Acid Alkaline Diets

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The acid-alkaline balance within your body can be disrupted by your diet, producing acidic internal fluids which cause unwanted health problems. This can be rectified by adopting an alkaline (or alkalizing) diet, which is reflected in low acid levels in the body.

Acidity-Alkalinity measure

acid-alkalineThe acidity of a solution (any liquid substance) is measured on the pH scale – termed the ‘power of hydrogen’. The pH scale shows the activity of hydrogen ions present in the sample. The scale is a reverse logarithmic one – high acidity is represented by a low value, and low acidity (that is, alkaline or base substances) by a high value, with acidity level at each ascending step being one tenth that of the previous step.

For example, compared to lemon juice at pH 2.4, orange juice at pH 3.5 is less than one tenth as acidic, and beer at pH 4.5 is less than one hundredth as acidic. The pH of most substances falls between 0 and 14. Gastric acid has a pH of 1.5 to 2 (very acid), pure water 7 (considered to be neutral, neither acid nor alkaline), and household bleach 12.5 (extremely alkaline).

pH levels in the body

The pH level of the body’s internal fluids affects every cell, and if out-of-balance this will be detrimental to the normal functioning of cells, tissues and organs. The western diet is typically based around meat and dairy products, sugars, alcohol, saturated fats and caffeine, all of which creates an acidic cellular environment. Such an unbalanced pH level can result in health issues like cancer, heart disease, obesity, weight problems, allergies, fatigue and premature aging as well as problems with the nervous system, cardiovascular system and muscles.

The ‘alkalarian’ approach to diet reverses over-acidification in the body, first de-toxifying and then creating and maintaining a more alkaline environment in which the body can heal itself.

An alkaline diet is one which produces an alkaline effect on the body, based upon the residue that remains after our foods are consumed or metabolized.  Some foods leave an acid residue, others an alkaline residue. Testing of bodily pHlevels using pH strips can determine whether a balanced range is generally present (6.75 to 7.25 depending on type of testing – salivary or urinary).

Alkalizing Diet

We need to adopt and adhere to an acid reducing lifestyle to achieve the correct balance. This is done by consuming alkalizing foods and drinks, while eliminating acidifying foods and drinks from the diet. In general, if an alkaline diet is recommended, use these guidelines for an alkalarian lifestyle based on a mainly vegetable diet:

Sample alkaline foods to comprise most (75-80%) of your diet. Eat salads, fresh vegetables, healthy nuts and oils, and plenty of raw foods. Drink at least 2-3 liters of clean, pure water daily.

Brussels Sprouts

Grasses (eg wheat, barley)

Green Beans



Watermelon (neutral)

Fats & Oils


Borage oil
Evening Primrose oil
Hemp oil
Olive &
Oil Blends

Seeds, Nuts, Grains

Buckwheat Groats

Sprouts/sprouted seeds fresh & as pastes: soy, alfalfa, mung bean, wheat, little radish, chickpea, broccoli, hummus, tahini



‘Green Drinks’
Fresh vegetable juice
Pure water (distilled, reverse osmosis, ionized)
Lemon water (pure water + fresh lemon or lime).

Herbal Tea
Vegetable broth
Non-sweetened Soy Milk
Almond Milk

Sample acid-forming foods to comprise the remainder (20-25%) of your diet. Avoid fatty meats, dairy, cheese, sweets & candy, chocolates, alcohol and tobacco.  Beware of hidden content of packaged foods and microwaved meals.  Don’t overcook meals – this removes all of the nutrition!

Crustaceans & other seafood (apart from occasional oily fish such as salmon)


All fruits not listed in the alkaline table.

Dairy Products

Ice Cream


Fats & Oils

Corn Oil
Hydrogenated Oils

Saturated Fats
Vegetable Oil
Sunflower Oil


Carbonated Drinks
Dairy Smoothies
Fruit Juice


Convenience Foods

Canned/Tinned Foods

Fast Food
Instant Meals
Microwave Meals
Powdered Soups

Seeds & Nuts

Cashew Nuts
Pistachio Nuts


Artificial Sweeteners

Condiments (tomato sauce, mayonnaise etc.)
Soy Sauce

White Bread
White Pasta
Wholemeal Bread

See Also

  • The pH Miracle by Robert Young – achieving weight loss through correct pH balance – at Amazon. Also, other titles are available from this author on the relationship between good health and balanced pH levels.
  • 60 Seconds to Slim – Emphasizes the importance of pH balance to weight loss.
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Phil

    Alkalising food seem to be far different to alkali food. I’m not supposed to to eat tomatoes because I have stomach ulcers and Barrets Osophegas, and the acid in the tomatoes is supposed to be dangerous to me, yet all diets show they are alkalising. Lots of food like that.

