diseases like cancer.
Those who dehydrate probably know that food best maintains its nutrition when heated lower than 118 degrees Fahrenheit, with some compromise occurring at higher temperatures.
Consider including as many raw or gently cooked foods into your diet and possible. Also, it may be wise to limit meat and dairy to see if they could be at the root of inflammation or indicate a more significant issue.
Plus, we've formulated a 30-second quiz to help you determine an ideal keto weight-loss meal plan filled with alkaline-producing foods that’s right for you! Click here and gain access to your tailored keto weight-loss meal plan in mere moments!
The layers of a ketogenic journey evolve as your health goals and need change. However, there are a few keto-alkaline hacks to help keep it keto without too much fuss. Here are some best practices to maximize your experience on a low-carb, high-fat diet with the mindful selection of a menu plan that is nutrient-dense and rich in antioxidants:
- Fill your weekly meal plan with alkaline foods with varying nutrient profiles and health benefits to develop a well-rounded approach to health and wellness.
- Limit acidic foods to create a desirable pH balance.
- Ditching creature comforts like sugar, alcohol, coffee, and dairy is a wise adjustment to make as you seek to increase alkalinity.
- Be patient and give the processing time to work.
- Experiment with intermittent fasting. Abstaining from eating during scheduled periods of the day is a fantastic way to encourage the body to run on ketones instead of glucose, which aids in faster fat-adaptation.
- Focus on holistic health. Eating a healthy diet is a vital component of any comprehensive dietary program. Still, lifestyle adjustments like reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities you enjoy to relax and recharge can prove priceless.
Life is hectic, and boosting immunity and nutrition appears more vital than ever. And including a variety of alkaline foods that help enhance our body’s ability to function as intended is an excellent and non-invasive way to mitigate disease and live our best lives.
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