Q:

Why do nutritional labels not reflect the pH values of foods?

A:

Quick Answer

The pH of food is not included on nutrition labels because the purpose of food labeling is to reflect scientific information, including evidence regarding nutrition, obesity and chronic disease, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As of 2015, this information does not include a recommendation about food pH.

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Full Answer

Some nutritionists believe that an alkaline-forming diet is important to maintaining good health, states the American Nutrition Association. However, acid-base balance is a complex process that is closely regulated by various mechanisms in the body, the Merck Manual explains. The most important of these are the excretion of carbon dioxide by the lungs and the body's buffer system, which maintains acid-base balance by regulating the levels of dissolved carbon dioxide and bicarbonate in the blood. Additionally, the kidneys retain or excrete certain acids and bases as necessary, which also helps keep the blood pH an optimal 7.35 to 7.45.

The FDA is in the process of revising food labeling requirements to reflect the latest scientific information about America's most pressing health concerns, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the new guidelines focus on calorie content, added sugars and the types of fat that foods contain. Additionally, they highlight important nutrients that Americans consume in inadequate amounts, such as iron, vitamin D and potassium.

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