  • Joe

    The tables produced here are confusing, dare I say inaccurate. Labeling citrus fruits alkaline is miss leading for a start. They are very acidic and if you suffer from reflux, Gerds or LPR may exacerbate your problems. Onions produce acidity, as does garlic, tomatoes and peppers. It maybe worth looking at information on the above conditions to get better information, you can search for Silent acid reflux, the work of Dr. Jamie Koufman seems to be fairly accurate having cross referenced some of her guidelines myself due to suffering from Laryngeal reflux. LAST BUT NOT LEAST DRINK BEETROOT JUICE>:)

    • ted

      It’s about the “effect” the food has on the body. Lemons are acidic, but have an alkalizing effect when consumed. That is the theory of this diet. If you need to further understand where this perspective is coming from, check out the book, The pH Miracle.

  • Jenjensbooks

    What about bread or carbs? I love to eat bread. I am considering this diet but need to cook veggies because of my IBSEN. Any suggestions?

  • susan rahauser

    Is there anyone who is sucessfully reversing osteoporosis by alkaline diet and exercise?

    I am also taking magnesium and boron as well as lots of green drinks and minimal meat. Have to get some pH papers to be sure I am on the right track..

    Hope you are all well.. !!


  • joy

    can you cook alkaline foods or do they have to be raw? help!

  • Karin

    Kiwi fruit I consume every day I read it was great and not acidic to the body at all?

  • David

    Various homeostatic mechanisms within the body exist to closely regulate the pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Your diet will have no effect on this range whatsoever because in the end all food is broken down to basic compounds then converted to energy, stored intracellulary (in a limited number of ways designed to fit in with the body’s idela pH range) for future conversion or excreted.
    It seems to me that this diet would work only because the alkaline foods are low calorie, filling foods and the acidic foods the opposite.

  • Nick

    They show lemons and limes in the alkaline food list but they are far from it with a Ph of around 2-3, they are the most acidic fruit out there. In fact Citric acid from lemons, limes and oranges is used as a preservative in a lot of processing because of its extremely high acid level. Although high in vitamin C they are not an alkaline food. Who knows what other BS there filling you full of.

    • sb

      Nick, they’re not saying Lime and Lemon are not acidic. They agree with you.They are acidic, Citric acid to be precise. It’s the “ash” or the result of body metabolism that converts Lime/Lemon juice into an Alkaline by-product (i.e. the natural juice squeezed from the fruit and not say, juice concentrate).

    • marc

      lemons and limes are acidic outside the body but when consumed are alkaline because they don’t cause the body to form acid to break it down, distroying nutrients and bioavailibility. Foods that are acid or alkaline outside the body are not necessarily the same inside the body. Alkaline foods in the body don’t cause inflammation and support better muscle function.

    • Sandra Moore

      I have acid reflux and there is no way I can eat lemons, limes, oranges or their juices without having a major attack.

      • elissa

        Sandra: dont be afraid to put lemon in all the water that you drink- it will not hurt your reflux- this diet will cure it if you stick strictly to it. Some DGL from your health food store can help any break through symtoms while your weening off your reflux meds. It totally cured me of 8 years of reflux and medications. Good luck

      • ted

        Oranges no, but lemon juice actually alkalizes your body, which is probably a big part of your problem, Your body is too acidic.

    • Betty

      Lemons are very acidic until they enter the digestive system, then they become one of the most alkaline foods available. My sister had cancer and was put on an alkaline diet. Number 1 food was lemons….

    • Mike Moore

      Hi Nick,
      Lemons are acidic but its the end process that makes them very alkaline which is why they are so important.

    • Mitch

      Exactly what I thought nick but then thanks to ted I understood the concept. Many thanks.

    • ted

      Nick, you’re aren’t understanding the concept here. It’s not the ph of the food it’s the ph effect the food has on the body. Lemons and limes because of their low sugar content produce an alkaline effect in the body. Oranges with the same citric acid produce an acidic effect.

  • Gus

    do you really advice drinking distilled water?

