The pH diet is based on the idea that a person should consume foods that are slightly alkaline, because the body's normal pH is slightly alkaline. Advocates claim that consuming a diet high in acidic foods, such as animal protein, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods, may disrupt the pH of the bloodstream, and increase a person's likelihood of developing chronic or degenerative diseases.
Salads, fresh vegetables, healthy nuts and oils are recommended while fatty meats, cheeses, sweets, chocolates, alcohol and tobacco are not recommended. Foods that are acidic include sugar, caffeine, wheat, saturated fats, processed foods, carbonated beverages, peanuts, pasta and white rice.
The normal pH range of the bloodstream is between 7.36 and 7.44. However, the food ratio for the diet is roughly 75 - 70% alkaline foods and 20 - 25% acidic foods.
Advocates believe that the pH level of the body's internal fluids affects every living cell in the body. They believe that, as a result, over-acidification of the body from over consumption of certain foods may lead to chronic disease, such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, weight problems, allergies, fatigue and premature aging as well as problems with the nervous system, cardiovascular system and muscles. Other physical problems that are thought to result from over acidity include lack of energy, conjunctivitis, sensitive gums, agitation, dental caries, diarrhea, colitis, dry skin, itches, red and irritated skin, leg cramps, osteoporosis, rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, and tendonitis.
According to pH diet theory, when an alkaline environment is maintained in the body, metabolic, enzymatic, immunologic, and repair mechanisms function at their best. The acid forming metabolic of stress and inflammation and of high fat and high protein foods can be adequately and effectively neutralized only when sufficient mineral-buffering reserves are present, which can be found in a diet that is predominantly alkaline-forming.
The pH diet is used by athletes in the hopes of improving recovery time after competitions.
Acid-alkaline diet, acid-base disorder, acid-base hypothesis, acid-forming, acid waste, alkali therapy, alkaline, alkaline diet, alkaline water, anion gap, anion gap acidosis, anions, basic, diet, hydrogen, pH balance, pH level, pH range.
Not included in this review: Metabolic acidosis.
In general, people who follow the pH diet consume 75-80% alkaline foods and 20-25% acidic foods. Many of the foods eaten in this diet are raw fruits and vegetables, because they are generally alkaline in the body. Further, these foods hold many vitamins and minerals, as well as phytochemicals.
Individuals who choose to follow the pH diet are generally recommended to consume eight ounces of water every two hours.
Acidic foods do not have to be totally avoided during the pH diet. However, their consumption needs to be moderated to about 20% of daily food intake. These acidic foods include dairy, white flour, poultry, beef, coffee and eggs. Anything high in proteins may create an acidic state in the body.
The general idea behind the pH diet is to eat 75-80% alkaline foods and 20-25% acidic foods. The majority of the diet consists of raw fruits and vegetables because they are alkaline in nature. Also emphasized is the consumption of large amounts of water in an attempt to keep the body hydrated.
Advocates of the diet recommend soaking mildly acidic foods, such as whole grains and legumes, before cooking them. Chewing the complex carbohydrates, such as grains, vegetables, and legumes, mixes them with saliva, which is a very alkaline fluid. This begins the digestive process. Drinking while eating is thought to stop the digestive process from beginning in the mouth, because saliva does not come into as much contact with the foods.
Condiments: Baking soda, sea salt, mineral water, umeboshi plums, spices, cinnamon, molasses, soy sauce, herbs, green tea, rice syrup, apple cider vinegar, ginger tea, umeboshi vinegar, ghee, cayenne, red chili pepper, sea salt and stevia. Most herbs and spices are somewhat alkaline.
Dairy: Buttermilk, goat milk, cheeses and yogurt.
Fruit: Limes, nectarines, persimmons, raspberries, watermelon, tangerines, grapefruit, cantaloupe, honeydew, citrus, olives, loganberries, mango, lemons, pears, avocado, pineapple, apples, blackberries, cherries, peaches, papaya, oranges, apricots, bananas, blueberries, currants, raisins, grapes, strawberries and coconut.
Grains: Oats, grain coffee, quinoa, wild rice buckwheat and spelt.
Nuts, seeds, oils: Pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, chestnuts, pepper, primrose oil, sesame seeds, almonds, sprouts, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, lima beans, soy beans, white beans, lentils, tofu, other seeds.
Vegetables: Sea vegetables, burdock, lentils, onion, daikon, taro, sweet potato, kohlrabi, parsnip, garlic, kale, endive, mustard greens, ginger root, broccoli, potato, bell pepper, mushrooms, cauliflower, eggplant, pumpkin, collard greens, brussel sprouts, chives, cilantro, okra, squash, lettuce, wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa spouts, broccoli sprouts, other types of sprouts, cucumber, kale, parsley, sea vegetables, avocado, arugula, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, celery, collard, endive, garlic, ginger, green beans, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, onion, spinach, tomato, artichoke, asparagus, carrot, cauliflower, kohlrabi, leeks, peas, rhubarb, rutabaga, turnip, watercress and zucchini.
Animal meat: All meat including poultry, eggs, seafood, beef, pheasant, pork, veal, squid, lobster, chicken, lamb, boar, shellfish, goose, turkey, eggs, gelatin, organs, venison and duck.
Condiments: Jam, jelly, table salt, yeast, sugar, chocolate, cocoa, white vinegar, nutmeg, coffee, saccharin, vanilla, black tea, alcohol, balsamic vinegar, curry, honey, maple syrup, rice vinegar ketchup, mayonnaise, soy sauce, white sugar, aspartame, molasses, sugar cane, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup.
Dairy: Processed cheese, ice cream, soymilk, cow's milk, aged cheese, soy cheese, whey protein powder, cottage cheese and cream.
Fruit: Fruits containing benzoic or oxalic acid including prunes, plums, cranberries, rhubarb and sour cherries.
Grains: All foods made from cereal grains including breads, breakfast cereals, crackers, pasta and rice. Barley, corn, rye, oat bran, buckwheat, wheat, kamut, spelt, teff, semolina, brown and white rice, millet, kasha, amaranth, brown rice. Avoid all refined flour products such as white bread, pasta, cakes, pies and cookies.
Legumes: Legumes including beans, peas, lentils, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans peanuts, soy beans, pinto beans, white or red beans, adzuki beans, lima beans, kidney beans, string beans.
Nuts, seeds, oils: Hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pistachio seeds, pecans, palm kernel oil, almond oil, sesame oil, safflower oil, pumpkinseed oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, pine nuts and canola oil.
Other: Also avoid chocolate milk, sodas, wine and alcohol.
Vegetables: Carob, green peas, peanuts, snow peas, carrots and tofu.