Acidic foods are known to cause health problems, especially when you already have a sensitive stomach. Our blood pH should be a bit alkaline, meaning 7.35 to 7.45. Figures below or above the said range can mean symptoms and diseases. Having a diet rich in acid foods can put your teeth at risk of erosion sooner than you think.
Acidic Food Confusion and Oral Health
When we eat foods and drink products with high acidity, the tooth enamel wears away. As a result, the teeth become discolored, demineralization occurs, and the dentin is left exposed, prone to sensitivity.
Brushing right after a meal will not help you combat the effects of acid foods. On the contrary, it will speed up the teeth’s wear. Acid softens the enamel, so it is best to wait a while before cleaning your teeth. Consider a mouthwash along with an acid fighting sodium bicarbonate (baking soda containing) toothpaste for extra protection against the damaging side effects of everyday acids.
Chronic Dietary Acidosis May Harm Your Teeth
A pH below 7.0 is acidic, and it can occur as a result of our diet, toxic overload, emotional stress, and immune reactions. At a blood pH of 7.2 you’ll feel pretty lousy and at a pH of only 6.9, which is not highly acidic at all, coma and possibly death will follow. Fortunately, your body works hard to maintain your blood pH in the healthy range.
Acidosis has become a common issue in our society because of the typical American diet. We eat far too high amounts of animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, and we neglect the importance of alkaline foods such as fresh vegetables. This has many side effects, including upon the teeth’s health. Recent research suggests that reducing the acid-inducing foods may also have cancer-protective effects.
List of Acidogenic Foods to Avoid
Acidic foods and acid-inducing or acidogenic foods are not the same. If you measure the acid content of all citrus foods before being eaten they will register very low pH (highly acidic). Those same lemons, limes and oranges, after eating, and during the complex digestion process result in a net reduction in acid formation or in other words are more alkalinizing. Carefully consider the food pH charts that you reference. In this particular chart, note the alkaline effect of digested lemons, limes, and oranges is offset by the initial strong acid content that will destroy your teeth when eaten excessively.
Sometimes it seems that you just can’t win.
There are numerous acid-alkaline diet plans and books recommended so look at them carefully and consider nutritional experts before throwing in with only one plan. There are inconsistencies from one list to another as to the acidogenic nature of foods which unfortunately leads to confusion.
The following example is one list of acidogenic foods to avoid. The sugars, sodas, and carbohydrates in contact with your teeth for an extended period of time will cause erosion and cavities. The others do not directly contribute to erosion as long as they are removed with brushing, flossing and rinsing. For the time being the jury is still out on whether a steady diet of acidogenic food affects your blood and as a result saliva pH enough to create a significant tendency towards cavities or tooth decay.
- Winter squash
Beans and Legumes
- Black Beans
- Chick, green, and kidney beans
- Almond, rice and soy milk
- Pinto and red beans
- White beans
- Bran, oat, and wheat
- Corn and cornstarch
- Flour (wheat and white)
- Hemp seed flour
- Macaroni, spaghetti, and noodles
- Wheat germ, wheat
Nuts and Butters
- Peanuts and peanut butter
- Plums and prunes
- Canned and glazed fruits
- Carp, fish, haddock, salmon, sardines, tuna
- Corned Beef
- Mussels, clams, oyster
- Organ Meats
- Scallops, shellfish, shrimp
- Ice cream and ice milk
- Corn Syrup
Fats and Oils
- Avocado oil
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Flax oil
- Hemp Seed oil
- Sesame oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower oil
- Olive oil
Other Acidifying Products
- Soft drinks
- Hard liquor
If you have problems with stomach acidity, you can reduce or eliminate some of the following foods that may cause more acidity or heartburn than others:
- Beef, lamb, goat, pork, chicken, deer, turkey, rabbit
- Soft and fizzy drinks
- Artificial sweeteners and sugar
- Pastries and cake
- Flour (white, wheat)
- White vinegar
- Black tea
- Wheat bread
- White rice
- Jams and jellies
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease may be caused by an improper, acidic diet. Processed foods, meat, dairy, and refined sugar are all factors that can contribute to a higher risk of developing this disease. Consuming acidic foods can cause excess gas, indigestion, heartburn, hair loss, and nasal congestion because of the excess acid in the stomach.
Other Risks Involving Acidic Foods
There are many side effects associated with eating acidic foods. Such conditions include:
- Dry skin
- Poor digestion
- Mood swings
- Brittle nails and hair
- Uric acid stones
- Sensitive gums
- Bone and muscle deterioration
- Increased risk for cancer, heart disease, and liver problems
Animal foods contain saturated fats that have been already linked to Alzheimer’s risk. This is due to the fact that these fats contribute to the development of beta amyloid plaques. These plaques in the brain have been associated with neurologic conditions and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
When consuming too many acidic foods, calcium is drained out of the human bones as a way to keep the body’s pH in balance. Maintaining a Standard American Diet will weaken the bones, leading to a plentitude of medical problems such as osteoporosis.
