Guest article by Shwetha Bhatia
The pH of blood is slightly alkaline at 7.35-7.45. When there is a high acid load, the kidney and lungs compensate to maintain the alkalinity.
Modern diets low in fruit/vegetables/nuts/dairy (magnesium, calcium, potassium) and higher in processed food (sugar, sodium and chloride) can lead to an increased acid load.
A high-protein diet contrary to popular belief, results in very little change in blood pH, but results in many changes in urinary chemistry; resulting in an increased risk for kidney stones. However, it does not cause bone loss if the diet contains adequate calcium and Vit D. Grains, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, walnuts, peanuts and cheese, are classified as acid-ash foods. Most fruits, almonds, coconut and almost all vegetables and dairy are alkaline.
Adequate protein is needed for protecting against age related muscle loss. Therefore, increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables and decreasing grains may be necessary rather than reducing protein.
Alkaline foods promote growth hormone and body composition, reduce risk of heart disease, alleviate back pain and increase magnesium levels (provided Vit D levels are optimal) and show benefits during chemotherapy (but not prevention of cancer).
Shwetha Bhatia is a registered dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association. She runs her practice under the brand name “Metamorphosis’ in Mumbai. She is also a competitive fitness athlete (IBBF Bronze winner at the State & National Level 2015). She has also set up her own gym and nutrition counselling centre in Goa called Gym & Tonic. She’s also a columnist for the fitness magazine Krunch Today.