pH Diet
Posted by Jordan in pH Diet
More often known as the acid alkaline diet or simply the alkaline diet, the pH diet is based on the discovery that the foods we eat have a powerful effect on our internal pH balance, which in turn has a major effect on our health.

Like the oceans in which our ancient ancestors evolved, most of our body fluids exist in a slightly alkaline state. Because our cells and organs function best within a narrow pH range, our bodies go to great lengths to maintain that range. As long as you follow a balanced pH diet most of the time, your body can cope with the occasional indulgence of acid-forming foods.

But if you eat mostly acidifying foods every day, your body is constantly forced to detoxify this excess acid before it can cause serious illness or even death. To do so, your body combines the acid with alkalizing minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, before eliminating it in your urine. This is a normal process that works perfectly as long as your total consumption of acidifying foods is not too high.

Unfortunately, most people in the United States and other Western countries go their entire lives eating a diet that is mostly acid-forming. What is it about the Western diet that is so acidifying? Or have people always eaten this way?

The pH Diet in Historical Context

To answer these questions, let's travel back in time a few million years, to when our ancient ancestors were hunter-gatherers who made their livings by digging up tubers and butchering mammoths with stone tools. Not surprisingly, the hunting-gathering diet was much different from ours. In many ways, it was significantly better. To begin with, everything they ate was fresh, whole, and organic. Nothing they ate came out of a package, and none of it was manufactured in a factory.

But we need to get more specific in order to explain the differences between the paleolithic diet and the modern diet. Hunter-gatherers eat a fair amount of meat, which is acidifying, but many other acidifying foods did not become part of the human diet until much later.

For example, it wasn't until humans domesticated cattle and other livestock that milk and other dairy foods became a standard part of the diet. For most of human existence, the only people who drink milk were breast-fed infants.

Grains became part of the diet with the invention of agriculture. Meanwhile, consumption of fruits and vegetables declined as these foods were replaced by cheaper, more convenient, and more durable substitutes.

Much later, during the eighteenth century, an increase in trade and improved food processing technologies led to a dramatic increase in the consumption of sugar and other processed sweeteners.

During the 20th century, consumption of sugar and other processed foods dramatically increased, as more and more people ate food out of packages rather than cooking it themselves. Meanwhile, meat consumption, which had decreased with the transition from hunting and gathering to settled agriculture, rose dramatically as westerners took advantage of their new-found wealth to indulge an appetite for meat.

By applying modern technology to food production, we have created the most acidifying diet in human history. Fortunately, the power is in all of our hands to return to the benefits of the pH diet.

To begin with, we can reduce our consumption of meat and dairy products. We can also eat less corn, rice, and wheat, possibly replacing some of these acidifying grains with alkalizing grains such as amaranth and quinoa. We can get more of our protein from vegetarian sources: beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. Finally, and most importantly, we can eat more fruits and vegetables. This simple step is not only the most important thing we can do to alkalize bodies, but it is arguably the single most important thing we can do for our overall health.