acidic vs alkaline foods

Acidic vs Alkaline Foods:
Compare and Should You Care?

The Problem with
Being Too Acidic

Where do we start?  Acidic vs alkaline foods, potentially among one of the most disputed topics when it involves healthy eating, a topic that leaves most confused; “well let’s hope we can aid in providing some clarity on the subject.

When you eat too many acidic foods, your body becomes an acidic environment that is ideal for diseases and other health problems to occur. As your blood turns extremely acidic, your body will take calcium from your bones which are more alkaline to neutralise this acidity. This is very bad because what happens if you take too much calcium out of the bones? Yeah, they become weak. Osteoporosis could be a result of this.

Q: My brother has been talking a lot about how important it is to try to alkalise my body, and that a lot of health problems are caused by too much acid in the body. Is there any truth to this? What do you think?

A: Your brother is right, it is very necessary to have our bodies be in an alkaline state rather than an acidic one. Acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation, and weight gain are all symptoms of having an overly acidic body.

Ideally, you want to keep your body in an alkaline state and your blood is always at that state of around 7.34 – 7.45 on the ph scale. Your stomach on the other hand is highly acidic, around 2 – 3.5. This is critical though as the hydrochloric acid in the stomach needs to be that way to break down food. The problem that arises is that your urine ph. and blood ph can be different. A urine ph reading does not indicate the same thing in the blood. The urine measurement may be high but that doesn’t give a good indicator of body ph and your overall health. There’s nothing you can do to change your blood ph as your body will regulate that itself.

Regular pH levels
in your body

Many people believe that a diet rich in alkaline foods can alkalise your body and boost your well-being. On the other hand, it is believed that a diet that contains excessive amounts of acid-producing foods like red meat may disrupt the blood’s regular ph level, throwing it off balance and leading to poor health. Your body’s ph levels are important—they tell you how acidic or alkaline your body is on a scale of 0 to 14. The kidney and lungs have the task of maintaining a balanced ph in the body.

Our bodies have many ways of neutralising or eliminating acidic waste products to promote optimal ph balance. Collectively, the lungs, kidneys, intestines, and skin are in control of the body’s ph balancing act. The body needs oxygen, water, acid-buffering minerals and bicarbonates to ensure adequate ph cushioning. Regular breathing is a very effective way of reducing acidity. When oxygen is taken in and carbon dioxide released, carbonic acid levels are decreased in the blood. Just as important as breathing is the use of mineral and bicarbonates to neutralise or buffer acids within the cells, blood, kidneys, and the lymphatic system. Bicarbonates are naturally produced in the body, present in all body fluids, and play a major role in nullifying acids throughout the body.

5–6. Foods with an acidic pH

Some celebrities and fitness experts tout the weight loss and health benefits of following an alkaline diet. According to a few, it can prevent everything from cancer to arthritis, plus help you lose weight but, does the hype hold up? Does it matter whether you’re eating too many acidic foods and not enough alkaline-rich choices? Ph is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues. It’s measured on a scale from 0 to 14. The more acidic the lower its ph. The added alkaline, the higher the ph. A ph of around 7 is considered neutral. Your blood is slightly alkaline.

Most peppers, including cayenne peppers, have a ph above 8 which helps transform acidic foods, raising the body’s overall alkaline level. Cut up some red pepper in your salad, or eat it like an apple! consuming raw foods maintains an alkaline state in the body, whereas cooked foods are more acidifying.

Here are 6 acidic foods, explained. You’ve probably heard of alkaline diets, that are said to promote a non-acidic environment in your body. Although these diets aren’t typically based on sound science, you may still wish to reduce your intake of acid-forming foods. Your body has a tightly controlled blood ph level of about 7. 4, which is slightly alkaline or basic. This ph is maintained through mechanisms like breathing and urination.

Alkaline vs. Acidic Foods

“When things burn, and ash residue is left behind”. Similarly, the foods you eat leave an “ash” residue known as metabolic waste. This metabolic waste can be alkaline, neutral, or acidic. Proponents of this diet claim that metabolic waste can directly affect your body’s acidity. In other words, if you eat foods that leave acidic ash, it makes your blood more acidic. If you eat foods that leave alkaline ash, it makes your blood more alkaline.

The types of foods we eat regularly impact the acidity or alkalinity of our blood. Like our blood, food can be measured on the ph scale as acid or alkaline. Now, it’s important to note that we need both to maintain a good ph balance. But here’s the thing: most foods in today’s standard diet are on the acidic side of the scale. So, instead of eating a combination of 80 per cent alkaline foods and 20 per cent acidic foods (which is optimal to maintain a neutral blood ph), the ratio has flipped to 80 per cent acidic and 20 per cent alkaline.

Yes, food can indeed influence your urine ph. Your urine is a fluid full of waste products and is a reflection of several metabolic and digestive processes. Excess acidity is eliminated in the kidneys and this can be manipulated by your diet. Certain foods can leave end-products referred to as ‘ash’. This ‘ash’ can be acid or alkaline. Foods that are ‘alkaline’ include fresh fruit and vegetables, and foods which are ‘acidic’ include animal products and whole grains. So eating more ‘acidic’ foods can make your urine as a result more acidic – but just your urine, not your blood, or cells, or brain, or your large toe.

