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assorted vegetables

Foods to Make Your Diet More Acidic


What are acid foods? As noted in my section on alkaline diets, almost every book I have with information on acid and alkaline foods has somewhat conflicting information on this subject. In general, most meats, grains, cheeses, nuts and legumes produce an acid ash after they are metabolized.

The following foods are generally listed as having an acid ash:


All meat including bacon, beef, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, chicken, eggs, fish, ham, lamb, pork and veal.

Nuts / Peanuts (which are really a legume)

Brazil nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, and English walnuts.

Grains and Grasses

Breads (white, rye, whole wheat), cake, white rice, refined flour, oatmeal, shredded wheat, puffed rice, cornflakes and macaroni have an acid ash.


Cottage cheese and cheddar cheese


Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline except as noted below.


According to the authors of the Mayo Clinic Diet Manual (MCDM), cranberries, plums and prunes have an acid ash. This is due to their benzoic and quinic acid content that are excreted in the urine as hippuric acid. Elson Haas, writing in Staying Healthy with Nutrition notes that pomegranates and strawberries have an acid ash.


According to the authors of Nutrition Almanac, asparagus and brussel sprouts have an acid ash. The MCDM lists corn as having an acid ash. All other vegetables are shown as listed form all my other books as having an alkaline ash.


Interesting Resource:

Acid - Base Balance - A Human Nutrition and Health Resource - an online resource from the web site Paleodiet.com by Loren Cordain. Lists the PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load per 100 grams) of various foods. Negative numbers indicate base or alkaline-producing foods and positive numbers are acid-producing foods. From the Paleo Diet web site. Data adapted from Data Remer T, Manz F. Potential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine pH. J Am Diet Assoc 1995;95:791-797


1. Mahan, L. Kathleen, et al., Krause's Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy, 9th Edition, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1996. (p. 780)

2. Haas, Elson, Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Celestial Arts, Berkeley, California, 1992.

3. Mayo Clinic Diet Manual, 3rd Edition, Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders Company.

4. Herman Aihara, Acid and Alkaline, 5th edition, George Ohshawa Macrobiotic Foundation, Oroville, California, 1986.

5. Kirhschmann, Gayla J and John D., Nutrition Almanac, Fourth Edition, McGraw Hill, 1996.


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