Increasingly it’s recognized that every modern disease is caused by inflammation in your body. One cause of widespread inflammation throughout your body is eating too many acid forming foods. eating a diet with a good balance between foods that have an alkalizing effect on your body after they’re metabolized, and those with an acidifying effect on your body, is a relatively new practice, but one that’s being addressed far more often in the ongoing quest to make healthier eating choices.
If your immune system is strong and can overcome the inflammation then all is good, but if not, then illness and premature aging are what lies right ahead of you.
The difficulty for us is that the modern western diet is heavily loaded with acidifying foods. As a result of eating lots of these foods the acid/alkaline balance of the majority of the population is way, way out. Most people’s immune system cannot keep up with the levels of inflammation that result from the diet they eat.
Finding Balance Between Acidic And Alkaline Foods
The important thing to know however is that YOU NEED BOTH ALKALINE AND ACIDIC FOODS.
But, the balance needs to be right, with your diet weighted more heavily towards alkaline foods. About 30% acidic and 70% alkaline would be good to aim for.
You can find out the pH of your body, which indicates whether it is more acidic or more alkaline, by testing your saliva or urine with pH strips, which are easy to obtain either on the internet, in your health food store, or from your Natural Health practitioner.
What Foods Are Acidic?
The list of acidifying foods includes most foods that fall into the following food groups:
- Fish & shellfish
- Dairy foods (milk, cheese, cream, ice-cream, butter)
- Grains (bread, pasta, flours, crackers)
- Most nuts
- Coffee, soft drinks (soda), alcohol
- A few fruits and vegetables
- Junk foods
- Miscellaneous items
- Pharmaceuticals & chemicals
- Most vegetables
- Most fruits, including lemons wheich even though they’re acidic to taste actually metabolize to one of the most alkaline foods around
- Some nuts
- Miscellaneous items
Think of just how many vegetables are on a plate or a sandwhich, or in a pasta sauce, compared to the quantity of meat or bread or pasta itself in the dish.
When you consider that most of the diet needs to be made up of mainly fruit and vegetables and a few other foods in order to meet the 70% alkaline level it becomes quite apparent just why our diets are so unbalanced and why we have so much chronic illness. Our meals contain far too much acidifying foods.
It’s not common to see a meal that’s over two thirds vegetables and only a very small amount being meat, cheese or other acidifying foods. You might even say it’s very rare to see that. Which means it’s rare to see a meal where the acid-a;kaline balance is right.
You can see from these brief lists why most people suffer from inflammation. Their diet is weighted very heavily in favour of acidifying foods.
Alkaline And Acidic Food List
Here is a comprehensive list of alkaline and acidic foods. This list ranks the foods from the most alkalising to the most acid forming, as some foods within the category will be more acidic or alkaline and some less acidic or alkaline.
For example, within the legume group lentils are highly alkaline while soybeans are highly acidic.
Vegetables that are normally alkaline when fresh are acidic when frozen.
It’s also worth remembering that chemicals fall into the acidic group so foods that have been grown commercially and have pesticide residue on them may not be as alkaline as you would expect.
Try and concentrate your choices from the high alkaline and low acidic columns to get the balance closer to optimum.
I’m sure you noticed the acidic list contains lots of very healthy foods, like pomegranates, acai berry, most of the nuts, or raspberries which we know are extremely high in antioxidants. This is NOT a problem. You need to eat SOME acid forming foods.
But given that the acid-forming foods need to make up a smaller quantity of the total, it is much smarter to select acidic foods like raspberries or pomegranate or nuts that are also going to give you loads of beneficial nutrients to form the acidifying portion of your diet instead of junk foods.
The healthy foods on the list of acidifying foods, like fruits, vegetables and foods rich in omega-3, are the ones you should choose when you’re selecting the acid forming foods you will eat, rather than the unhealthy ones like fried foods or sugar.
Western Diets Are Very Acidic
If you take a look at this interesting collection of pictures showing what makes up a weeks groceries in 20 different countries, one thing that stands out about the diets of the families living in western countries is the preponderance of grains and meats and the very small amounts of fruits and vegetables. In addition there is a large amount of junk food in their diet.
To consistently achieve an optimum balance between acidifying foods and alkalizing foods can be difficult while continuing to eat the standard western diet. To make the change you really need to seriously increase your fruit and vegetables, cut back on the grains, coffee, sugars, and junk foods. basically to adopt healthy eating habits.
Finding The Sweet Spot
You really don’t need to be exact about quantities, just aim to get as close as you can. And you don’t need to cut out all the acidifying foods.
Try replacing the creamy sauce on your pasta with a vegetable sauce, and cut back the quantity of pasta while increasing the vegetables. Eat it with a huge, enormous fresh salad. Use the pasta as a smaller part of the meal instead of the bulk of it.
Getting the balance closer to the optimum for any given meal may be as simple as adding some fruit at the end of the meal or a big salad at the start.
Don’t forget about all the hidden contributors such as coffee. Making the switch, for even just one or two cups of coffee a day, to an alkalizing drink such as herbal tea, can help reduce the inflammation in your body.
Be on the look out for ways to replace an acidifying food with an alkalizing alternative. Opt for an open sandwich for your lunch or ditch the bread altogether and just have the salad. Use carrot sticks for your dip rather than crackers. You get the idea.
The science behind the alkaline diet is still contentious with lots of debate about whether the reasoning makes sense or not. However, the fact remains that the diet is sound, because relying heavily on fruit and vegetables whilst reducing foods that are known to be harmful.
Unless you are eating only fruit and vegetables there will never be a problem getting enough acidifying foods, it will always be the alkalizing foods you need to consciously include. Your body will love you for doing so.
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.
- ALKALINE PROPERTY – The importance of Alkaline foods (aimpower.wordpress.com)
- pH Balance. Does it matter if my foods are alkaline? (ewehmer.wordpress.com)
- Tips on PH~by IT WORKS (everythingpossible4u.wordpress.com)
- Maintaining a healthy PH balance (honoradawson.wordpress.com)
- Acid And Alkaline (chienergy.co.uk)