Acid and Alkaline Foods

This information is based on Alternatives 5/02.

The pH (acidity) of our bodies is important.  The body maintains slightly alkaline pH of about 7.4 (pH 7.0 is neutral).  Since waste products tend to be acid, we need sources of alkalinity.  To help this, you should eat less acid-producing foods than you eat alkaline-producing foods (perhaps 3-to-1).  It is not the acid in the food that matters (e.g., citrus are acid), but what they lead to in the body (citrus are alkaline-producing).  Small amounts of bicarbonate (NaHCO3 or, better, KHCO3), just under 5 grams, daily reduce acidity and can increase rate of bone formation, but it can also interfere with digestion so, firstly, don't take it at mealtime and, secondly, adjusting diet is probably better.

 CATEGORY   ACID (limit amounts)   ALKALINE (good)
 protein (some)  meats, fish  eggs, tofu
 dairy  cheese (hard is worst)  yogurt (unsweetened), whey, milk
 nuts  Brazil, cashew, filbert, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pistachio, walnut, dried coconut
 almonds, chestnuts, pine, fresh coconut
 seeds  pumpkin, sunflower  flax, sesame; sprouted alfalfa & radish
 grains and grain products  common ones (including corn & rice)  flax, millet, quinoa, amaranth
 legumes  most  peas, green & lima beans, soy
 other vegetables    most (including potato)
 fruits  blueberry, cranberry, plum, prune  most
 drinks  alcoholic, caffeinated, cola & other  drinks with phosphates  milk, most herb teas, vegetable juice, juice of alkaline fruit
 oils  corn  most unprocessed, cold-pressed oils are neutral or alkaline
 sweetners   most, including sugars, molasses, maple syrup, processed honey, aspartame  raw honey, brown rice syrup, Sucanat*
 herbs and spices  salt, mustard, nutmeg  most
 condiments  mayonnaise, soy sauce, vinegar  
 miscellaneous  most drugs, tobacco  gelatin, arrowroot, miso, brewer's yeast
*Someone else labelled Sucanat acid-producing.