What Food Are You Eating?
And Should You Care?
The statistics of diseases caused by the American diet (or Western in general) are really scary. So I will not give you numbers but understand this much: a very large percent of our population suffers from metabolic syndrome, which consists of several diseases such as: obesity, diabetes 2, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, various immune disease (yes, many!), and I even want to add some other disease here that are not considered to be “metabolic disorders” but they are: heart disease, hypertension, seizures, migraines, some types of MS, some types of Parkinson’s, depression, anxiety, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and many more. I will not explain the connection of disease to food here since that is a book on its own but I want to brush by you some facts of importance that participate in these diseases.
The pH of your body
Whether a diet in high pH (alkaline) or low pH (acidic) is good for us, is debatable since each of our body-type cells has a different function. As a result, each has a different ideal pH level. For example, skin is more acidic (low pH) to ward off invaders. The vagina is extremely acidic to kill of invading organism (including sperms!). The saliva is a tad acidic (6.5 – 6.8 on the pH strip where 7 is neutral) for the same reason: kill off bugs and also to help digestion. Our cerebral fluid (brain) is neutral (7) and our intracellular and blood fluids are alkaline at 7.3 or so.
There are many companies selling water alkalizing equipment or alkaline water… don’t fall for the scam! Also many companies selling Himalayan salt or unpurified Sea salt will try to convince you about the alkalinity or acidity. Scam alert! Salt becomes sodium chloride in the body. Sodium chloride, as pure salt, is pH7 (neutral) but when you break salt (sodium chloride) up into parts, the parts are not neutral: sodium is alkaline and chloride is acidic. The minerals in salt are not important for the body–particularly not when they come from lead, mercury, radioactive materials (Himalayan salt) or fish poop and dead organic materials mixed with mud for taste (Celtic and others). Why so much discussion on salt? Because it is one of the most important minerals for our body.
Most animal meats and seafood are acidic and most citrus fruits (even though they taste acidic and measure acidic in pH) and a host of other fruits, become alkaline in the body (not all so read a cool list I found online that categorizes many foods). Also many nuts (like peanuts) are acidic and others (like almond) are alkaline! So there is no “in general nuts…” They differ! Also oils: avocado oil is acidic even though avocado is alkaline (I have not yet figured that one out… must be in the processing) but some other oils may be alkaline. Raw milk is neutral but processed (even organic) moves back and forth on the chart between acidic or neutral; I suppose based on brand.
Why do you need to know this?
A highly acidic diet not only calls for an antacid time to time or every day; that is the least of your concern. The bigger concern is how it damages the body. Scientific literature on this is a bit confusing so I am not citing any until I read enough to fully understand the consequences but all are in agreement in one thing: acidic environment supports cancer cell growth. Acidic environments are very common in Western diet full of processed food, meat, fish, sugar, and most importantly: grain!
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, do not smile! You are not any better off! An alkaline environment is not protecting you from invaders and you may sacrifice your immune system! There are a host of other issues also with a vegan/vegetarian diet.
In general a balanced diet is the best (I know you heard that before). However, the balance does not come from the current USDA pyramid of balance becuase it is grain and sugar heavy and that is acidic! So evaluate your diet! Stop all sugars and sugar substitutes, reduce your grains (or stop them all, like I did) and balance your diet around a healthy pH. Eat both meats and vegetables since eating only one or only the other will get you into trouble and cause disease!
Increase your dietary intake of fats if you have medical conditions that affect the nerves–seizures, migraines, anxiety, depression, etc! Fats help the recovery of your axons. Axons carry voltage in your brain and their insulation, myelin, is dependent on fats! So have some! Eating fat will only make you fat if you also eat sugar or high carbs–so don’t!
If you decide to embark on a special diet like Ketogenic or MAD (modified Atkins diet) and are on the high fat low protein and low carbs diet, in addition to having a visit with your doctor for proper dietary guidance, please read the above website link that explains what foods cause our bodies to be acidic and which ones to be alkaline. If you need to correct any food for proper pH, you have help there.
Most importantly: do not make major dietary changes without discussing it with your doctor first. This includes stopping all sugars and reduce carbs since this can hurt you if you are a diabetic or have hypoglycemia. Not eating enough carbs to fuel your brain and body can cause a serious sugar crash that can be fatal so talk to your healthcare provider.
Eating a healthy diet means different diet for different people so do not jump into conclusions without talking to your doctor who can evaluate what diet is good for you.
Questions are welcome as always!