The Ultimate Alkaline Shopping List

From Dr. Daryl Gioffre

The most daunting part about changing your diet is that first trip to the grocery store when you find yourself standing in the middle of the aisle with an empty cart, sad because it seems like you’re surrounded by things you’re not allowed to eat.

Luckily, going alkaline doesn’t mean you have to eliminate anything — at all — I’m all about eating what you love in moderation. Your daily diet should consist of 80% high-alkaline foods, which means 20% can be acidic. Don’t shoot for perfection to start, only for improvement. Even so, your first trip to Whole Foods after deciding to go alkaline might be scary. I’m here to help.

The most important tip to remember: you should be spending most (if not all) of your time shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, not the center aisles where the Oreos and frozen pizzas reside… To help you through it, I’ve created the ultimate alkaline shopping list of foods that promote alkalinity and lead you to a healthier, more balanced life.

1. Greens: As you probably suspected, going alkaline also means going green. Arugula is good, but spinach is even better to use as the base of your salads. Asparagus and Brussels sprouts are great as side dishes, while zucchini itself can be used as an entrée (veggie pasta, anyone?) and avocado you can put on, well, almost everything! And don’t forget watercress, the king of greens, which just dethroned kale on the list of the top forty most powerful foods!

2. Herbs, Spices, Oils, and Fats: Garlic is highly alkaline and who doesn’t love a dose of the stinking rose? And despite what you might have heard about saturated fats, coconut oil is the good guy. Coconut oil contains 90% of the fatty acids that are great for your brain and body. With the new year here, the top of the resolution list is losing some unwanted belly fat gained over the holidays. But remember, to lose fat, you need to eat fat, and don’t be afraid of it. My favorite fat burners are chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and avocados. Throw them in your favorite smoothie, salad, or dessert!

3. Fruits: Here’s where so many people go wrong, because they think all fruit is good for you, and therein lies one of the biggest misconceptions. There are two components to look for in your fruit to determine if it’s alkaline or acidic, the mineral content and the sugar content. Alkaline fruits (lemons, limes, grapefruit, avocados, tomatoes, coconut, pomegranate) are high in minerals and you guessed it, low in sugar, because sugar equals acid! You probably associate lemons, limes, and grapefruit with acid because of the taste, but they’re actually at the top of the alkaline list, whereas oranges are acidic because of their sweet taste.

4. Starches: Passing on the pasta is a hard thing to do. If you’re craving starches or need something a little heavier to feel full, opt for quinoa or brown rice instead. Sweet potatoes are not only alkaline, but high in Vitamin A and fiber and new potatoes are alkaline-approved, too.

5. Proteins: Alkaline is primarily a plant-based lifestyle, but if you fancy yourself a carnivore, opt for seafood such as Pacific salmon. Even better, go for the tofu. Also fill up on adzuki beans, lentils and chickpeas (you’re allowed in the center aisles for those).

6. (Non) dairy: Dairy is a highly acid-forming food; stay away at all costs! Soy milk is better (make sure it’s non-GMO), but almond and coconut milk are the best. It helps lower cholesterol, lose weight and tastes great in smoothies.

Now what to do with all this fresh fare? I’ve compiled tons of delicious and filling recipes — Brussels sprouts with pistachios and lemon, curried sweet potato soup, avocado gazpacho and more! — on the blog.

And if you are looking to lose some weight in the new year and get 2016 started right, check out my NEW YEAR NEW YOU GET OFF YOUR ACID 7-DAY CLEANSE, with over 115 delicious alkaline recipes that taste so good you’ll feel like you’re cheating!

Here is Dr. Daryl Gioffre’s full guide to the alkaline diet or check out these easy food swaps to get you started.