Book Review: The Kick Acid DietLauren Earle February 1, 2011
Author: Dr. Alwyn Wong, DC
Publisher: Lulu Enterprises Inc.
Book Publication: 2010
When it comes to dieting, most of us know that there are certain foods we should and shouldn’t eat, and that we need to exercise on a regular basis if we want to witness positive changes in our bodies. But, while we hear all about calories and carbohydrates and antioxidants, we don’t generally pay attention to the acidity of the foods we eat. And, according to Dr. Alwyn Wong, we need to change that.
The Kick Acid Diet emphasizes the importance of maintaining an alkaline balance in your body. Your body’s pH level is something you probably don’t worry about (I know I didn’t before reading this book), but it can affect your metabolism, and thus weight gain and loss, in numerous ways.
The book starts off on a very technical note, and it can be difficult at times to take in all of the information that Wong offers. But if you can make it through the explanation of the ways in which your body is affected by acidity, you’ll probably manage to take away the most important points, at the very least.
Your body is constantly trying to balance out acidity and alkalinity, seeking that optimal alkaline pH level of 7.35-7.40. Every food that you put into your body is either acidic or alkaline, and has a specific pH level. While much of this food is actually acidic, the body wants to be stable at an alkaline level. The lower the pH value, the more acidic it is said to be. For example, battery acid has a pH of 0, lemon juice has a 2 pH, and water is a neutral 7 pH. Your body has numerous systems in place to try to eliminate this acid from the body, including the kidneys and many different hormones.
If your diet is too acidic, these different systems get bogged down and your metabolism and hormonal balance can suffer. Acidosis results when the body’s pH level is too low, and weight gain is one of the negative effects of this strain to the body.
The essential fact that you need to know is that there is only one source for the alkaline foods that are crucial to your body – fresh fruits and vegetables. Wong provides an extensive list of the most alkaline foods, including spinach, squash, and celery. The most acidic foods are hard cheese, cereal grains, salted foods, and meat, all of which have become increasingly prevalent in our diets.
Keeping this in mind, Wong provides a diet plan that incorporates the correct balance between acidic and alkaline, and fruit/vegetables, protein, and fatty foods. He even offers balanced recipes, many of which include meat or fish, but quite a few that don’t.
Wong also provides a detailed and illustrated guide to weight training at the end of the book. If, however, you haven’t had any previous exposure to exercises of this nature, this section could be a bit confusing, as Wong uses terms and descriptions that aren’t common knowledge. The exercises themselves are well explained, but the different workouts he suggests were a bit confusing to me, and I regularly train with weights. So, you may need to bone up on your exercise terminology to fully grasp his workouts.
The main thing for readers to come away with is that strength training is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and that even carrying out any of these exercises to the best of one’s ability will be beneficial. Because, as Wong states, “the most effective way to burn more calories is to increase your muscle mass.”
Finally, Wong provides an index of the PRAL (potential renal acid load) of almost every food you can think of, including popular fast food meals. This is perhaps the most helpful tool in the book, as you can take a quick glance to make sure that, if you’re going to eat an acidic food, you can know its exact level, and can choose to offset the acidic food with even more fresh fruits and vegetables.
With all of the information about healthy eating out there, I find that it can be hard to keep track of exactly what I need to be eating. While it can be a bit difficult at times to grasp everything that Wong is saying, the main points are clear, and you can choose whether the diet and exercise plans can work for you (I find them a bit confusing, and will thus take away the tidbits that I think can be effectively incorporated into my lifestyle).
The good news is that it’s really not that difficult to pay attention to your pH level, because the basic premise – avoiding saturated fats and eating more fresh fruit and vegetables – is an asset to any other healthy eating plan out there. Now you have even more incentive to increase your fruit and veggie intake, knowing that your body is constantly struggling to balance out the acidic and alkaline foods you throw its way
For more information about The Kick Acid Diet, visit https://thekickaciddiet.com