A Summary Of Acid and Alkaline Foods & Acid-Forming and Alkaline-Forming Foods

All natural foods contain organic acids, e.g., phosphoric acid (H3PO4). These acids are found “coupled” to bases such as potassium (K), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na) and magnesium Mg), in varying degrees. When these organic acids oxidize (combine with oxygen), the chemical reaction gives rise to the bi-products carbon dioxide (CO2) and water – the alkaline residues of K, Ca, Na, and Mg remain and neutralize the body acids.

One primary “coupling” is calcium phosphate or Ca3(PO4)2. Phosphorus is linked inseparably to calcium, appearing in the blood as calcium phosphate. Foods containing phosphorus also contain calcium (even trace amounts), and other vital minerals such as potassium, in varying degrees. The ratio of phosphorus ratio to calcium and vice versa determines acid phosphates, neutral phosphates and alkaline phosphates. Cow’s milk, for example, falls in the neutral range, making it weak alkaline forming (view Master Food Chart).

Distinction Between Acids and Alkalis & Acid-forming and Alkaline-forming foods

There are the acid foods and the acid-forming foods, as there are alkaline foods and alkaline-forming foods. Acid and alkaline substances simply means the acid or alkaloid contents of the food items. Acid producing and alkaline producing foods, on the other hand, speak to acid and alkaline forming capability.

The acid-forming or alkaline-forming property of food chemicals occur shortly after digestion. Normally, the greater the acid content, the greater the alkaline forming capacity. The greater the alkaline content, the greater the acid forming capacity in the digestive process. Acid foods have the general property of containing a considerable portion of water to the alkalis. The assumption is that the greater the water content the more cooling, therefore, more likely the item is acidic; the less water content the more heating, therefore, the likely it is to be alkaline. But assumption is not the rule, especially in determining food pH.

Take lemon; it gives a sharp, biting acid taste. It is a high alkaline-producing food (the higher the alkaline-forming potential, the higher the potassium (K) value). Meat (without fat) is about 74 percent water, which is around the same as a lemon by volume. Meat is the most acid-producing food, due to its sulfur of the sulfur-containing amino acids that are oxidized to sulfuric acid; in addition, the phosphoproteins yield phosphoric acid, as well as nucleic acid and phospholipids.

But although meat is the most acid-forming food item, the effect is more or less short lived. The acids are soon excreted from the body. The ammonia (NH3+) in meat is ionized to ammonium (NH4+) ion by combining with H+ ion from carbonic acid (H2CO3), to release bicarbonate ions (HCO3-) that gets reabsorbed into the blood to replenish the alkaline reserves. Under normal glandular and organ function, NH3+ and CO2 are excreted from the body.