These foods also contribute to the overproduction of mucus, which can cause lungs problems. Mucus is created due to the body’s natural defense mechanism against acids, as a way of passing them out of the body. When mucus gets build-up in our organism, the lungs’ bronchi no longer have the ability to contract and expand as they would normally do with low mucoid levels. Because of this, people might experience trouble breathing, sinus problems, fatigue, and chest pain and discomfort.
As opposed to the nutrients in alkaline foods, those in acidic foods are not absorbed in the digestive system in a proper way. What happens is that this type of food will be absorbed into the bloodstream as acidic waste. The undigested food will putrefy in the intestine, which will release even more acid into the bloodstream. This will cause serious damage to the cardiovascular system due to arterial inflammation, plaques, and restricted blow flow. The result may include heart attacks, strokes, and multiple other heart conditions.
Acidic foods also cause nutrient deficiencies that lead to immunosuppression, increasing the risk for certain illnesses. Restoring the pH balance is crucial. Raw foods provide us with the much-needed enzymes that are normally destroyed with standard cooked foods.
The liver and the pancreas are some of the most susceptible to problems caused by high level of acid. This is because these are highly alkaline glands, and elevated levels of acid in the pancreatic juices and bile will irritate the surrounding tissue of these two glands. This leads to inflammation, ulcers, and even cancer.
It’s not only our internal organs that get compromised as a result of an acidic diet. Our skin is also an indication of the damage that is done on the inside. When the pH level is more acidic than normal and remains this way for an extended period of time, then it will show under the form of skin eruptions, dermatitis, eczema, acne, rashes, or breakouts. Acidic foods also offer a good breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and yeast, which are all triggers for many skin issues.
Change Your Diet
Acid buildup can cause a number of health problems, as listed above.
One of the best things we can do is to change our diet to a more alkaline one. To restore one’s health, the diet should contain up to 80 percent alkaline-forming foods and as low as 20 percent acid-forming foods. To maintain a good health, the human diet should be made up of 60 percent alkaline-forming foods and only 40 percent acid-forming foods.
Here’s how you can change your lifestyle and start living healthy.
Vegetables are perfect on a low acid diet. Root vegetables have the tendency of being more rich in minerals than others. Radishes, beets, turnips, carrots, rutabaga, and horseradish can be steamed for about 15-20 minutes, and they have a powerful satiating effect on the body. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprout, and cauliflower, are also a good choice.
Some products such as onions, garlic, red bell peppers, tomato products, chilies, and vegetable juices, can cause discomfort, excess gas, or even pain. It’s best to avoid them if you experience any side effects. You should also keep away from fried, canned, and creamed varieties of vegetables.
While some fruits are highly acidic and can cause irritation and inflammations, other are more alkaline and can actually neutralize the stomach. A human should eat two to four servings per day. A fruit serving is equal to one medium fruit or half a cup of canned or cut-up fruit. The most well-tolerated fruits are apples, melon, pears, cranberries, grapes, bananas, berries, and peaches.
Citrus fruits such as lime, pineapple, grapefruit, and oranges, should be consumed in moderation. Lemons, although falling in the citrus fruits family, are probably the most alkalizing fruits of all. Although outside the body, the juice is acidic, inside the body, lemon juice has an alkalizing effect, raising the pH level.
As listed above, dairy can be acidic. You should avoid whole fat milk, chocolate milk, high-fat creams and strongly flavored cheeses. However, they are a great source of protein, vitamin D, and calcium. This is why we should consume up to three servings per day. A serving means one cup of milk, 4 ounces of pudding, 8 ounces of yogurt, 2 ounces of cheese and one egg. The good kind of dairy is that consisting of low-fat yogurt, 1% milk, fat-free cheese and sour cream, feta cheese, and goat cheese.
Meat and Substitutes
Meat is acceptable in low acid diets daily as long as it does not exceed ten servings a week. One serving equals 3 ounces of poultry, lean meat, or fish. Meat substitutes can be consumed in the following quantities: 3 ounces of tofu, one-third cup of beans or peas, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
High-fat meats, chicken wings, poultry skin, sausage, bacon, and cold cuts should be avoided. The healthier alternatives are lean ground beef, skinless chicken breast, and fish. When cooking meat, you should always bake, grill, broil, roast, or poach it, and under no circumstances, you should fry it.
Grain products are acceptable in a diet low in acid but you should pick the low-fat varieties. Grain products containing whole milk or cream should be avoided. Do not exceed ten servings a week. One serving equals just one slice of bread, half a cup of cooked or dry cereal, pasta, or rice, or just six crackers.
Remember acid foods and acidogenic foods are not the same. Acid foods have a pH that can be tested before consuming. Acidogenic foods may have a neutral pH when tested but generate acid when digested. Yes, it is complex.