  • Mindy

    I have done food combing diets like the Somersize program in the past and had great results. She allowed for mixing proteins and fats, like olive oil and better. I do not know hoe to cook eggs without oil or butter or what about a salad with salmon and oil and vinegar dressing? What about cheese with meat? For example, I love low carb meat lasagna with Zuchinni instead of pasta, but you really need the cheese to make it taste good.

    Is it necessary to keep fats and proteins separate? if so, how do you prepare meals without the fats/oils? What salad dressing would you use?

    Have you found this diet to be effective for weight loss? Thank you for your advice!

    • Johnny

      I cook eggs by cracking them onto a standard ceramic plate and microwaving them for a minute, stir or flip, then 20 second intervals until they’re done. Only a tiny bit gets stuck on the plate.

  • Andrew

    Excellent information and well presented ! Thank you

  • catherine Barasa

    very works.

  • Chris

    My son is doing a science project on pH, and this website not only gave me a new food diet, but help for my kid! 5 stars!

  • Mike Cee

    Jon… you really need to get informed. The body does have mechanisms to compensate and try to balance itself. But when you eat cooked, processed, acidic food. You are stressing the body. You ever get tired of after eating a meal? Like seriously just comatose. Thanksgiving is an example. That is your body STRUGGLING to digest it because there are no ENZYMES in the food. It’s DEAD. Your body is stressing itself to digest therefor weakening it’s immune system. Which is why you’re probably sick at least 2-5 times a year. Ever since I changed my son’s and mine’s diet to the Alkaline protocol. His Asthma is NON-EXISTENT. Don’t knock it until you try it. I have shook hands with people who have the flu or the cold and have not been sick for 2 years. Now unless you experiment it for yourself, STFU! People don’t wanna believe that NATURE gave us food that would be able to increase our life span 2-3 times the very least if we all stuck to the alkaline diet.

  • Cyclonex

    The PH of lemons is Acidity..yet it shows it being alkaline….A lower PH fights off sickness such as colds and flu because it cannot grow in the body in that environment.There are some inaccuracies in this list.A higher PH body does not fight off diseases.

    • ted

      Cyclonex, you don’t understand the the principles of the diet. A food’s pH doesn’t always determine its effect on the body. Lemons have an alkaline effect as does apple cider vinegar. It has more to do with how your body processes food types.

  • Pete

    You should not avoid alcohol. People who drink live longer than people who don’t:,9171,2017200,00.html

  • someone

    i think this is a great diet concept and prescription for nutritional healing gives an excellent list. for the comments on citrus and acid reflux…if you are in pain from the acid in your stomach then yes those ‘acidic’ fruits will hurt. however when you have healed you can add them again. from what i have learned the most alkalizing foods are lemons,watermelon,raisins,veggies especially greens,potatoes,real sea salt, and live cultured foods, like saurkraut. being alkaline is all about minerals, which is why your body buffers it’s ph by pulling those minerals out of your bones, an alkaline diet will give you mineral rich blood to nurish you and keep your bones strong including your teeth(from mineral rich saliva), which is my favorite benefit of this diet because I have sensitive teeth. I would suggest also reading macrobiotics and body ecology diet.

  • ameikav

    best diet ever

  • Michael

    @Jon. You are correct in saying that they body has mechanisms that adjust your physiological pH to maintain a safe (homeostatic) operating environment. It is incorrect to assume that the prevailing physiological pH cannot be change by dietary intake. Both metabolic alkalosis (high pH) and acidosis (low pH) can be induced by long-term exposure to foods that cause an imbalance in either direction. The difficulty lies in quantifying the individuals’ response to certain food types and the degree to which the body responds to acid-alkali stimuli. Thus rankings of food types may not necessarily apply to all individuals with the same ranking or degree of importance, eg. individuals who are genetically predisposed to metabolic acidosis or alkalosis.

  • themaaan

    Yellow mustard is an alkalinizing condiment.
    The chart above shows acidic which is wrong.
    There are french mustards that are acidic but
    not your run of the mill yellow mustard. Google mustard and you will find 9/10 agree it is alkalinizing. I use it all the time on fish and chicken to lower the acidic value of food.

