There are plenty of magazine and web articles touting the benefits of alkaline diets for weight loss or warnings on the harmful effects of the acidity on your body. However, most of these claims are NOT backed by scientific research. What does the science say about the acidity, alkalinity and other pH related effect of food? First, what is the PH? PH is a measure of acidity, presented as a scale ranging from 0 (Extremely acid) to 14 (Extremely alkaline). 7 is neutral (i.e., water has a pH of 7)
Some Foods Are Acidic.Everyone would agree that lemons are acidic. Ever crunched into a lemon or lime? It’s worth trying (or not!) The wince you’ll do is caused by the acidity of the lemon. Many other foods are acidic to a certain degree, like sodas and juices.
Some foods are alkaline.Some foods are slightly alkaline (their pH is over 7) such as eggs or baking soda.
When food enters your body, it becomes acidic.After chewing, food goes into your stomach where it meets hydrochloric acid for digestion of food. Can you guess what’s next? The food in your stomach becomes very acidic, no matter the initial pH of the food.
Your body regulates its own blood pH.Now, your food is digested and the nutrients are entering your body. Can the food change your blood pH? The answer is no. Your body very tightly regulates your blood pH to maintain balance and vital bodily functions. If your body pH drops or rises too much, you will find yourself in the ER. Fortunately, healthy individuals typically avoid this problem.
Some food can influence your urine pH.A diet heavy in fruits and vegetables leads to a more alkaline urine and eating food rich in proteins, such as meat, makes your urine more acid. Is it important to measure your urine pH? Not at all! With the exception of kidney disease or diabetes.
In conclusion, it is not relevant to worry about your body pH or the effect of food on your pH. Don’t buy into fad diets that encourage special foods or eating to change your pH. Your body manages it very well on its own! However, eating more fruits and veggies is always good health advice, whatever the effect on your alkalinity or acidity! Another myth debunked!
Stay tuned for another Myth buster!
By Genevieve Masson, Registered Dietitian