Proponents of the Balanced pH Diet claim eating too many acidifying foods creates an acid ash in the body. This ash can be eliminated by eating a diet rich in alkalizing foods, which proponents believe improves health by decreasing acid in the blood stream. Proponents also believe high alkaline foods prevent degenerative diseases. Foods are categorized as either acidic or alkaline based on how the food effects urine pH after consumption. Most vegetables are an example of alkalizing foods and all meats are an example of an acidic foods.
The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 with 0 to 7 representing acidic foods and 7.1 to 14 representing alkalizing foods. The body tries to maintain an alkalizing pH of 7.4 by depositing and withdrawing acid and alkaline minerals within itself. Minerals may be deposited or extracted from bones, fluids or soft tissues to achieve a 7.4 pH. Eating a diet rich in alkalizing foods and minimizing consumption of acidic foods will help the body maintain a healthy pH level. It is recommended that 50 to 80 percent of total dietary calories come from alkalizing foods. The goal in eating alkalizing foods is to maintain an alkaline blood stream which proponents believe assists in fighting or preventing degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and tooth decay.
All foods are classified into two categories, alkalizing or acidifying, based on the effect the food has on urine pH after consumption. If a food increases the acidity of urine after consumption, it is classified as an acidic food. Conversely, if a food increases the alkalinity of urine after consumption, it is classified as an alkalizing food.
Kidney beans, string beans, plums, store-bought juices, spelt, brown rice, rye bread, sprouted breads, organ meats, cold water fish, eggs, pumpkin, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, corn oil, fatty dairy products, margarine and honey are low acidic foods. Skinless potatoes, pinto beans, navy beans, lima beans, canned fruits, white rice, oats, pecans, cashews, pistachios, coffee, wine, chicken, turkey, lamb, raw dairy and most condiments are moderately acidic. Lastly, blueberries, cranberries, prunes, wheat, white bread, pasta, beef, pork, shellfish, cheese, ice cream, peanuts, walnuts, beer and alcohol are highly acidic foods.
Citrus fruits except oranges, watermelons, mango, papaya, asparagus, onions, vegetable juices, parsley, spinach, broccoli, garlic, barley, olive oil and grape seed oil are highly alkaline. Moderately alkaline foods include most dried fruits, melons, grapes, apples, pears, kiwis, okra, squash, green beans, beets, celery, lettuce, zucchini and sweet potatoes. Lastly, amaranth, quinoa , millet, lentils, wild rice, corn, oranges, bananas, cherries, pineapple, peaches, avocados, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, peas, cauliflower, turnips, olives, canola oil, raw sugar, coconuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, goat cheeses, whey and soy products are low alkalizing foods.
A few non-food sources also can effect the pH of urine. For instance, probiotics, often found in yogurt, create an acidic environment in the digestive tract. Soft water also tends to be acidic, along with distilled water, because the water has little to no minerals but mineral water and hard water, conversely, are alkalizing. Additionally, antibiotics, mineral supplements, vitamins and antacids can effect the pH or urine.