  • Luke

    I am 43 yo and had persistent burning pain in the urethra area mainly after urination. This happened about a month ago. Had the urine test and ultrasound done but they found nothing! So I googled the issues and found most people switched to a more alkaline diet. My previous diet included mainly black coffee (4 a day!), diary, meat, pasta, rice with little vegies. 2 weeks ago I cut down (not out!) everything by half and added lots of vegies and greens to my diet such as cucumber, avacado, tomotoes, beans, spinach, brocolli etc and drank lots of water during the day. It could be all in the head and coincidental but so far the pain has not come back and the body generally feel clearer and more alert.

    • joy

      thanks luke very helpful, im going through that at moment with my bladder, and i am going to cut out coffee and acidic foods etc, is green tea ok?

      • Chris

        @ Luke and Joy…you may want to visit the Urologist and ask him/her about Interstitial Cystitis Syndrome.

  • Dave Rowlands

    In response to people who say this diet is a fraud, I am 44 – I understand it is most benificial to over 40’s and my ph was 6 two months ago and I felt about 50 years old and my doctor was concerned about my health. After ten weeks on the alkaline diet I constructed myself, I have lost over two stone, got a clean bill of health from my doctor, a ph of 7,5 and I feel like a thirty year old again.

  • Jon

    The acid-alkaline balance in your body can NOT be disrupted by what you eat – stomach acid has a pH of between 1 and 2(logarithmic scale), and will overcome any level of alkaline food consumption by a factor of millions. Your body has many safeguards to keep itself at the proper pH, if it differs either in the acid or base direction, it is an indication of a much worse problem. Do proper research on this issue, this is another fraudulent diet.

    • ted

      @Jon, that isn’t entirely accurate and you’re not understanding the basic concept. It’s not the pH of the food eaten but the pH effect it has on the body. ie. lemons are highly acidic but they have an alkaline effect on the body. It is well documented that you can change the pH of the body through diet.

  • jill

    Has anyone reading this ever had a problem with urinary burning, symptoms like a urinary tract infection, however from possibly a too high acid system? I would love to hear from you!

    • joy

      going through that just now jill im going to try alkaline diet

    • someone

      I know this is kind of old, but I love reading comments and thought I would(again, haha!) Yes I am prone to this problem, it’s funny when you go to the doctor and they check your urine and find no bacteria but give you antibiotics anyway, that don’t work, and so your on your own again, left to help yourself. That’s when I gave into apple cider vinegar. cleared up that burning, sort of annoying feeling that you have to go again and again, within a day. Yes, thankyou nature. I use braggs(of course) and at first I was like UGH! I can’t drink this! now I love it, it’s sour and oaky and it does everything health wise that I want it to. It also works everytime so I know it’s the vinegar.Hope this helps!!

  • Bob

    Foods are classified as acid-forming or alkalizing depending on the effect they have on the body. An acid-forming food contributes hydrogen ions to the body, making it more acidic. An alkalizing food removes hydrogen ions from the body, making it more alkaline. It is important to note that this classification is based on the effect foods have on the body after digestion, not on their own intrinsic acidity or alkalinity (or how they taste to us). A common misconception is that if a food tastes acidic, it has an acid-forming effect on the body. This is not necessarily true. Very often, an acidic-tasting food is alkalizing. Citric fruits are a good example. People say that lemons, for example, are “too acidic”; however, they are actually alkalizing because the minerals they leave behind after digestion help remove hydrogen ions, decreasing the acidity of the body. (Many people use the term “residue” or “ash” to explain the effect of a food on the body. A food with an acid ash after digestion contributes hydrogen ions, making the body more acidic; a food with an alkaline ash after digestion removes hydrogen ions, making the body more alkaline.)

  • Margie

    I found if you want to change your body to more alkaline just add Apple cider vinegar with mothers in your diet. Dont use to much at a time however or it can burn your stomach also. the pills are useless however from my experience

  • Cheryl

    Just about every list conflicts. I guess the only way to know is to eat it and see how it effects ph test.

  • Cheryl

    I read same that distilled water is acidic. In my research have come to the conclusion that it is best to use distilled and than add trace minerals. Seems to help keep my Ph at an acceptable level.

  • Cheryl

    For example, I read elsewhere that soy is acidic (stay away from it). So, is almond milk.

  • Cheryl

    I see a lot of foods categorized as alkyline above but are acidic on other lists. Always a dilemma as to what is and what is not acidic.

    • ted

      @Cheryl when researching this you have to make sure the lists are listing foods that have an acidic effect on the body not the pH of the actual food. A lemon is highly acidic pH wise but has an alkaline effect on the body. Some lists are just dealing with the actual pH not the way the food effects the body.

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