Alkaline Foods to Balance High Acid Foods

A popular theory related to osteoporosis and diet is that the higher the acid load or acid producing potential of your diet the harder your body has to work to maintain a healthy blood pH.  This is considered an even more significant issue in older people because of declining kidney function.   The theory proposes that the body tries to defend against increasing acid by breaking down bone and muscle to obtain needed nutrients.   Some scientists believe dietary acid loads from Western diets may be a risk factor for osteoporosis.  The acid load of a particular food is determined by what the food releases into the bloodstream upon metabolism not on the acidity of the food prior to metabolism.  Grains like breads, cereals, rice, and pasta as well as meats, fish, egg yolks and cheeses release acids into the bloodstream upon metabolism.  Fruits and vegetables break down to add alkali (opposite of acid) to the bloodstream which helps neutralize acid.  Foods with higher acid loads don't have to be eliminated from the diet but they need to be eaten in moderation and correctly balanced with alkaline foods so the net effect is a more alkaline, bone healthy diet.

Research indicates the best way to reduce dietary acid load is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables with modest amounts of breads, cereals and pastas and adequate protein but not excessive animal protein.