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How Acidic Is Your Food?
How Acidic Is Your Food?
One of the basic goals of the body in order to function properly is to maintain the proper balance of acidity and alkalinity (pH) in the blood and other body fluids. The acid-alkaline theory of disease is an oversimplification, but it basically states that many diseases are caused by excess acid accumulation in the body. There is growing evidence that the dietary acid-alkaline balance may influence certain disease states like osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and many others. For example, osteoporosis may be the result of a chronic intake of acid-forming foods consistently outweighing the intake of alkaline foods, leading to depletion of alkaline minerals (calcium and magnesium) from the bone in order to buffer the excess acid.
The dietary goal for good health is simple—make sure that you have a higher intake of alkaline-producing foods than acid-producing foods. Keep in mind that there is a difference between acidic foods and acid-forming foods. For example, while foods like lemons and citrus fruits are acidic, they actually have an alkalizing effect on the body. What determines the pH nature of the food in the body is the metabolic end products when it is digested. For example, the citric acid in citrus fruit is metabolized in the body to its alkaline form (citrate) and may even be converted to bicarbonate—another alkaline compound.
The following food table is excerpted from a chart by professor Jürgen Vormanne of the Institute for Prevention and Diet in Ismaning, Germany (used with permission). Foods with a negative value exert a base (B) or alkaline effect, while foods with a positive value exert an acid (A) effect. Neutral foodstuffs are labeled with N. The calculation is based upon the potential acid load to the kidneys in milliequivalents per 100 g (3 ½ oz) serving.
Read more about how acid-forming foods affect health.
|Food||A, B, or N||Potential acidic load|
|Apple juice, unsweetened||B||-2.2|
|Coffee, infusion, 5 minutes||B||-1.4|
|Green tea, infusion||B||-0.3|
|Fats, Oil & Nuts|
|Fish & Seafood|
|Grains & Flour|
|Wheat flour, wholemeal||A||8.2|
|Bread, wheat flour, whole meal||A||1.8|
|Bread, white wheat||A||3.7|
|Beans, green / French beans||B||-3.1|
|Lentils, green and brown, whole, dried||A||3.5|
|Meat & Sausages|
|Beef, lean only||A||7.8|
|Chicken, meat only||A||8.7|
|Pork, lean only||A||7.9|
|Milk, Dairy products & Eggs|
|Cheddar-type, reduced fat||A||26.4|
|Ice cream, dairy, vanilla||A||0.6|
Editor’s Note: This information was excerpted with permission from The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Third Edition (Atria Books, 2012).
Dr. Murray is president and CEO of Dr. Murray Natural Living and director of product development and education for Natural Factors, a major manufacturer of nutritional and herbal supplements. Dr. Murray is a graduate and faculty member of and serves on the Board of Regents of Bastyr University, where he received his doctorate in naturopathic medicine. He is coauthor of A Textbook of Natural Medicine and the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He has also written more than 20 other books, including Dr. Murray's Total Body Tune-Up, The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines and The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. For more information, visit DoctorMurray.com.
September 13th, 2012