Got milk? You have probably heard this logo many times. It is a commercial put out by the American advocating milk, usually it features a lonely stack of cookies or dry cereal clearly in need of company. Sometimes it features a celebrity wearing a milk mustache.
Most of us have grown up being taught that milk is an essential part of our diet. Of course, it must be. It comes from our own mommies. It’s full of calcium and protein and Vitamin D. Good boys and girls drink milk!
Milk and dairy have been getting a bad rap lately. It seems that milk is an acid. “An acid?,” you say, “but milk is lovely and creamy, it can’t possibly be an acid! Acids are bad.”
Here’s how it goes, foods are either acid or alkaline. Most foods are acidic, but our bodies need to be slightly alkaline. Although milk has alkaline properties outside the body, inside it is acidic. When we eat too many acidic foods, they begin to rob the calcium from our bones, and milk, being acidic, is one of the worst perpetrators. “But, I’m confused,” you say, ‘If milk is robbing the calcium from our bones, what should I eat to put it back?”
The truth is, we do need some acid in our diet. Although most people struggle with high acidity levels, but it is important to acknowledge the fact that low acidity can also be a problem and some foods that are on the acid list do have benefits. To solve this problem, nondairy alternatives to milk can be used, such as unsweetened almond or soy milk and ice cream and yogurt which contain say or almond milk are also available. You will get the vitamins without the acidic qualities.
Protein is another slightly problematic issue. We need proteins to form enzymes, muscles, hormones and other bodily components. Without protein in the diet, the body will begin to break down muscle fibers. So, what’s the problem? Protein is also, you guessed it, an acid. Some red meat, in fact, has a pH of 13. That’s pretty close to battery acid. What can you do? You need the protein, but you don’t want the acid. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for protein. The key solution here is balance. Researchers suggest that we eat 80% alkaline food and 20% acidic foods to maintain a healthy pH balance. Of course, everyone’s body is slightly different and some adjustment may be required.
Just so you can get some idea of how you might do that, here are lists of some foods that are mostly acidic and some that are mostly alkaline:
High Acid Foods
Grains, sugar, fish, dairy products, fresh and processed meats, such as turkey and corned beef, processed food, high protein foods and supplements, sodas and other sweetened beverages
Low Acid Foods
Soy, such as miso soy beans, eggs, unsweetened milk and yoghurt, tempeh and tofu, most veggies, including potatoes, raw honey, spices and herbs, excluding mustard, nutmeg and sale, most fruits, whole grains, such as millet, flax, amaranth and quinoa, and herbal tea
In looking at this, you will see that it is clear that there are a lot of really nutritional foods on the acid list. Well, before you ditch the fish, remember, the key is balance. Try and get close to 80/20 and live your healthiest life!