Alkaline Food Lists Explanation

Alkaline food lists are nutrition statements for key foods from the USDA database. I’ve called the new tables lists to distinguish them from earlier versions that I called Acid-Alkaline Food Charts. The data is from the same source, the USDA nutrition database, but I’ve reduced the number of items and increased the amount of nutritional information.

Eventually, the data will form the heart of an interactive healthy recipes system. I’ve introduced these new changes to encourage debate about what are the most important aspects of eating for health.

Alkaline Food Lists Introduction

The old charts listed calories and PRAL (a measure of the acid or alkaline effects of food). The charts showed values for 100g servings of every food and drink item in the USDA database. This caused confusion on 2 fronts:

  1. A fixed weight makes it very difficult to compare different food items.
  2. Some items have an overwhelming number of variations, and many obscure items are completely unknown to most people.

Reducing the list to less than 600 key foods will inevitably exclude some foods that many people need to analyze. As I identify those, I will add extra items to the lists. You can request your own items on the eating for health forum, or the Foodary Facebook page.

Comparing food items is now easier, as all information relates to a 100 calorie serving. I describe this in more detail in the calorie section of the alkaline food lists explanation.

Alkaline Food Lists Explanation

Long Description 100 Kcal Serve(g) PRAL Score Fiber (g) Sugars (g) Sodium (mg)
Food items value value value value value
Average Food Group average average average average average
Foodary Imaginary Standard 100 Kcal Serving 100 -2 1 3 120

Alkaline Food Lists Description

This is the description from the USDA database. You can click the “Long Description” heading to sort into alphabetical order, or use the search box immediately above the list to restrict the items shown. If you want to show more items together, select a bigger value from the “Show entries” box.

If you cannot find the food or drink you are looking for, please ask in the forum.

Alkaline Food Lists Calories

Matching calorie intake to your activity level is vital for a healthy diet. Each food item is shown by the number of grams required to provide you with 100 calories of energy. For the recommended 2000 calories per day diet, you simply select 20 of the most appropriate food items. In practice, you would split some items to smaller serving size, but the principle works just the same for 40 half-servings. If your activity levels require more calories, you simply add more servings, in a balanced way. This fixed portion control is necessary for data presented in list format. Ultimately, I will provide interactive, recipe based tools to help you plan your healthy diet.

Alkaline Food Lists PRAL

Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) is the measure of how food and drink affects the pH of your body. Negative numbers are alkaline forming. Positive numbers are acid forming. Your diet must have a mixture of both. Around 30% acid forming foods is good. The overall total for your daily intake should be negative (alkaline). The PRAL score is calculated from several nutrient values. Remember, PRAL is only a guide. To be certain your diet is healthy, you should check your urine. I explain more about PRAL in the pH Balance Calculation.

Alkaline Food Lists Fiber

There are many health benefits to fiber, and I will devote many more pages to explain the importance of fiber. For now, you should know that the recommended levels used in the current alkaline food lists are the minimum levels you need for good health.

The Daily Values that you see on food labels are based on a recommended intake for dietary fiber of 25 grams per day.

Alkaline Food Lists Sugars

Sugar content of food, together with added refined sugar is a minefield of nutritional and political argument. As such, there is no Daily Value recommendation for sugars. I have turned to the renowned nutritionist, Marion Nestle. After a detailed argument, she concludes:

If the FDA wanted to be helpful, it could do two things.

  1. Require companies to list added sugars under the carbohydrate category on food labels.
  2. Set a DV for sugars at 50 grams.

In the meantime, everyone would be healthier eating less sugar.

Alkaline Food Lists Sodium

Though salt is useful as a flavor enhancer, we require no more than 2300mg per day. Older people and those at risk from high blood pressure should limit sodium intake to 1500mg. This is difficult, as many processed foods contain more than a day’s requirement in one serving. Personally, I have switched to pepper and other spices for added flavor, and I always read the nutrition label and reject anything with more than a tiny sodium content.

The Daily Values that you see on food labels are based on a recommended intake for sodium of 2.4 grams (2,400 micrograms) per day. I do not know why one authority uses 2400mg and the other 100mg less – just aim lower.

Alkaline Food Lists Group Average

The average value is simply a mathematical average for each nutrient for the whole list. You can ignore it if you wish, but I find it helps to give an insight into properties of different food groups.

Alkaline Food Lists Standard

My Imaginary Standard is the average for your total 2000 calorie intake divided by 20 for a 100 calorie serving. In practice, different food groups have different properties. You would expect meat and fish to be very high in protein, but low in sugars. Your sugar intake is probably best provided by the fruits food group.

You can ignore the standard if you wish, or use it to compare with the average for the food group. That is the essence of a healthy balanced diet. Your food intake should never be dominated by one food group. You balance your daily, weekly, and monthly eating plans to achieve totals that reflect this imaginary standard.

Alkaline Food Lists

These are the alkaline food lists in the new (early 2014) format. I will update the links as I publish new tables, so please keep checking back (or subscribe to the free Foodary Healthy Eating Updates).