Alkaline Foods List: How to Tell Which Foods Are Alkaline
If you've ever researched alkaline foods lists you'll know how frustrating it is that they all vary so much - how can you know who to trust? In this article I will give you a quick explanation of who to trust and why - but, and perhaps more importantly I will give you the simple rules so you can tell which foods are acid and alkaline when you don't have an alkaline foods list handy!
So when you are:
- eating out
- at the grocery store
- with friends
You will know exactly which foods are acid and which are alkaline by following a few simple rules. But first...
Why Are Alkaline Foods Lists So Different? AND Who Can I Trust?
I know how frustrating and confusing it can be when you first start the alkaline diet. The first place you go to is the lists of alkaline foods to see what you can and can't eat - but they are all so different. Thankfully, there is one simple reason why they are so different:
The difference is because somecharts follow PRAL and others don't!
PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load) measures the pH of a food by burning it at an extremely high temperature and then measuring the 'ash' that remains. Whether a food is acid or alkaline using PRAL is dependent entirely on the alkaline mineral content in the food. While this does give some of the detail we want, it only gives half of the picture. Because the foods are burned at such high temperatures, the sugar content of the food is removed and thus not measured - and as sugar is one of the main determinants of pH you get a misleading picture.
Fruit is a great example of this. Bananas, for instance, are reasonably high in potassium and so this gives an alkaline measure on the PRAL scale, but this ignores the fact that bananas are exceedingly high in sugar and therefore, despite the potassium, they have an acid-forming effect on the body.
The only 100% trustworthy alkaline food lists available are those based upon the work and research of alkaline diet pioneer Dr Robert Young.
Dr Young studies the effect of foods after they've been consumed - so the pH effect on the body, rather than relying on what the food is in it's natural state.
For instance, on many PRAL-based charts you will see lemons in the 'acid' column, whereas when consumed, lemons actually have an alkaline effect on the body.
So, how can you tell at a glance whether you can trust an alkaline foods list?
The two quick, simple tests I use to measure whether a food is trustworthy or not are:
- Where are bananas and pineapple? If they're listed as alkaline, close the website. These are the two most sugar-rich fruits.
- Where are lemons, limes and tomato? If they're listed as acidic, close the website.
How to tell which foods are alkaline if I am out of the home?
If you are out an about, at dinner with friends or are travelling, you can use these simple rules to try and determine which foods are alkaline and which are acidic:
- All vegetables are alkaline
- All salad leaves such as lettuce, spinach and watercress are very alkaline
- Sweeter vegetables such as carrot & capsicum are less alkaline but are still ok
- Fresh is best, anything old, preserved etc is more likely to be acidic
- All fruits except for avocado, tomato, lemon, lime and grapefruit are mildly or very acidic
- All pre-packaged and refined foods are acidic
- Anything microwaved is acidic
- Meat & dairy is acidic
- Fungus is acidic
I hope this helps! If you stick to these simple rules then you will find it easy to know which foods are alkaline foods!
Do you want to get an acid / alkaline foods list you can trust? Energise for Life have been at the forefront of the alkaline diet since 2004 and have over 500 alkaline recipes, articles, guides and how-to's on the Alkaline Diet Blog. Find our more about the alkaline diet and download the Definitive Alkaline Foods List at Energise.
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