The pH Diet was first put forward by Dr. William Hay, who in his book, A New Health Era (Ponoco Haven, 1939) describes how certain diseases are caused by the consumption of too much acid-forming foods, causing toxic overload within the body. This can cause a host of inflammatory conditions such as gout, arthritis, migraines and cardiovascular disease.
Consuming healthy foods that are alkaline forming is thought to be conducive to health.
How Alkaline Foods Diet Lowers Inflammation
pH stands for Potential Hydrogen, which gives an indicator of whether a food leaves an alkaline or acidic residue once metabolized in the body.
According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine (The Gale Group Inc, 2008), pH is a measurement of whether a solution is alkaline or acidic. This is determined by the amount of hydrogen ions in a given solution and is described as a figure between one and fourteen. The following serves to clarify:
pH 7 is neutral
pH 0 to 6 is acidic
pH 8 to 14 is alkaline
The higher the figure, the more alkaline the solution; the lower the figure, the more acidic the solution.
Promoting an Alkaline Body Balance
When food is metabolized in the body, it leaves a residue. It is the pH factor of the residue that determines its pH factor, not the pH factor of the food prior to consumption. Lemons and limes, for instance, are acidic prior to consumption, but leave an alkaline residue once metabolized, and are therefore alkaline.
Acid Alkaline Diet
The pH Diet is not the same as the food-combining diet (or the Hay Diet), for the pH diet is more about achieving an alkaline state in the body. By careful eating, the pH diet helps the body achieve a more alkaline balance.
According to the pH scale, the following foods fall into the categories determined by the pH value of the residue they leave in the body after metabolization. Generally speaking, fruit and vegetables fall into the alkaline category, whilst proteins fall into the more acidic category.
List of Highly Alkaline Foods
The following foods leave a highly alkaline residue in the body after metabolization:
raw vegetables and their juices
spices such as ginger
cold pressed oils such as virgin olive oil
Low Alkaline Foods to Neutral – The following foods are slightly alkaline after metabolization:
cooked vegetables and fruit
goats’ cheese and milk
raw nuts and seeds
Low Acidic Foods – The following foods leave a slightly acidic residue in the body after metabolizaion:
wheat alternatives such as buckwheat and spelt
beans and lentils
Medium Acid Foods – The following foods may leave an acidic residue after metabolization:
pastries, cakes and biscuits
High Acid Foods – The following foods are highly acidic, most of which are best avoided for optimum health:
soda drinks such as cola
condiments such as mustard and ketchup
hydrogenated vegetable oil
burnt cooking oil
beef and pork
processed meats such as bacon and ham
barbecued or roasted food, particularly if burnt
highly processed foods and junk foods
most alcoholic drinks
Guide to the Alkaline Food Diet the Healthy Way
Acid forming foods such as barbecued beef and wine has been shown to cause inflammatory conditions such as gout, but certain acid forming foods from healthy sources, such as turkey and fish, combined with plenty of fruit and vegetables, are necessary for health. Including plenty of alkaline foods such as fruit, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds is likely to result in improved health and help guard against inflammatory disease.