Acid And Alkaline Foods

 The Standard American Diet earned its acronym "S.A.D." honestly. Perhaps nothing else in our society has wrought the destruction of our health as much as the highly processed, sugar-laden, acid-forming meat-based, cooked food we eat.  

We need to be consuming more alkaline-forming raw or lightly steamed fruits and vegetables. The S.A.D. diet is incredibly acidifying, and that’s what we’re feeding our bodies.

Source Of Acidosis

Why are we pointing a finger at the U.S? Sure, other countries have fast-food restaurants and processed food, but this unnatural, highly toxic diet is far more prevalent in the United States. Other industrialized nations tend to incorporate more fresh food raised in more natural environments than our factory farming on depleted soils.

While other factors (chemicals, chronic stress, drugs) contribute to the source of acidosis, the biggest challenge in the U.S. is removing artifical and processed food from our diets.

Sugar is a huge offender, with the average American consuming over 160 pounds per year in the form of table sugar, processed foods, alcohol, soft drinks, and the obvious jellies, candy and desserts. 

We cook our food (killing enzymes needed to digest it). We eat processed food, way too much meat, sugar, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, and dead food lacking anti-oxidants to fight off free radicals that damage our cells and invite disease.

Know What Are Acid And Alkaline Foods

Clearly, as a nation we must revert back to an alkaline balance. But how do we know what are acid and alkaline foods?

To start, just so you don't get confused down the road if you run across information like this, please download or look over the following chart showing pH levels provided by the FDA. This chart lists the pH ranges  of each item prior to consumption.


Acid-Forming Vs Alkaline-Forming

We need to consume more alkaline-forming foods. What matters is what happens AFTER ingestion. We are concerned with the alkaline or acid-producing effect on the body, not the actual pH of the product.

Acidic substances such as citrus fruit have a low pH (acidic) prior to ingestion, yet the metabolic processes that break down fruits and vegetables cause them to change in character from acidic to alkaline. The opposite is true of foods from the animal world, which become acid-forming in the body through metabolism.

That is what we mean by "alkaline-forming," rather than the pH balance of a product before eating it.

In general, for good health our diet should be composed of about 60% alkaline-forming foods and 40% acid-forming foods. To restore health from a state of acidosis, strive for an 80% alkaline-forming diet.

Rule Of Thumb For Acid/Alkaline Food 

Alkaline-forming foods include most fruits, all green vegetables, most herbs and spices, seeds and nuts. Eat the fruit, veggies and nuts raw. Most beans, peas and lentils and some nuts are in the middle.

Acid-forming foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, pasta, carbonated beverages and to a lesser extent, grains and some legumes. Alcohol and processed sugar are acid-forming, as well as coffee, cigarettes, legal and illegal drugs, and artificial chemicals (including sweeteners).

Extremely Alkaline-Forming Foods Include: 
  • Asparagus
  • Vegetable Juices
  • Parsely (plus lots of vitamin C)
  • Seaweeds
  • Melons
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Raisins, dried dates and figs
Moderately Alkaline-Forming Foods Include:
  • Avocados
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Squash and potatoes
  • Corn
  • Most green vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, green beans, bell peppers, celery etc.)
  • Most Herbs
  • Oranges and grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
Neutral Or Slightly Alkaline-Forming Foods Include:
  • Artichokes
  • Almonds
  • Sprouts
  • Coconut
  • Brown Rice Syrup (a good sweetener)
  • Onions
  • Miso
  • Tofu and Tempeh
  • Tomatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Sesame Seeds (lots of protein)
  • Sprouted Grains

The foregoing are nowhere near exhaustive lists of acid and alkaline foods, but give you an idea of what you need to focus on to get started restoring your pH balance. Use your intuition and start noticing how your body feels, and you'll do just fine without carrying around charts to calculate the pH of everything you eat.