by Geri Walton ~ March 4th, 2009
The majority of foods eaten by the typical American are usually acid-producing. Acid-producing foods include such things as meat, sugar, and cereals, as well as processed foods. Whether a food is alkaline or an acid food has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For instance, oranges, lemons, and limes are considered acidic, but the end-product is an alkaline residue. Dairy products and meats usually test alkaline before digestion and assimilation, but after these processes the end product is an acidic residue.
Whether or not a particular food is acid or alkaline-producing is important because human blood should be slightly alkaline, and, for all practical purposes, a pH of 7.0 is considered alkaline and anything below it is considered acidic. The optimal pH range is 7.35 to 7.45, and when the body’s pH is acidic, the higher the acidic level the more the body is oxygen deprived. In contrast, the higher the alkaline pH reading, the richer the oxygen environment. Unfortunately, both extremes can result in health problems.
pH imbalances exist for a variety of reasons. For instance, emotional stress, toxic overload, and the body’s immune reaction to illness can cause an acid increase whereas exercise reduces it. Additionally, there are acid and alkaline-producing foods. Acid-producing foods put pressure on the body’s regulating systems to maintain pH neutrality, and these extra demands tend to deplete the body of important minerals, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium if they have to take them from organs or bones so the acid can be safely removed from the body. Over time this delicate balancing act may result in mineral depletion and severe damage. In fact, the damage may go undetected for years, and diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, immune problems, or cardiovascular disease are the result.
To help clarify alkaline and acid foods, examine the two following charts.
|Food Category||Low Alkaline||Alkaline||High Alkaline|
|Beans & Legumes||Olives, Soybeans, Tofu||Lima Beans, Carob|
|Cereals & Grains||Amaranth, Buckwheat, Lentils, Millet, Quinoa, Wild Rice|
|Dairy & Meat||Buttermilk, Goat Cheese, Goat Milk, Soy Cheese, Soy Milk, Whey|
|Fruit||Avocados, Cherries, Grapefruit, Lemons, Limes, Mangoes, Oranges, Peaches, Pineapple, Strawberries, Watermelon||Apples, Berries, Blackcurrant, Dates, Grapes, Kiwi, Papaya, Pears||Dried Figs, Raisins|
|Nuts & Seeds||Brazil Nuts, Chestnuts, Coconut||Almonds, Hazelnuts|
|Oils||Canola Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Olive Oil|
|Sweeteners||Raw Honey, Raw Sugar||Maple Syrup, Rich Syrup||Stevia|
|Vegetables||Asparagus, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Corn, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Squash||Beets, Carrots, Green Beans, Lettuce, Zucchini||Broccoli, Celery, Parsley, Raw Spinach|
|Food Category||Low Acid||Acid||High Acid|
|Beans & Legumes||Kidney Beans||Pinto Beans, Navy Beans|
|Cereals & Grains||Bananas, Blueberries, Cranberries, Plums, Processed Fruit Juices||Canned Fruit|
|Dairy & Meat||Brown Rice, Oats, Rye Bread, Whole Grain Bread||Biscuits, Pasta, Pastries, White Bread, White Rice|
|Fruit||Butter Cottage Cheese, Cream, Ice Cream, Liver, Organ Meats, Oysters, Whole Milk, Yogurt||Camembert, Chicken, Eggs, Fish, Hard Cheeses, Lamb, Turkey||Canned Fish, Beef, Parmesan, Pork, Processed Cheeses, Shellfish, Veal|
|Nuts & Seeds||Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds||Cashews, Pecans, Pistachios||Peanuts, Walnuts|
|Oils||Corn Oil, Lard, Margarine, Sunflower Oil|
|Sweeteners||Processed Honey, White Sugar||Brown Sugar, Molasses, Maple Syrup, Rich Syrup||Artificial Sweeteners|
|Vegetables||Sweet Potatoes, Cooked Spinach||Pickled Vegetables|
Choosing more alkaline foods and less acid foods may help you avoid illness. Various holistic doctors and numerous nutritionists suggest if you are in excellent health your diet should still be at least 60 percent alkaline-producing foods and at most 40 percent acid-producing foods. Moreover, if you have health issues, they suggest that to restore yourself to good health, an even higher percentage of alkaline-producing foods—80 percent—should be eaten. To achieve a more alkaline diet, choose from the lists above, which means choosing plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and limiting processed foods, pastries, red meats, and artificial sweeteners.