The Big Problem With Kelly Ripa's Intense Diet

Celebs follow all sorts of strange diets, some more healthy than others. Kelly Ripa's alkaline diet, for example, has been the Live! With Kelly and Ryan co-host's go-to diet for years. The alkaline diet is based on the belief that you should eat only alkaline foods, rather than acidic foods, to maintain the optimum pH level in your body. Acidic pH levels are from 0 to 6.9, a neutral pH is 7.0, and then alkaline or basic levels are 7.1 to 14. People on the alkaline diet — including Ripa, Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Silverstone, Jared Leto, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, and Victoria Beckham, per Healthista — strictly monitor the pH levels of their foods to ensure that they're always over 7 and never below. But what kinds of foods can they eat, and is this diet really effective or healthy? Let's take a look at the potential problem with Kelly Ripa's alkaline diet.

Here's what Kelly Ripa can and cannot eat

Followers of the alkaline diet, like Kelly Ripa, believe that minimizing the acidic foods in their diet will reduce the amount of "acidic ash" left over in the body when it breaks down the acidic foods. Per Everyday Health, an alkaline diet is mostly vegan and gluten-free, consisting of fruits, lots of veggies, fruit juice with no sugar, legumes, seeds, nuts, and even wine, which is always a plus. Neutral foods can be eaten in moderation, such as olive oil, butter, sugars, and starches. On the other hand, acidic foods like red meat, fish, poultry, other kinds of alcohol, dairy products, eggs, sodas, sugary juices, fast food, and grains are to be avoided at all costs. 

A fruit-and-veggie-based diet sounds pretty nutritious, right? But it's tricky, because a lot of seemingly healthy foods, like walnuts, peanuts, and whole grains, which are deemed healthy by the Health Department's Dietary Guidelines, are high in acid and therefore off-limits under the alkaline diet. But the real issue with the alkaline diet isn't just the restrictiveness. Its effectiveness just isn't really backed up by science, per Discover.

The alkaline diet is based on faulty science

According to Everyday Health, the purpose of the alkaline diet isn't to lose weight, although it might happen given the approved foods. Instead, the main goal is to maintain an alkaline pH in your body overall. Alkaline diet followers have been shown to have more alkaline urine.

The thing is, eating certain foods isn't necessarily going to change the pH of your blood, or your stomach, which maintains an acidic pH in order to break down everything we eat — even neutral or alkaline foods. The pH level of your urine, which will be slightly affected by what you eat, doesn't give you an overall picture of the pH levels in your body. A change in pH levels can indicate certain health issues, but a mere urine test won't give you the full story, per Discover. Moreover, there's no evidence for the acid-ash hypothesis, which is the basis of the alkaline diet.

Then again, Kelly Ripa's diet isn't all bad and certainly includes plenty of healthy foods. The important thing to remember is that no diet plan is one size fits all, but Ripa believes she's found the plan that works for her. "It's so important, and you don't realize it until you make those changes, and you're suddenly like, 'Oh my god, I feel so great,'" she told People