Alkaline Food Charts: Your Introduction to PRAL

Acid-Alkaline Food Charts Choices

This introduction to my basic acid alkaline food charts describes how they are structured. It also acts as an index to the charts, which are organized by USDA nutrition food groups.

This is the first set of charts to use PRAL Scores to rank foods by acid or alkaline effect. Later charts have more features and focus on popular foods.

Why Use PRAL 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 better.

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 PRAL Alkaline Food Factors

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Are eggs acidic or alkaline?

Acidic Eggs with Alkaline Spinach Meal photo

Are eggs acidic or alkaline explains how eggs are effective in an alkaline diet.

One of the most common questions I get asked is Are eggs acidic or alkaline?

There’s a very simple answer: Yes, of course eggs are acidic!

But that begs many more questions:

  • Why do I say “of course”?
  • Why do you ask if eggs are acidic?
  • Does it matter that eggs are acidic?

Read moreAre eggs acidic or alkaline?

Alkaline Food Diet

PRAL Nutrients icon

Why is an alkaline food diet wrong?

Every day I get asked how to get an alkaline food diet, and every day I have to tell people to stop looking. An acid alkaline diet is a great thing. When you get the right balance between acid-forming and alkaline-forming food and drink, you have one of the healthiest diets on the planet.

Of course, you still have to balance protein, carbs, and fats. You still have to ensure that you get sufficient vitamins and minerals. But those things become much easier within the framework of a balanced acid alkaline diet.

Trying to achieve an alkaline food diet is not balanced. Let’s hope you include all beverages in your diet plans. OK, we are used to using the word food to include food and drink. Hopefully, you can agree that all food and drink, plus any dietary supplements, need to be accounted for. But that is implied by the word diet, so why not simply ask for an alkaline diet?

Strictly speaking, your total food intake should be alkaline, but it must be a balance of acid and alkaline foods and drinks. Around one-quarter to one-third acid-formers is about right. If you avoid acid forming foods entirely, you risk missing some essential nutrients.

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Potassium for pH Balance

High Potassium Recipe photo

Potassium is one of three alkaline components of the PRAL calculation for pH Balance Diet Score.

We need potassium for several functions in our bodies, and it is also important for balancing the effects of too much sodium. The risks of average diets in America are important, and so I turn to Harvard School of Public health once again to share modern nutrition thinking about potassium:

Most Americans consume far too much sodium and far too little potassium, an eating pattern that puts them at higher risk of heart disease and death. Making a few changes in food choices can help shift the balance. Potassium levels are naturally high in vegetables and fruits, and sodium levels are naturally low. Large amounts of sodium are often added to foods during processing. So choosing produce that is fresh or frozen, or choosing foods that have not had salt added in processing, can help curb dietary sodium and boost potassium.

Potassium deficiency can lead to muscle weakness, abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), and slightly elevated blood pressure. On the other hand, too much potassium can also be bad for the heart, and kidney patients might need lower than normal intake. So what is normal potassium intake?

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Alkaline Beverages List

Alkaline Beverages Photo

Drinks are just as important as food in a healthy diet. When we speak of foods, we include both food and drink, hence the need for this alkaline beverages list.

The most important thing is to include all beverages as well as food when you plan your diet. Many drinks have very low energy values, but they should still be added to your total food and drink intake. Though these will not significantly affect your calorie count, they may well contain other nutrients that can affect your health. Study food labels and my alkaline beverages list below, to avoid drinks high in sugar or sodium.

Staying hydrated is crucial to good health, but there is no fixed amount for fluid intake. Your personal requirements will depend on the weather, and the amount of activity you are engaged in. A good starting point is eight glasses (12oz) per day. All drinks can contribute to this total, but at least half should be plain water. The latest nutrition advice, summarized from Harvard, recommends:

  • At least half of daily fluid should be water. More is fine, up to 100% of all fluids.
  • About one-third (or about three to four cups) can come from unsweetened coffee or tea.
  • Up to one-fifth (or about two 8-ounce glasses) can be low-fat milk. Milk is a good source of calcium, so if you replace this with water, be sure to get calcium from food.
  • A small glass (about 4 ounces) of 100% fruit juice.
  • Avoid zero diet drinks made with artificial sweeteners, and drinks sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.

Read moreAlkaline Beverages List

100 Most Acid Foods

The food high in acid list shows the 100 most acidifying foods from the USDA nutrition database. Some of these are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They should not be avoided, but should be balanced by a greater quantity of alkaline producing foods.

To find suitable alkalizing foods, you can consult my Most Alkaline Foods List. For better variety, I’ve listed all foods by food group, and you can read about these in my Basic Acid Alkaline Food Chart Introduction.

Remember that the table lists 100g portions of food. Many foods on this list are concentrated, and will normally be used in much smaller quantities – simply adjust the PRAL value to suit the amount used.

Beware of the high value for the top of the list. Baking powder can contain a range of organic and inorganic compounds that may distort the true PRAL value.

Read more100 Most Acid Foods

Acid-Alkaline Lamb, Veal and Game Products Food Chart

Please see my explanation of the values for this acid-alkaline Lamb, Veal and Game Products food chart, and related charts, in my Basic Acid Alkaline Food Chart Introduction.

I’ve started this food diary project with these acid-alkaline foods charts, and I will soon add many more features and benefits. I will provide you with your free, personal online food diary. These charts are basic, but the finished project will be rich with many features that allow you to manage your diet. I have many ideas for turning this basic information into an interactive service to help you plan your diet, but I also want your ideas. Your feedback will help me build this project quickly to provide you with better nutrition management tools.

Read moreAcid-Alkaline Lamb, Veal and Game Products Food Chart