The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 3rd Ed.

APPENDIX C

ACID-BASE VALUES OF SELECTED FOODS

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One of the goals of the body is to maintain the proper balance of acidity and alkalinity (pH) in the blood and other body fluids in order to function properly. The acid-alkaline theory of disease is an oversimplification, but it essentially states that many diseases are caused by excess acid accumulation in the body. There is accumulating evidence that certain disease states such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and many others may be influenced by the dietary acid-alkaline balance. For example, osteoporosis may be the result of a chronic intake of acid-forming foods that consistently outweighs the intake of alkaline foods, with the result that the bones are constantly forced to give up their alkaline minerals (calcium and magnesium) in order to buffer the excess acid.

The dietary goal for good health is simple: make sure that you consume more alkaline-producing foods than acid-producing foods. Keep in mind that there is a difference between acidic foods and acid-forming foods. For example, although foods like lemons and citrus fruits are acidic, they actually have an alkalizing effect on the body. What determines the pH nature of a food in the body is the metabolic end product when it is digested. For example, the citric acid in citrus fruit is metabolized in the body to its alkaline form (citrate) and may even be converted to bicarbonate, another alkaline compound.

The following table was prepared by Professor Jürgen Vormann of the Institute for Prevention and Diet in Ismaning, Germany (used with permission; see http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/2/413S for original). Foods with a negative value exert a base (B) or alkaline effect, foods with a positive value an acid (A) effect. Neutral foodstuffs are labeled N. The calculation is based upon the potential acid load to the kidneys in milliequivalents per 100-g (31/2-oz) serving.

FOOD

A, B, OR N

POTENTIAL ACIDIC LOAD

BEVERAGES

   

Beer, draft

B

–0.2

Beer, pale

A

0.9

Beer, stout

B

–0.1

Coca-Cola

A

0.4

Cocoa, made with semi-skim milk

B

–0.4

Coffee, espresso

B

–2.3

Coffee, brewed, 5 minutes

B

–1.4

Juice, apple, unsweetened

B

–2.2

Juice, beet

B

–3.9

Juice, carrot

B

–4.8

Juice, grape

B

–1.0

Juice, lemon

B

–2.5

Juice, mixed vegetable (tomato, beet, carrot)

B

-3.6

Juice, orange, unsweetened

B

–2.9

Juice, tomato

B

–2.8

Tea, fruit

B

–0.3

Tea, green

B

–0.3

Tea, herbal

B

–0.2

Tea, Indian

B

–0.3

Water, mineral (Apollinaris)

B

–1.8

Water, mineral (Volvic)

B

–0.1

Wine, red

B

–2.4

Wine, white, dry

B

–1.2

     

FATS, OILS, AND NUTS

   

Almonds

A

4.3

Butter

A

0.6

Hazelnuts

B

–2.8

Margarine

B

–0.5

Oil, olive

N

0.0

Oil, sunflower seed

N

0.0

Peanuts, plain

A

8.3

Pistachios

A

8.5

Walnuts

A

6.8

     

FISH AND SEAFOOD

   

Carp

A

7.9

Cod, fillets

A

7.1

Eel, smoked

A

11.0

Haddock

A

6.8

Halibut

A

7.8

Herring

A

7.0

Matjes (herrings), salted

A

8.0

Mussels

A

15.3

Prawns, tiger

A

18.2

Rosefish

A

10.0

Salmon

A

9.4

Sardines, in oil

A

13.5

Shrimp

A

7.6

Sole

A

7.4

Trout, steamed

A

10.8

     

FRUITS

   

Apples

B

–2.2

Apricots

B

–4.8

Bananas

B

–5.5

Currants, black

B

–6.5

Cherries

B

-3.6

Figs, dried

B

–18.1

Grapefruit

B

–3.5

Grapes

B

–3.9

Kiwifruit

B

–4.1

Lemon

B

–2.6

Mango

B

–3.3

Oranges

B

–2.7

Peaches

B

–2.4

Pears

B

–2.9

Pineapple

B

–2.7

Raisins

B

–21.0

Strawberries

B

–2.2

Watermelon

B

–1.9

     

GRAINS AND FLOUR

   

Amaranth

A

7.5

Barley, whole grain

A

5.0

Buckwheat, whole grain

A

3.7

Corn, whole grain

A

3.8

Cornflakes

A

6.0

Flour, rye

A

4.4

Flour, rye, whole grain

A

5.9

Flour, wheat, white

A

6.9

Flour, wheat, whole grain

A

8.2

Millet, whole grain

A

8.6

Oat flakes

A

10.7

Rice, brown

A

12.5

Rice, white

A

4.6

Spelt

A

8.8

     

