Non-Acidic Foods
Posted by Jordan in Acidic Food
Many people want to choose non-acidic foods because they suffer from heart burn, acid reflux, or similar conditions which can be worsened by eating acidic foods. Other people seek out non-acidic foods because they are trying to follow an alkaline diet.

Unfortunately, the issue of acidity in relation to food is much more complicated than most people realize. In order to understand which foods are non-acidic, we need to distinguish between foods which are acidic outside the body, and foods which make the body more acidic once they have been eaten, digested, and absorbed.

To make this distinction easier to remember, I like to refer to the first group—foods that are acidic outside the body—as acidic, and the second group—foods that are acidic inside the body—as acidifying.

For example, milk certainly doesn't seem acidic. But inside the human body, it has an acidifying effect. To give you another example, all vinegars are acidic, and most vinegars also have an acidifying effect on the body. But one exception is apple cider vinegar, which is actually an alkalizing food. This effect is due to its high alkaline mineral content.

Foods that have an alkalizing effect after they are eaten include most fruits and vegetables (including kale, sweet potatoes, yams, raspberries, watermelon, tangerine, pineapple, persimmon, nectarine), many nuts and seeds, and a few grains. On the other hand, with the exception of lentils, nearly all legumes are acidifying. So are meats and dairy products.

The Bottom Line on Non-Acidic Foods

The issue of acid and alkaline foods can be confusing. So it may be worthwhile to ask what conclusions we should take away. Should you avoid acidic foods, acidifying foods, both, or neither?

Heartburn, acid reflux (GERD), and other conditions that are associated with the overproduction of stomach acid can indeed be made worse by the consumption of acidic foods, such as tomatoes. If you suffer from one of these conditions, there is no harm in temporarily cutting out acidic food and seeing if your symptoms improve.

Other foods that should be avoided by acid reflux sufferers include spicy foods, citrus juices, coffee, soft drinks and other carbonated beverages, and fatty foods.

On the other hand, if you are concerned about the effect of too many acidifying foods on your overall health, then the important thing isn't whether the foods you eat are acidic or alkaline on your plate. instead, what matters is whether those foods are acidifying or alkalizing after you've eaten them. To determine this, you can't go by intuition. Your best bet is to find an accurate list or chart of acidifying and alkalizing foods, and refer to this list as you do your cooking and shopping.