The Delta Diet: What is it?

The delta diet has a very limited, almost non-existent, influence on the body's pH regulation. So, what is it and can it be a good thing?
The Delta Diet: What is it?

Last update: 28 April, 2021

The delta diet is a weight loss program that claims to improve overall health by balancing the pH level of the body. In this article, we tell you all about this diet and how you can follow it. However, we want to mention up front that there’s no scientific backing for it…

The first thing we want to clarify is that a good diet undoubtedly is made up of a majority of fresh foods instead of industrial, ultra-processed products. Secondly, there are various factors that make an eating plan successful, such as sticking to it, losing weight, and improving general health.

The delta diet, a way to change your pH level

Following on from what we mentioned above, the delta diet aims to improve your body’s alkaline level through foods that have a basic pH.

However, according to a study published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition, the kidneys are responsible for maintaining acid-base homeostasis, which they do so very efficiently. There’s no evidence that food can have a significant impact on this process, at least as far as blood pH levels are concerned anyway.

Despite that, what we do know is that adopting significant dietary changes can cause a change to the acidity levels of urine. However, the effects this has on general health aren’t clear.

As such, the delta diet starts off on the wrong foot. This doesn’t mean, in any sense, that it’s not beneficial for health. The benefits simply lie in the combination of foods a person following the diet would eat.

woman opening fridge to get a little snack an apple with loads of other fruit and veg in the fridge

Prioritize eating fresh food

One of the pillars of the delta diet is prioritizing fresh foods over ultra-processed ones. This, of course, is something totally beneficial for our health. By doing this, you reduce your intake of simple sugars and trans fats. Both of which are capable of negatively impacting the way the metabolism works and overall general health, according to an investigation published in the journal Pediatric Obesity.

Through eating fresh foods, you’ll get an important amount of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. All of these are essential for the human body to develop correctly without any alterations.
So, one of the main guidelines of the delta diet is to avoid candies, fast food, and carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index, such as refined flour and industrially prepared foods.

Cook foods at a lower temperature

Another positive aspect of the delta diet is how you cook the food. The delta diet dictates that you cook your food at a low temperature to avoid trans-fatty acids and toxic compounds like acrylamide from forming.

According to an investigation published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, regularly consuming acrylamide may be linked to an increase in your risk of developing ovarian cancer, providing you’re genetically predisposed to it.
Likewise, this diet also helps you limit how many food additives you consume. Many of them haven’t demonstrated any health benefits in the short or long term. For that reason, it’s always best to consume them with caution.
cooking mixed vegetables on the stove, boiling

The delta diet can cause a protein deficit

Despite the benefits that we’ve mentioned above, we need to highlight that the delta diet may cause you to develop a protein deficit. This happens because the diet suggests you limit a large part of the foods of animal origin like acids. As a result, you may put your muscle function and mass at risk in the long run.

Similarly, you may experience a deficit of vitamin B12 and iron, if you’re not eating enough meat. This can cause health problems like anemia.

The delta diet is misunderstood but provides a memorable result

As you’ve read here, the delta diet is misunderstood; it doesn’t actually significantly change the pH levels of the human body.

However, this doesn’t deny the fact that it does have positive aspects. But, with that said, it does present the risk of not providing enough protein or certain micronutrients. For that reason, if you do decide to adopt the delta diet, it’s a good idea to consult a professional.

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  • Rodrigues Neto Angéloco L, Arces de Souza GC, Almeida Romão E, Garcia Chiarello P. Alkaline Diet and Metabolic Acidosis: Practical Approaches to the Nutritional Management of Chronic Kidney Disease. J Ren Nutr. 2018 May;28(3):215-220. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2017.10.006. Epub 2017 Dec 6. PMID: 29221627.
  • Honicky M, Cardoso SM, de Lima LRA, Ozcariz SGI, Vieira FGK, de Carlos Back I, Moreno YMF. Added sugar and trans fatty acid intake and sedentary behavior were associated with excess total-body and central adiposity in children and adolescents with congenital heart disease. Pediatr Obes. 2020 Jun;15(6):e12623. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12623. Epub 2020 Feb 12. PMID: 32050058.
  • Hogervorst JGF, van den Brandt PA, Godschalk RWL, van Schooten FJ, Schouten LJ. Interactions between dietary acrylamide intake and genes for ovarian cancer risk. Eur J Epidemiol. 2017 May;32(5):431-441. doi: 10.1007/s10654-017-0244-0. Epub 2017 Apr 8. PMID: 28391539; PMCID: PMC5506210.