Calcium for pH Balance

High Calcium Foods photo

Calcium is one of the 5 elements of the PRAL calculation for pH Balance Diet Scores.

There is some interesting science behind that, but I like to provide easy to use tables so you can focus on food, not formulas. I only mention the science so you understand that PRAL is a proven method for estimating alkaline diets. Others rely on science fantasy, Foodary uses science fact.

Speaking of facts, always remember that, despite it’s precision, PRAL is really an estimate to guide you towards pH balance. It’s a great tool for checking the important things relating to alkaline diet:

  • Is my total diet is alkaline?
  • Do I eat sufficient acidic foods?
  • Which food changes will improve my alkaline diet?

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PRAL Nutrients

PRAL Nutrients icon

PRAL Nutrients are those substances in food and drink that are used in the Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) calculation.

The PRAL score is the best indicator for how we can improve an alkaline diet. Though PRAL scores are calculated as absolute numbers, in practice, they should only be used as a general guide. Seasonal variations, different varieties, and cooking methods will all affect the PRAL score. Despite this variation, the numbers are useful in making better food choices. Ultimately, the proof of your alkaline diet comes when you test the pH of urine. The alkaline food lists will help point you in the direction of foods with lower PRAL scores if you need to raise the pH of your urine. There is more information in PRAL pH Balance Calculation.

The key to alkaline diets is that 20-30% of foods should be acidic, with the rest being alkaline or neutral. Overall, your total pH balance diet score should be alkaline. There is no target for PRAL. The target pH for urine in healthy individuals is 6.5 to 7 in the morning, rising to 7.5 through the day. The target should be higher if you are fighting ill health, though there are complications to this that I will consider when I explain various diseases in future articles.

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Alkaline Pasta List

Alkaline Pasta Photo

My alkaline pasta list covers all the USDA Cereal Grains and Pasta food group. As such, it can be a source of healthy whole grains, which are important to nutrition, though rarely very alkaline.

The key to understanding pasta in an alkaline diet is to understand the big picture. An alkaline diet is always alkaline in total, but it must contain around 20-25% acid forming foods. The secret is to incorporate acid foods wisely, and look to maximize healthy minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

There is another important point about whole grains in general, and pasta in particular. Pasta forms a good carbohydrate base for your meal. Most pasta carbohydrate is the preferred complex form. I will explain the importance of complex carbohydrates in a future article. For now, let’s think about the rest of our pasta meal.

Most current healthy nutrition guides emphasize switching from unhealthy refined cereals to unrefined whole grains. So a switch to whole wheat pasta is good, but there’s more. Whilst you’re improving the healthiness of your pasta, an alkaline diet can help even more, if you look at the sauce.

Vegetable sauces for pasta are nice, but if you want meat or seafood, a pasta meal can still be alkaline. Be sure to make the sauce with three times as much calories from plants as calories from animals. There are lots of ingredients near the top of the most alkaline foods list that make excellent sauces for pasta. If you are not sure if your favorite pasta meal is alkaline forming, please share the recipe with me in Foodary Healthy Eating Forum. I’ll analyze it for you, and I might even add some tips for making it a better part of your alkaline diet.

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Most Alkaline Key Foods List

Most Alkaline Foods Photo

My most alkaline key foods list summarizes the top items from all my alkaline foods lists. Before you use the list below, you should read my Alkaline Food Lists Explanation, and some of the examples listed at the end of that explanation.

The science behind a good alkaline diet might be complicated, but my lists make managing your own diet easier. In essence, for healthy eating, you need to allow around 20-25% of your calorie intake in acid forming foods, and the rest in alkaline forming foods.

The lists guide you to make better choices when planning what to eat. However, the only true measure of the success is to measure urine pH, and set an alkaline target. I will explain more about setting and testing your alkaline target in other articles. In the meantime, use the list below to find the most alkaline foods that will increase your pH.

See the Most Alkaline Key Foods List

Alkaline Alcoholic Drinks List

Alkaline Alcohol Photo

This alkaline alcoholic drinks list extends my alkaline beverages list. That list covers all key drinks from the USDA Key Foods list, whereas this list covers all alcoholic drinks from the full database.

Before I explain and present the list in detail, there are two important facts you need to consider:

  1. Most of the information you will read elsewhere on the Internet about acid or alkaline alcoholic drinks is wrong
  2. If you are drinking enough alcoholic drinks to significantly affect alkalinity, you are drinking more than is healthy

Alkaline Alcoholic Drinks Facts

Acidic Alcohol Myth

There are thousands of Internet pages that describe alcoholic drinks in general, and beer in particular, as acidic.

They are all wrong. (but please see my response to this comment about the wrong way to measure alkaline foods and drinks).

That notion comes from a lab test where drinks are incinerated until all water is evaporated, and all fats and proteins destroyed. The resultant inorganic ash is measured for pH. That value is meaningless for nutrition purposes. Our bodies use organic matter as well as inorganic matter. Destroying organic matter produces false results. This is not how our bodies work.

If you see alkaline nutrition information based on ash pH tests, you should ignore it. If you paid for that information you should seek a refund or sue the publishers.

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Alkaline Nuts List

Alkaline Nuts Photo

I’m disappointed with the alkaline nuts list. Not because there are no alkaline nuts – they just don’t get eaten enough to appear on the key foods list.

All is not lost. One objective for my latest alkaline foods lists was to reduce the amount of duplication in my original charts. I decided to do this by using the USDA Key Foods list instead of the full database. I always knew I would have to add other less popular foods, and now is certainly the time.

If you like chestnuts, pine nuts or pumpkin and squash seeds, please talk about them in the Foodary healthy eating forum, and I’ll add them to the list. How about other alkaline nuts or seeds? Please share your experiences and together we can improve the alkaline nuts list. Note that I’m not asking you to supply nutritional information. Just tell me what alkaline nuts and seeds you are most interested in, and I will obtain the nutrient data. You can start by looking at my old nuts and seeds chart.

As you can see from the table below, nuts are high in calories, so it is important to add them sparingly to your diet. However, nuts and seeds are also rich in other important nutrients. If you allocate 100 calories or so from your daily allowance to healthy nuts, then you could improve your diet. Indeed recent research has prompted the FDA to allow some nuts to carry the claim that they can be healthy. Look for products labeled with a claim that eating one ounce of nuts per day could reduce heart risk.

As well as fiber, which I already include in my new alkaline foods lists, nuts are also good sources of:

  • Arginine
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic acid
  • Potassium
  • Unsaturated fats

If you have been told that any of these nutrients are good for your health, please share your experiences and opinions in the healthy eating forum.

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Alkaline Oils List

Alkaline Oils Photo

Frankly, if you are looking for an alkaline oils list, you might be disappointed. Without seasonings and flavorings, oils are neutral. However, you cannot ignore fats and oils in a healthy diet.

You should know that managing alkaline foods correctly involves other nutrition factors. A good alkaline diet is not just about alkaline foods. It is about balancing acid and alkaline forming foods, but even more, it is about balancing all your nutrition requirements.

Oils, which are liquid forms of fats, have had a bad name in healthy eating plans. However, it is wrong to say all oils and fats should be avoided. What needs to be avoided is bad fats and oils.

Even though oils will form only a very small part of your daily calorie intake, you can make a difference by choosing the right type. Harvard has a few important points:

  • Limit saturated fat and avoid trans fat
  • Switch to vegetable oils, such as olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn

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