I’m transferring my acid-alkaline food chart series here to kick-off this website (see my food diary introduction for more – full site description and roadmap coming soon).
Please forgive the basic nature of these charts. They are deliberately designed to be an exercise in function over form. All the data that you need is included, but the extras that make this information easy-to-use are not ready yet. This is where you come in – tell me what features will make the acid-alkaline food charts easier for you to use, and I will build them for you.
Why Use Acid-Alkaline Food Charts?
Alkalizing your body (which essentially means ensuring your urine is alkaline) has many health benefits, though not as many as some merchants claim. Taking baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) works for many health problems. Unfortunately, it can raise blood pressure, so an alternative is useful.
This is where increasing your pH level through food comes in. There is a lot of information on the Internet about alkalizing diets and acid-alkaline balance. Much of this is confusing and sometimes contradictory.
First of all, the effect of food on the body is nothing to do with the pH of the food itself. The important measurement is how the food changes the pH of your body after it has been digested. Often sour foods like lemon juice will actually raise pH after digestion, making the body more alkaline.
Secondly, alkalizing the body with food does not mean that you must stop eating lots of different foods. The opposite is true. You must eat a wide variety of food, choosing acidifying foods as well as alkalizing ones, which, in total, have an overall alkalizing effect.
Other Acid-Alkaline Food Factors
The tables that I present here focus solely on the acid / alkali affect of food after it has been digested. There are other factors that you must consider when planning your diet to avoid problems with general health. I cover these principles in more detail in my Diet Section – these charts simply cover food acid-alkaline values for assessing your food diary.
Description Of Acid-Alkaline Food Charts
To help you plan your meals, I have prepared a number of tables that analyze the food items from the USDA National Nutrient Database. I use a technique developed by Remer and Manz. PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load) gives a simple method to calculate a value that gives a good indication of the acid or alkaline effect of food. The calculation is described in “Dietary potential renal acid load and renal net acid excretion in healthy, free-living children and adolescents”, which I explain, in detail, elsewhere.
Before I introduce the tables, a few words of warning.
PRAL gives a precisely calculated value based on the nutrients contained in 100g of food. This value can vary due to many factors including variety, growing conditions, season, and cooking method. Not only that, but digestion varies from person to person, and at different times of day. Use PRAL values as a guide – the real measure of your progress can only be determined by measuring the pH of your urine. This is a simple process using widely available test strips or meters.
Though I present the figures for 100g, many food portions will be much smaller than this. You will eat herbs, spices and other flavorings in much smaller portions. Unless these foods are a significant portion of your diet, or they are particularly potent, you can simply ignore them.
I give an exact figure for PRAL, but you should only use these tables as a guide. They are useful for you to see, for example, which food will help alkalize your body better than another food. I’ve categorized the values into columns, and it is these that are most important.
The column categories range from very alkaline, negative numbers to very acid , positive numbers. Just because a food is acid does not make it a bad choice. You should choose an acid food as your main protein source, then balance it out with a selection of alkaline foods.
Finally, it is wrong to try and balance an excess of acid foods by taking an excess of alkaline foods. If you want a meat or fish based meal, choose a small portion, then bring it to around neutral with a good selection of vegetables etc. You should try to make the other meals you eat that day alkaline in total.
Acid-Alkaline Food Charts
The USDA database that I use for my tables has a number of different groups. I have prepared a table for each of these groups, except for “baby food”. You should seek as much variety as possible, choosing from each table. You must not ignore acid-producing foods – these should make up 20-30% of your calorie intake, with the balance from alkaline foods.
- Dairy and Egg Products
- Often seen as best sources of protein. You need to be careful about fat content and cholesterol, which will be included in later editions
- Spices and Herbs
- A good diet needs variety. The only way you stick to a well planned diet is to eat tasty satisfying food. From coriander to mustard, use spices and herbs to make your food interesting.
- Fats and Oils
- Can fats and oils be good for you? Get the pH balance right, and no food is bad. Choose the right dressings for your meals and enjoy your healthy diet.
- Poultry Products
- Where do you find which foods to avoid? Do you simply avoid meat? Don’t chicken out – you’d be a turkey to avoid all these foods.
- Soups, Sauces, and Gravies
- Wondering what food to eat for a healthy diet? You can eat anything if you balance your meals properly. Look at sauces from Worcestershire sauce to a little bit of gravy to make your meal delicious.
- Sausages and Luncheon Meats
- What food should you avoid? Anything that makes your health worse. But if you follow a good pH balanced diet plan you can eat anything. Including salami and meaty spreads.
- Breakfast Cereals
- What are health producing foods? All food if you balance your diet, no food if you don’t. Start the day with a well balanced breakfast, then continue this good food habit throughout the day.
- Fruits and Fruit Juices
- Fruit foods for health. Fruity snacks and sauces can help make all food good for you. From apricots to pears, see how to balance your diet with fruit.
- Pork Products
- Are you looking for food to avoid? Look no further – it doesn’t exist. With a proper pH balanced you can combine any pork products in your diet, but don’t make a pig of yourself.
- Vegetables and Vegetable Products
- If you want good healthy foods look at vegetables. You don’t have to be vegetarian. Just add enough vegetables to your meaty meals and say goodbye to acid diet problems.
- Nut and Seed Products
- Are there any foods that reduce acid? All food can do if you plan it properly. Balance all foods that you eat, including nuts and seeds, and watch your pH level rise.
- Beef Products
- Do you know what unhealthy food is? All Meat? Beef Products? Think again. With a properly balanced diet you can eat anything from beef suet to liver, as long as you add enough alkaline foods to your plate.
- Are you obsessed with food? What about drink? From tea to low calorie flavored water, choose drinks that help you balance your pH level.
- Finfish and Shellfish Products
- Is fish food bad Some think it’s only shellfish. In fact there is no bad food, just imbalanced diet. Balance your diet and you can eat any fish from clams to cod.
- Legumes and Legume Products
- Looking for food to avoid? Be careful, you could end up eating nothing (and that is unhealthy). Balance your diet properly and you can eat anything. Find legumes for pH balance.
- Lamb, Veal, and Game Products
- Do you think lamb, veal and game are foods to avoid? Think again. Choose wisely. Balance well. You can enjoy any food if you plan your diet properly.
- Baked Products
- There are no bad foods, just foods eaten badly. Baked products can be good or bad for your health depending on how you balance them with other foods.
- Food that helps improve your diet is all around us. If you plan meals properly you can eat almost anything you like. Why not celebrate with a delicious sweet. You’ve earned that pudding.
- Cereal Grains and Pasta
- Searching for food to avoid? Any food eaten badly can cause health problems, but food eaten well always helps you. Plan to balance your diet and you can eat anything from cereal to pasta.
- Fast Foods
- Food and health go together. Don’t give up food – starvation causes ill health through malnutrition. Instead, look for balanced meals. Even fast foods are OK if you know how to balance pH.
- Meals, Entrees, and Sidedishes
- Good food is all around us. You simply choose the right selection for pH balance and watch your health improve. Even ready meals can help you if you make the right choices.
- When compiling your food diary, don’t forget about snacks. Regular frequent meals avoid starvation and overeating that helps keep you healthy. Balance your snacks from chips to pork skins.
- Ethnic Foods
- Wondering what food to avoid? Any food is bad if it’s not eaten as part of a balanced diet. Plan your meals properly, and you can eat anything, including ethnic foods from agave to whalemeat.
Acid-Alkaline Food Charts: Next Steps
Please ask questions about any aspects of acid-alkaline food charts, or share your experiences, in the comments box. Sign-up for the update service to get emails when I publish new charts:
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