PASTA

   

Macaroni

A

6.1

Noodles

A

6.4

Spaetzle (German pasta)

A

9.4

Spaghetti, white

A

6.5

Spaghetti, whole wheat

A

7.3

     

BREAD

   

Bread, pumpernickel

A

4.2

Bread, rye

A

4.1

Bread, rye, mixed

A

4.0

Bread, wheat, mixed

A

3.8

Bread, white

A

3.7

Bread, whole wheat

A

7.2

Bread, whole wheat, coarse

A

5.3

Crispbread, rye

A

3.3

     

LEGUMES

   

Beans, green/French

B

–3.1

Lentils, green or brown, whole, dried

A

3.5

Peas

A

1.2

Soybeans

B

–3.4

Soy milk

B

–0.8

Tofu

B

–0.8

MEAT AND SAUSAGES

   

Beef, lean only

A

7.8

Beef, corned, canned

A

13.2

Beef, rump steak, lean and fat

A

8.8

Chicken, meat only

A

8.7

Duck

A

4.1

Duck, lean only

A

8.4

Frankfurters/ hot dogs

A

6.7

Goose, lean only

A

13.0

Lamb, lean only

A

7.6

Liver, beef

A

15.4

Liver, pork

A

15.7

Liver, veal

A

14.2

Liver sausage

A

10.6

Pork, lean only

A

7.9

Rabbit, lean only

A

19.0

Salami

A

11.6

Sausage, cervelat

A

8.9

Sausage, chasseur

A

7.2

Sausage containing ham

A

8.3

Sausage, pork

A

7.0

Turkey, meat only

A

9.9

Veal, filet

A

9.0

     

MILK, DAIRY PRODUCTS, AND EGGS

   

Buttermilk

A

0.5

Cheese, Camembert

A

14.6

Cheese, cheddar-type, reduced fat

A

26.4

Cheese, cottage, plain

A

8.7

Cheese, Emmental, full fat

A

21.1

Cheese, Edam, full fat

A

19.4

Cheese, full-fat soft

A

4.3

Cheese, Gouda

A

18.6

Cheese, hard varieties

A

19.2

Cream, fresh, sour

A

1.2

Cheese, Parmesan

A

34.2

Cheese, processed, plain

A

28.7

Cheese, rich creamy full fat

A

13.2

Egg, chicken, white

A

1.1

Egg, chicken, whole

A

8.2

Egg, chicken, yolk

A

23.4

Ice cream, fruit, mixed

B

–0.6

Ice cream, vanilla

A

0.6

Milk, skim

A

0.7

Milk, whole, evaporated

A

1.1

Milk, whole, pasteurised and sterilized

A

0.7

Whey

B

–1.6

Yogurt, whole milk, fruit

A

1.2

Yogurt, whole milk, plain

A

1.5

     

SWEETS

   

Chocolate, bitter

A

0.4

Chocolate, milk

A

2.4

Honey

B

–0.3

Madeira cake

A

3.7

Marmalade

B

–1.5

Nougat hazelnut cream

B

–1.4

Sugar, brown

B

–1.2

Sugar, white

N

0.0

     

VEGETABLES

   

Arugula

B

–7.5

Asparagus

B

–0.4

Broccoli, green

B

–1.2

Brussels sprouts

B

–4.5

Carrots

B

–4.9

Cauliflower

B

–4.0

Celery

B

–5.2

Chicory

B

–2.0

Cucumber

B

–0.8

Eggplant

B

–3.4

Fennel

B

–7.9

Garlic

B

–1.7

Gherkin, pickeled

B

–1.6

Kale

B

–7.8

Kohlrabi

B

–5.5

Leeks

B

–1.8

Lettuce, iceberg

B

–1.6

Lettuce, romaine

B

–2.5

Mushrooms, white

B

–1.4

Onions

B

–1.5

Peppers, green bell

B

–1.4

Potatoes

B

–4.0

Radishes, red

B

–3.7

Sauerkraut

B

–3.0

Spinach

B

–14.0

Tomato

B

–3.1

Zucchini

B

–4.6

     

HERBS AND VINEGAR

   

Basil

B

–7.3

Chives

B

–5.3

Parsley

B

–12.0

Vinegar, apple cider

B

–2.3

Vinegar, wine, balsamic

B

–1.6