My husband returned from a doctor’s appointment with the ominous news that he has to go on a low-acid diet. His acidic body is apparently the culprit in recent arthritis attacks in his feet.
What’s a low-acid diet? I asked.
I don’t know. He responded. I guess I’d better look it up.
So began his 5 minute internet research project.
He printed out an article containing a sample list of acid-forming foods which should make up a very, very, very small portion of his overall diet.
The list of no-no’s contained beef, chicken, seafood, lamb, pork and turkey. What else is there?
It also contained all fruits except avocado, grapefruit and rhubarb, all dairy products, most oils except hemp oil and primrose oil (whatever they are), all drinks including beer, liquor, fruit drinks and coffee, most nuts, all candy and sweet stuff, white anything (like bread and pasta), and condiments like tomato sauce, mayonnaise, eggs, honey and vinegar.
Well, what can you eat? I asked.
Vegetables, lentils, tea and water, he groaned.
We looked at each other.
A rigid low-acid diet, of course, isn’t going to happen in our house.
Ray is the cook. I have never liked to cook, which means that in the early days of our relationship he had to learn to cook or starve. These days, whatever he cooks I eat.
He loves steak, pasta Bolognese, hamburgers, bread, fruit for breakfast and a couple of drinks in the evening. He hates vegetables, lentils, tea and water.
We already attempt to watch how much “white” stuff we eat, we avoid desserts more often than we’d like to, and we don’t have steak or hamburgers all that often. We eat a lot of chicken and fish (OK, I eat fish), we have salads fairly often (OK, I have salads), we eat some veggies with every meal (OK, I eat veggies with every meal) and we drink non-sugary drinks or water (OK, I drink water).
So, now what?
He says that he is going to “cut down on some things and eat more vegetables.” I can’t wait to see how that goes for us.
Since I hadn’t heard of an Alkaline Diet, I decided to Google diet plans to see how many others I hadn’t heard about. WebMD lists 107 of them.
The list is in alphabetical order, starting with the African Mango diet and ending with The Zone. I had heard of the Zone, but couldn’t resist looking into the African Mango diet. It’s actually a supplement made from the seeds of African Mango trees. The research is almost non-existent, but expensive pills are available everywhere.
Like the Zone, I’ve heard of the Dr. Oz Ultimate Diet, Jenny Craig, The Atkins Diet, The South Beach Diet, The Grapefruit Diet, the Slim Fast Plan and Wheat Belly. (A friend recently gave me the Wheat Belly book and I’m now overly conscious of the puffiness of my belly, especially when I’m with her.)
Others on the list sound really weird, like the Baby Food Diet, the Cheater’s Diet, the Morning Banana Diet, The Raspberry Ketones Diet, the Skinny Vegan (is there such a thing?) Diet, the Fruit Flush Diet and the Hallelujah Diet.
The only ones I like the sound of are the Cookie Diet, the Fast Food Diet and The Lemonade Diet.
I haven’t looked into all of these, but I know enough from my many years of investigating diets that if I want to stay healthy AND lose weight AND enjoy food, I probably won’t find one I’ll stick with very long.
I have actually given up the quest for major weight loss, even though a 15 pound drop would probably make my doctor happy. Instead, I stay within 5 pounds of my current weight and feel OK about myself except at swimsuit season. I have developed my own simple diet when my weight creeps up a couple of pounds. I call it the BBC diet. It has no relationship to the British Broadcasting Corporation but the acronym helps me remember what food to avoid.
Here it is: No Bread (or pasta, potatoes and other white stuff), no Booze (including wine) and no Candy (which includes cakes and cookies). When I don’t eat or drink these for a few days, my belly gets less puffy and a couple of pounds drop away.
Feel free to steal my diet if you’d like.
But if you want to check out the 107 A to Z diets on WebMD, here they are: 107 Diets.