Making the Transition
from Acidic to Alkaline

The premise that by following an ‘Alkaline’ diet, you will promote a preferential blood ph, which helps your body maintain a healthy weight and optimise your well-being is fundamentally flawed. This is because your body is designed to do this anyway, aiming to keep the blood ph at a constant slightly alkaline level of between 7. 35 and 7. 45.

That said, the foods recommended by the Alkaline diet are good for you and largely those promoted for healthy weight management. So if you are cutting down on meat, swapping fatty, processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine and alcohol for more plant-based foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds and drinking water, you are more than likely going to experience some weight loss.

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What is the
alkaline diet?

The alkaline diet is also known as the acid-alkaline diet or alkaline ash diet. Its premise is that your diet can alter the ph value — the measurement of acidity or alkalinity — of your body. Your metabolism — the conversion of food into energy — is sometimes compared to fire. Both involve a chemical reaction that breaks down a solid mass. However, the chemical reactions in your body happen in a slow and controlled manner.

In the western world, people are eating more animal products now than ever before. These foods are contributing to a lot of the major diet-related illnesses such as heart disease and cancer which are the biggest killers in us. It is important to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables that are considered very alkaline to neutralise the acidity brought on by the meat-heavy diets that we are used to consuming. When your body is acidic, this environment is very welcoming for diseases to grow.

Spinach is one of the top alkaline foods you should include in your diet. It is all in all a dark leafy green, packed with nutrients like:

  • vitamin A 
  • vitamin K 
  • vitamin C 
  • vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • vitamin B6 
  • vitamin E

It is also loaded with minerals that provide the body with amazing alkaline effects such as manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and folate. Spinach is very chlorophyll-rich too, which acts as an alkaliser and brings your body back to the optimal 7. 4 range.

6 Acidic Foods —
Should You Avoid Them?

If you want to reduce inflammation (and bonus: lose weight), you’ll want to avoid the acid reflux “dirty dozen,” categorically broken down into six foods that are frankly acidic (less than ph 4) and six foods that loosen the muscular barrier separating the oesophagus from the stomach. The acidic half dozen are:

  • sugary soda
  • bottled ice tea
  • citrus
  • tomato
  • vinegar
  • wine

The “looseners” are:

  • caffeine
  • chocolate
  • alcohol
  • mint
  • raw onion
  • garlic

Almost all processed foods—especially ones containing sugar—are either acidic or act as looseners.

Right here, at EK (Empirikal K), we are massive supporters as well as a big follower of the alkaline diet plan. Many studies have linked our modern diet to the onset of disease. A low carb diet with lots of alkaline based foods has been shown that you can improve and ditch a lot of health issues that plague your lifestyle. Far too much of our hustle ‘n’ bustle modern-day diet is acidic. Our diets lead to obesity and a plethora of health concerns which we can avoid and even eliminate simply by focusing on an alkaline low carb diet.

Foods with an acidic ph recommendation bottom line plus alkaline diets on the rise and the prevalence of acid reflux, many people avoid acidic foods. However, there’s a difference between acid-forming foods and foods with an acidic ph. Acid-forming foods are those that promote acidity in your body. Conversely, not all foods with a low (or acidic) ph promote an acidic environment in your body. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry. This article outlines the differences between acid-forming foods and those with an acidic ph, as well as the reasons why some people bypass these foods.

acidic foods vs alkaline foods

Should you avoid
these acidic foods?

Ph between 7. 35 and 7. 45. Your stomach is very acidic, with a ph of 3. 5 or below, so it can break down food. And your urine changes, depending on what you eat—that’s how your body keeps the level in your blood steady. Following an alkaline diet might help with weight loss, however, it can be challenging because of the number of foods you must avoid, including caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and refined sugar. Foods that are a lot more acidic tend to be those we already recognise are.

“Avoid GMO.  Ditch junk food. Abstain from processed foods. Shun sugar and sugary stuff.” You must hear these a lot, right? Well, ladies and gentlemen, they’re all true. All these foods (sugar, junk food, GMO, processed should all be avoided.

What is Required
of the Alkaline Diet?

Increased fruits and vegetables in alkaline diets can improve the k/na ratio, may reduce muscle wastage and mitigate other chronic diseases such as strokes and hypertension. The subsequent increase in growth hormone with a well-balanced alkaline diet can better numerous issues from cardiovascular health to cognition and memory. An increase in magnesium that is required for the function of various enzyme systems, is another added incredible benefit of the alkaline diets. Available magnesium that is needed to activate vitamin d, could result in many extra benefits in the vitamin d exocrine/apocrine systems.

Note:  EK is not qualified nutrition experts.  The information provided here is based on years of experience as well as research and is meant for educational purposes only. 

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