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Nutrition Column

Acid-base balance, pH and diet

There is quite a bit of research on acid-base balance, pH (a measure of acidity), and diet.

Typically, our body does an excellent job in regulating our pH keeping us slightly alkaline with a pH of approximately 7.4.

If there are dietary modifications made which increase the acid content of our body we attempt to regulate and buffer the increased acid with our respiratory and renal (kidney) systems.

One problem with high-protein diets is the increased acid load. As a result much of the acid is released in the urine leading to increased urinary calcium loses. Ultimately, our body readjusts the lost calcium by leaching it from our bones and ultimately leading to osteoporosis.

A great book for this topic is Eat Right Electrolyte by Dr. Hawkins. He covers the topic of acid-base balance, disease, and diet quite extensively and superbly - without any scare tactics or unsubstantiated claims.

A diet high in fruits, grains, plants, and vegetables helps to maintain an optimal environment, including that of pH.

While juicing in itself isn't good or bad the main limitation of juicing over eating whole fruits or vegetables is the loss of fiber when the fruit or vegetable is juiced (processed). As long as you are getting adequate fiber elsewhere in the diet - fresh juiced items are excellent nutritional sources.

There is no need to limit fruit is ones diet unless they are hypertriglyceridemic as a result of a high fructose intake. Personally, I would not recommend limiting fruit intake. High-protein diets play a much more detrimental role in health and acid-base balance than do fruits. In addition, fruits contain essential phytonutrients not found in other food sources.

I think eliminating fruit from a diet would be extremely unwise. A balanced low-fat, low-protein, high-fiber (including an abundant supply of fruits and vegetables) diet with limited processed foods is the wisest and healthiest choice.
Written by Dr. Sternlicht for on 3.23.06