ACIDS VERSUS ALKALINE FOODS

If foods themselves were able to influence cells, more than likely, you would not be around to read this blog.  What I mean by this statement is to be alive and healthy your blood must remain slightly alkaline at all times.  Our blood needs to stay within a narrow range of 7.35 to 7.45 pH or our heart can stop beating.

Acid pH is any number below 7.0 pH and alkaline is any number above 7.0 pH.

The Internet can be a very misleading.  I saw one site that read, “Acid blood kills and alkaline blood lives.”  Actually, when out of homeostasis (acid base balance) they both can kill. The body is very sensitive to its pH level, so strong mechanisms exist to maintain it.  Outside the acceptable pH range, proteins are denatured (broken down/digested), enzymes lose their ability to function and death occurs.

Your stomach is so acidic that no food can change its acidity. Citrus fruits, vinegar, and vitamins such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or folic acid do not change the acidity of your stomach or your bloodstream. No “foods” change the acidity or alkalinity of anything in your body.  Foods however, may affect the urine with color or smell such as asparagus.

There are four medical terms for this acid versus alkaline process.  They are metabolic acidosis, respiratory acidosis, metabolic alkalosis and respiratory alkalosis.  One or a combination may occur at any given time.  Respiratory or kidney failure is the end result.  For example, when you hold your breath, carbon dioxide accumulates in your bloodstream very rapidly and your blood turns acidic, and you will become uncomfortable or even pass out. This forces you to start breathing again immediately, and the pH returns to normal. If your kidneys are damaged and cannot regulate the acidity of your bloodstream, chemical reactions stop, poisons accumulate in your bloodstream, and you can die.  Alkalosis can be caused from severe vomiting, diarrhea and the loss of potassium and water.  Some medical drugs, pneumonia or any oxygenation problem can negatively influence our respiratory system. These are the things that influence the blood not foods.

One of the processes I learned as I earned one of my Ph.D.’s in dietetic nutrition was about “food ash”.  This was the study analysis of food ash and mineral content.  Foods burned to ash in a specialized oven (muffle oven), which maintains high temperatures, over 600 degrees.  This is done to measure the foods nutrient (mineral) content.  This was done in the early years and goes on today for food labeling and quality assurance.  Obviously, we humans do not have an internal oven, which burns the foods we eat into ash.  Yet, some people believe when we eat we can metabolize our food into ash and by some magical unknown it goes on to influence our blood.  This is just not humanly possible.

Am I against eating foods that are considered alkaline? Absolutely not!  They are plant foods and we need them just as much as we need good fats and healthy proteins.  I spent years studying food nutrition and Health Science and personally believe organic foods (free of GMOs) along with grass fed beef, wild fish and fowl (free from injected hormones) is necessary for life.   Foods heal but not because they are alkaline or acid but because they provide nourishment for growth and the maintenance of life.

Please do not let terminology (technical applications) confuse you.  The nutrition world tends to misinterpret information and then use ambiguous (double meaning or unclear) statements, creating confusion especially when they are not scientifically grounded.

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