Should you follow an acid-alkaline diet? This question was the hot topic at the last cocktail party I attended. The answer, however, isn’t as straightforward as it’s made out to be.
What’s the pH Diet?
The theory behind this plan is that if you consume loads of acid-producing foods it will lead to a metabolic imbalance. The body will try very hard to regain its equilibrium, making you sick in the process.
The diet claims that if you eat more alkaline and less acid-forming foods, it will help reduce inflammation and increase your resistance to disease.
According to the diet, you should be eating 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association determined how different foods affect the urine’s acidity. The results found that the most acid-forming foods included poultry, fish, dairy products, meat, caffeine, sugar and salt. Grains were found to be slightly acid forming. The most alkaline-forming foods were fruits and vegetables.
What the Research Shows
Under normal conditions your cells and blood maintain a pretty neutral pH of about 7.4 in order to survive. Your body does a good job neutralizing acidic and alkaline foods, making sure it always maintains the correct pH. Although you may hear folks claim that food can change the body’s pH, the biochemical reactions occurring are VERY complex (college biochemistry, anyone?).