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Tim Noakes' Diet vs. The Alkaline Diet
1. What is the Tim Noakes Diet?
This is toted as a 'way of life' eating plan endorsed by Professor Tim Noakes. High protein diets have been around for a while (you may remember the Atkins Diet craze). The Tim Noakes diet recommends high fat foods and very small percentages of the right carbohydrates. Foods that are eliminated completely are: sugar (completely removed from your diet), sugary drinks including cola drinks and sweetened fruit juices, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, porridge, breakfast cereals, high energy fruits like bananas, all cakes and sweets, artificial sweetners and products containing these products (like “diet” colas), “low fat” options such as yoghurt ( laden with sugar). The eating plan asks that you read ALL food labels and watch out for the main culprit SUGAR. Foods that are allowed are: eggs, fish, meat (organic or grass fed, not processed) milk, cheese and yoghurt (all full cream), vegetables (mainly leafy), low carbohydrate sources, nuts – macadamia and almonds especially but no peanuts or cashew nuts as these are high in carbohydrates, fruits – very occasionally and then only those which have a lower carbohydrate content like apples and berries, water, tea and coffee (all unsweetened!)
Due to the fact that sugar is restricted, huge spikes in blood sugar are likely to be reduced. glucose, triglyceride and insulin levels may improve too.Those individuals with carbohydrate intolerance (bloating, yeast issues, allergies to gluten) may find that this eating plan with minimal carbohydrates works well for them. By restricting carbohydrates the body burns its own fat for fuel which is likely to result in weight loss.
By restricting carbohydrates the body goes into a different metabolic state called ketosis, which may lead to severe kidney damage. In addition, once a 'normal' intake of carbohydrates is resumed, weight gain is likely. The Tim Noakes eating plan has drawn its fair share of controversy. As all animal proteins contain cholesterol, levels of LDL cholesterol may increase in the bloodstream. Be warned that research has indicated that high protein diets can cause kidney damage due to the way in which protein is being metabolized. There is a lot of debate about whether the amount of damage caused to kidneys is negligible or substantial enough to warrant such a caution. Either way, if you do suffer from kidney or liver damage, then a high-protein diet can be potentially harmful.
Refined carbohydrates are always a good thing to avoid. Good fats should be added to the diet (olive oil as seen in the Mediterranean diet. Moderation of protein and fats is recommended. Always consult with your doctor before deciding to embark on such a diet.
What is the Alkaline Diet?
Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston have jumped onto the band wagon so to speak – singing the praises of this alkalinity based eating plan for weight loss. Our pH is the measure of exactly how acidic or alkaline we are. A pH of 0 is completely acidic, and a pH of 14 completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral. The body does not only have one Ph level, the blood must always be slightly alkaline and the stomach slightly acidic to break down foods. The theory behind the alkaline diet is that foods fall into acid or alkaline groups and by monitoring this one can keep the body at the ideal Ph to promote health. Foods suggested are: fresh vegetables and some fresh fruits, alkaline-promoting foods include soy products and some nuts, grains, and legumes. The alkaline diet discourages eating acid-promoting foods which include: meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, processed foods, white sugar, white flour, and caffeine.
If you suffer with indigestion, a sensitive stomach or acid reflux then a mainly alkaline diet may have its benefits. The alkaline eating plan can raise urine pH and lower the risk for kidney stones. There is speculation that an alkaline diet might slow bone loss and muscle waste, increase growth hormone, make certain chronic diseases less likely and ease low back pain. However, this has not been proven.
The body maintains its pH balance regardless of diet. If you have a particularly irregular blood Ph, it is likely to be a health issue not a dietary cause. People with kidney disease or medical issues that require monitoring by a doctor, such as severe diabetes, should not attempt this diet without medical supervision. If you are diabetic you run the risk of your blood sugar dropping too low after a meal. The alkaline diet could potentially over-restrict protein and calcium.
There is no concrete evidence that an alkaline or vegetarian diet can prevent disease. Healthy habits, such as exercise and abstaining from drinking and smoking are more likely to increase life span. Clinical studies have proved that people who eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and hydrate properly have lower rates of diseases. Whether this has anything to do with blood pH is debatable. Balance is the key. If you choose to opt for a vegetarian based diet - make sure to get adequate supplies of essential components and speak to a dietician about correct fatty acids, nutrients, calcium and minerals.
Please note that Feelgood Health does not specifically endorse either of the above diets. Always consult with your doctor before embarking on an eating plan. We recommend the natural approach to healthy weight management as outlined below following a lower calorie diet that includes proteins, grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables combined with participating in regular physical activity.
Here is a natural approach to weight loss
- Due to the number of external pollutants that can trigger metabolism unbalance, we would always suggest a natural Detox before any eating plan is started to give the body the best chance at supporting weight loss!
- Using natural, safe and tested ingredients – support the body using natural metabolism boosting herbs.
- Combine sensible choices and reduced portions with adequate, moderate exercise for the best chance of successful weight loss.