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How do you read an acid-base food table?

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Quick Answer

An acid-base food table describes which types of food cause an acidic response in the human body and which types cause an alkaline reaction. The food table divides each of the two types of food items into categories such as fruits, vegetable, protein and others.

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Full Answer

The acid-alkaline food table is a key component of the alkaline diet. This food regimen argues that, because human blood is moderately alkaline, it is healthier to eat alkaline foods than acidic foods. Over-consumption of the latter leads to an acidic body pH, which is the source of disease, fatigue and other bodily woes.

According to the alkaline diet, the optimum food intake consists of essentially all types of vegetables except for corn, olives, winter squash and lentils, as well as most types of fruit. Meat and dairy products, as well as grains and most types of processed foods, are acidic and can cause a decline in health. Many websites espousing the alkaline diet also argue for taking specific supplements to increase alkaline levels.

The basic assumption of the alkaline diet, that types of food eaten affect the bodily pH level, is erroneous, according to a WebMD article reviewing the regimen. The human body actively works to maintain a constant pH level, regardless of food intake. Although the diet is essentially healthy because it encourages higher levels of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, it won't solely cause weight loss because it doesn't specifically promote daily exercise, the other major factor in healthy living.

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