Acid-Forming and Alkalinizing Foods

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: General Health, Diet
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Discover which common foods are acid-forming and alkalinizing

Over-acidity in the body comes from consuming too many acid-forming foods and not enough alkalizing foods. Below is a brief list of the most acid-forming and alkalinizing foods.

Keep in mind that a food is not necessarily unhealthy because it is acid-forming and that I’m not saying you should avoid all of them. In fact, many acid-forming foods are necessary for optimum health. It’s simply a matter of balance. Fixing your acid/alkaline balance isn’t the complete answer to perfect health; it’s only one piece of the puzzle. The bottom line is that we need to eat enough alkalizing foods to help our bodies neutralize the acid-forming foods.

Acid-Forming Foods

  • All meat (beef, pork, lamb, and chicken) and fish
  • Rice (white, brown, or basmati)
  • Cornmeal, oats, rye, spelt, wheat, bran
  • Popcorn
  • Pastas
  • Breads and most other grain products, such as cereals (hot or cold), crackers, and pastries
  • The following beans (unless sprouted, in which case they become alkaline-producing): pinto, navy, mung, lentils, black, garbanzo, red, white, adzuki, and broad
  • Cheese (Parmesan and sharper cheeses are the worst)
  • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Wheat germ
  • The following nuts: walnuts, pecans, cashews, dried coconut (fresh coconut is alkaline-producing), pistachios, macadamias, filberts, Brazil nuts, and peanuts
  • Colas
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Coffee and other caffeinated drinks
  • Sweetened yogurt
  • Most forms of sweeteners (artificial sweeteners, cane sugar, beet sugar, barley syrup, processed honey, maple syrup, molasses, fructose, lactose)
  • Refined table salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Mustard (dried powder and processed)
  • Ketchup (unless natural and homemade)
  • Mayonnaise (unless natural and homemade)
  • White vinegar (apple cider and sweet brown rice vinegar are less acid-producing and preferred)
  • Nutmeg
  • Tobacco
  • Practically all drugs

Alkalizing Foods

  • Practically all vegetables
  • Practically all fruits, except blueberries, plums, prunes, and cranberries. Even citrus fruits such as lemons, which we think of as being acidic, are alkaline-producing in the body. They are rich in organic salts, like citrates, which are converted into bicarbonates.
  • Beans such as string, soy, lima, green, and snap
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Arrowroot flour
  • Grains such as flax, millet, quinoa, and amaranth
  • Nuts like almonds, pignoli, fresh coconut, and chestnuts
  • Sprouted seeds of alfalfa, radish, and chia
  • Unsprouted sesame
  • Fresh unsalted butter
  • Milk, cream, and goat’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Whey
  • Plain yogurt
  • Sweeteners like raw, unpasteurized honey, dried sugar cane juice (Sucanat), brown rice syrup
  • Fruit juices
  • All vegetable juices
  • Most herbal teas
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Gelatin
  • Most all herbs
  • Miso
  • Most vegetable and unprocessed sea salt
  • Most all spices
  • Vanilla extract
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Most unprocessed, cold-pressed oils are neutral or alkaline-forming. (Even margarine seems to be neutral, but I don’t recommend this “liquid plastic.”)

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