you know, foods we eat and drink, the environment we live in, the amount and
types of exercise we engage in, and even the stress levels we incur have
profound impacts on how our body functions and ages. With regard to the food
and drink we ingest, one of the most important things to consider is what
happens once they're inside the body. When food is eaten, digested, broken
down, and then absorbed into the system, each nutrient is separated and
eventually sent to the kidneys and deciphered as either an acid-forming or
alkaline forming compound. Beyond the typical suspects like calories, fat,
protein, and carbs, considering the generation of acidity of certain foods is
pinnacle to overall homeostasis of your body. The average diet is loaded with
plenty of acidic foods such as meats, cheese, grains, and soda, which if
consumed in excess over time can create a multitude of problems. Foods on the
Alkaline side tame and balance out the acidity but those tend to be the foods
we let slide: vegetables and fruit. It becomes ever more important to
incorporate alkaline foods to maintain a body that is in balance for overall
health and longevity.
term low-grade chronic metabolic acidosis is given to the situation where we
are in a chronic state of high acidity from eating too many acid-forming foods.
The body is set to maintain a stable acid-base balance at a pH of 7.4 and even
the littlest deviation up or down must be dealt with immediately. A higher pH is
called alkaline, a lower pH acidic. Fluctuations either way to often for too
long, and health concerns arise. There are three main systems to maintain pH:
buffer systems in the bloodstream and cellular fluid, the kidneys, and the
respiratory system. The kidneys, with around 180 liters of blood
running through them each day, are constantly regulating pH by using
bicarbonate and sodium to maintain 7.4
is a chart that measures and scores various foods and their potential acid-forming load on the
kidneys. The score is coined PRAL or potential renal acid load. Check it out
A Few Facts
foods tend to be high in sulfur-containing amino acids which are metabolized
toward sulfuric acid.
foods are typically alkaline-forming. Alkaline forming plant foods help to
neutralize the acid-forming protein foods.
that contain primarily fat are typically more neutral.
- Foods High in Acidity
Meat, Dairy, Fish, Whole Gains, Artificial
Sweeteners, Legumes, Soda
- Alkaline Foods
Vegetables, Fruit, Green tea
- Neutral Foods
Vegetable oils, butter, nuts, seeds
- Grains and meat are highly acidic. The average
American gets 35% of calories from grains.
- Meat acidity is naturally balanced out by various mechanisms in the body and other nutrients it possesses.
can’t judge the acid-forming and basic/alkaline-forming properties of a food by
the actual acidity of the food itself. For example, citrus fruits and vinegars
are acidic, but when we consume them, they are alkaline-forming. .
- In an acidic environment, calcium and phosphorous
are pulled from bones to neutralize the acidity.
- Excess acidity and the minerals called in to tame
it can generate kidney stones and create circulating calcium that can get
deposited as plaque on the lining of your arteries.
stones are salts of phosphoric acid and uric acid, generally combined with
calcium and/or magnesium.
acidic environment can call in Glutamine from muscle. The amino acids from muscle
breakdown are then excreted, causing a net loss of muscle protein.
- Foods with Potassium and Magnesium help lower acidity.
A list here
- Growth Hormone, Insulin, (IGF), and Thyroid
function are impaired.
- Cortisol levels
- Acidic anions in food include chloride,
phosphorous, sulfates, and other organic acids.
- Basic/Alkaline cations in food include
sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
A cation is a positively charged atom or group of atoms A anion is a negatively charged atom or group of atoms
Tips to Increase Alkalinity
are the true powerhouse not only in terms of vitamins and minerals but the
effect they have on maintaining acid/alkaline balance . Kale and other dense, dark greens are a good choice.
quick glance at you dinner plate will give you an idea where your acid/alkaline
value is going to be. A plate with a piece of grilled fish and some vegetables
is going to be a lot healthier than a sandwich with deli meat, mustard, mayo
and a side of chips.
is undisputed that bread, cereal, and soy products are nutritionally worthless
and highly acidic. But lentils, oatmeal, soy are just as bad.
acid, citric acid and carbonic acid, not to mention the sugar, (real or fake), colorings, and caffeine.
are more acidic than others . Check out the chart above.
to food processing and an increase in wealth (among other reasons), most diets
tend to be acidic. This is due to the high intake of dairy foods, grains and
meats. Generally, the intake of these acid-forming foods isn’t balanced with
adequate vegetable and fruit intake (alkaline-forming foods).” - Precision Nutrition