Acidic foods are considered to be those that promote an increase in the level of acidity in the blood, causing the body to work harder to maintain the blood pH, weakening the immune system and increasing the risk of other diseases.
Some theories such as the alkaline diet consider that acidic foods can modify the pH of the blood making it more acidic, however, this is not possible because the acid and base balance in the organism is fundamental for the metabolism and the functioning of the cells, therefore the pH of the blood must be maintained in a range between 7.36 and 7.44. To maintain this range, the body applies different mechanisms that help regulate the pH and compensate for any variations that may occur.
There are some diseases or conditions that can acidify the blood and, in these cases, depending on the severity it could put the person’s life at risk. However, it is believed that acidic foods could (within this blood pH range) cause the blood tendency to be more towards the acidic side, causing the body to work harder to keep the blood pH within normal.
However, foods may acidify the pH of the urine, as in fact happens after eating a protein food or a simple carbohydrate, as the body is eliminating the wastes that were produced by metabolizing this type of food, this being one of the compensatory mechanisms by which the body regulates the blood pH.
But it is important to mention that the pH of the urine does not reflect the general state of health of the individual or the general pH of the blood, and can be influenced by factors other than diet.
List of acidic foods
Acidic foods that can alter pH are:
How to include acidic foods in the diet
According to the alkaline diet acidic foods can be included in the diet, however, they should comprise between 20 to 40% of the diet with the remaining 60 to 80% being alkaline foods. When including acidic foods one should prefer those that are natural and little processed such as beans, lentils, nuts, cheeses, yogurts and milk, as they are necessary for the organism, while foods rich in sugars and white flours should be avoided.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and natural foods is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that allow the organism to easily regulate the pH of the blood, keeping it more towards the alkaline side, favoring the immune system and preventing the emergence of various diseases.