Acid-base diet: principle, effects, foods

To be in good health, the pH in our body must be balanced, i.e. it must have a good balance “acid-base” (“pH” means “hydrogen potential”: it indicates the degree of acidity in a medium). Mainly influenced by our diet, the basico-acid balance is sometimes broken, and the acidity level in the blood is too high, it can happen frequently. Indeed, each food being acidic, neutral or basic, according to the type of food which we will eat regularly, our blood and our tissues are also more or less acidic.

What is the acid-base diet?

The goal of the acid-base diet is to maintain a neutral pH, as close to 7.4 as possible. This is the body’s normal value. In general, people who adopt this method have noticed a basico-acid imbalance in their organism.

Week 1: alkalizing

The first phase of the acid-base method lasts from fifteen days to a month. It is alkalizing. It consists of consume fruits and vegetables along with small portions of vegetable protein (soya, legumes, etc.).

Week 2: remineralising

The second phase lasts one week. It is remineralizing: it allows the reintroduction of meats, lean fish, and beneficial fatty acids. The third (for life!) is to add meats, cereals and cheeses, but in moderation, to respect the 70/30 rule.

  • A 70/30 plate (70% basic foods, 30% acid foods);
  • 10 to 12 glasses of water (or fruit and vegetable juice, tea, herbal tea, etc.) per day;
  • The fruits and vegetables;
  • The oily fish ;
  • The oleaginous fruit ;
  • The vegetable proteins (soya, legumes).

The body constantly fights against the acid attacks caused by our modern lifestyles, in particular by unbalanced and processed food. It constantly maintains the acid-base balance. One of the main ways of regulating balance consists of varying the speed of pulmonary ventilation: the lungs eliminate volatile acids.

To mop up the excess acid components it faces, avoid an imbalance and maintain a stable pH, the body draws permanently on its resources in mineral salts. Result: it malfunctions, which leads to health problems and, in turn, weight gain.

To restore the proper functioning of the body, the solution is to fight against acidity by focusing on a diet rich in “basics”.The key: pounds less, but also more vitality and radiance, fewer health concerns (allergies, joint pain, migraines, cardiovascular disorders, etc.).

Eating too much salt contributes to acid-base imbalance

Nowadays, food is often too acidifying. One culprit in particular is to be pointed out: salt (or sodium chloride). In excessive consumption, it acidifies our body and breaks the acid-base balance. Other foods can obviously promote the acidity of the body, but salt too salty a diet will undoubtedly contribute to the increase in the level of acidity in the body.

Any medium has a degree of acidity evaluated by a measure, the pH.

  • A pH greater than 7 means that the medium is basic (or alkaline);
  • A pH below 7 highlights acidity;
  • A pH equal to 7, neutralshows a balance.

The human body is also governed by a pH, that of its blood. Thereby, a healthy human body is basic (pH between 7.5 and 9).

The acidity level is measured from urine, using a dipstick (available in pharmacies). The latter changes color on contact with urine. A word of advice: avoid analyzing your urine with your first urination in the morning, as it is always acidic due to the body’s nocturnal elimination work. Prefer the second urination.

What are acidic foods to avoid?

Contrary to what one might think, acidity has nothing to do with the taste of a food. Some may taste acidic, but be alkalizing, and vice versa! To know the acidity of a food, there is a tool, the PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load). Expressed in milliequivalent units per 100 g, it reveals an excess of acidity when it is positive and an excess of alkalinity when it is negative. In the meantime, here is the list of acidifying foods to avoid.

acidifying foods

  • Some fruits and vegetables ;
  • The cereals (especially refined);
  • The starches such as pasta, rice and white bread (especially refined. Prefer their whole version or bulgur and quinoa;
  • the butter ;
  • the cheese ;
  • The meat (especially red);
  • the fish ;
  • The deli ;
  • thesugar ;
  • the salt ;
  • I’alcohol ;
  • the Coffee.

Acidic fruits and vegetables

Some fruits are very acidic: tomatoes, red fruits (strawberry, raspberry, currant, blackcurrant, blackberry…), citrus fruits (mandarin, orange), pineapples, kiwis, oilseeds such as walnuts, hazelnuts…

Acidifying vegetables are asparagus, aubergines, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, onions, morels…

What are the most alkaline foods?

Unlike acid-forming foods, some foods are alkalizing (which relate to “alkalis”, generic name of the bases and basic salts given by certain so-called alkaline metals with oxygen). Here is their list below.

The so-called foods “basic” :

  • Some fruits and vegetables ;
  • the soy ;
  • the green tea ;
  • The herbal infusions ;
  • Some oilseeds (almonds, coconut, sesame, sunflower seeds, etc.);
  • Some dried fruits ;
  • Some spices ;
  • The vegetal oils.

Lemon: acid or alkaline?

Lemon is often associated with high acidity. However, it is false! This food is misleading because it is one of those sour tasting foods, but with alkalizing power. You can totally integrate lemon into an acid-base diet.

Garlic: acid or alkaline?

It’s the same, with its strong taste, you might think that garlic is acidic. However, he is on the side of alkaline foods. Spices in general are alkaline: ginger, curry, turmeric, cumin…

The acid-base diet is not very complicated to follow. Here’s what you should find on your plate on a typical day.


  • A fresh fruit (not acidic);
  • A glass of soy milk or plain yogurt or cottage cheese;
  • A bowl of oatmeal.

At lunch

  • 150 g of chicken or tuna;
  • Vegetables (non-acidic);
  • Green tea;
  • A square of dark chocolate.

At dinner

  • A homemade vegetable soup;
  • 150 g fatty fish;
  • Vegetables (non-acidic), soy yogurt;
  • A herbal tea or green tea.

At snacks

  • A fresh juice;
  • An oilseed (nuts, almonds) or soy milk.

To read on the subject: “The acid-base method and My Anti-Aging Promise”, Dr. Hervé Grosgogeat, ed. Odile Jacob.

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