Saturday, November 20, 2010
There has been some controversial debate about acid and alkaline-forming characteristics of our foods and their supposed effects on the pH value of the blood and tissues. When entirely burned, foods leave an ash or residue that is either acidic or alkaline or neutral.

Breads, cereals, fish, meats, eggs and poultry usually leave an acid-ash residue due to the high amounts of chlorine, sulphur (in the case of meats and eggs) and phosphorus (in the case of meat and whole grains). Alkaline-ash foods are those in which the elements potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium predominate, including most vegetables and fruits- even fruits with a high acid component like citrus and tomatoes, because these acids can be completely metabolized in the body into carbon dioxide, water and energy. As for nuts, almonds chestnuts and coconuts are alkaline-ash foods, while brazil nuts, peanuts and walnuts yield an acid ash. Most legumes are alkaline ash foods except for lentils which yield an acid ash. Neutral ash foods are the pure fats like butter and lard, because they can be completely burned, and refined carbohydrates like white sugar and cornstarch,  because they contain no minerals. Milk products yield an alkaline ash due to high levels of calcium. Phytates in whole grains complicate the picture because they bind with alkaline ash minerals and carry them out of the body.

Under normal conditions, the blood, saliva, and extracellular fluids are slightly alkaline, while the urine is slightly acidic. The pH value of these fluids is maintained by a series of complex feedback mechanisms in the body and, in general, is not dependent on dietary excesses of either acid or alkaline foods. After a meal rich in proteins, the blood will become more alkaline for a short period, which is in effect a balancing reaction to the secretions of large amounts of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Following this the blood then undergoes a short-lived increase in acidity, which is again a balancing reaction to the heavy secretion of alkaline enzyme rich solutions from the pancreas. These reactions are completely normal and should in no way be interpreted as justification for avoiding high protein "acid-forming" foods.

Dr. Weston Price found that the Eskimo, living on a diet composed almost exclusively of "acid-forming" high protein foods, showed no signs of acidosis. When he analyzed the diets of healthy primitive people, free of tooth decay and disease, he found that they were high in both acid-ash and alkaline-ash foods, with acid-ash foods predominating.

An unbalanced diet consisting mainly of "alkaline forming" fruits and vegetables, while possibly useful in the short term as a fast, can lead to serious deficiencies in the long run- and for diabetics and hypoglycaemics a diet composed exclusively of fruits and vegetables can be dangerous even in the short term.

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Katie
Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand
Hi.. Im Katie. I am 20 years old. I am a student nurse. I love learning about healthy eating and living healthy lifestyles. There are so many lies and myths about the food we eat today and I am determined to spread the word. If you have any questions don't be shy to ask. Email me at k_rotgans@hotmail.com P.S I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose conditions. I am just hear to educate myself and others. Any symptoms I address please see your doctor.
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