Food acidity level is measured from 1 to 14 pH scale. Those with 6 or lower pH level are more acidic. The lower the pH level is, the higher is the acidity. The neutral pH level is 7, and foods that have higher pH level than this are less acidic. Eating foods high in acid can cause various health issues, including liver problems, cancer, and kidney stones. Other negative effects are infections, headaches, irritability, fatigue, and low energy. To avoid these problems, here are some of the highly acidic foods not to include in your diet.
1. Soft Drinks, Soda or Cola
Even the least acidic soda is still below the neutral pH level, which is 7. In a study that was made with regards to the acidity of various soda brands, it showed that RC Cola was the most acidic at 2.387 pH. Second on the list was Cherry Coke that came at 2.522 pH. Very close at third was Coke at 2.525 pH. Of all the soft drinks tested, the least acidic was Mug root beer at 4.038 pH, although as stated, it is still far from the neutral level.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
The average pH level of artificial sweeteners is 6 pH, which still makes them acidic. Artificial sweeteners are often used as alternatives to glucose on diet sodas and other products. They contain substances that include acesulfame, sucralose, neotame, saccharine, and aspartame, which are all highly acidic.
Products containing yeast, such as baked goods, pasta, and wine, have an average pH level of 4.5 to 6. Bread doughs usually have the acidity level of 5.5 pH. Wines on the other hand can have acidity level of 3 pH and up. Wines from grapes that grow in colder climate are more acidic, as their acidity ranges from 3 to 3.5 pH, while wines from grapes that grow in warmer climate have the acidity level that’s 3.5 or higher.
This may not be a type of food, but since it’s commonly added on foods and it has high acid content, it should be on the list. It’s the sodium salt of non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. This additive is found on many food products that are also highly acidic, including flavorings, canned goods, and chips.
The more sugar you take in your system, the more acidic it will be. It doesn’t matter what type of sugar you use, whether it’s honey, corn, malt, brown, or white sugar, as they are all acidic. Sugars quickly increase blood sugar level, which in turn make it easier to grow mold, yeast, and bacteria in the body, making the system highly acidic.
6. Sorbet and Ice Cream
Dairy products are highly acidic, and one of them is ice cream. Milk is a common ingredient in making ice cream, and the ratio for its acidity to be neutralized by water is 20:1. This means that in order to make the acid level of a cup of milk neutral, you’ll need to take 20 cups of water. A study was also made on the acidity of ice cream and sorbet. It showed that sorbet was more acidic with the lemon-flavored sorbet being the most acidic at 3.2 pH. The strawberry sorbet had 3.5 pH and the mango sorbet had 4.1 pH. The average acidity level of vanilla ice cream was close to neutral, which was 6.85 pH, while the average acidity level of chocolate ice cream was under the neutral level at 7.5 pH.
Most beers have an average pH of 4 to 5, which make them acidic. Malt beers have higher acidity level compared to light beers. The latter can have as little as 0.07% acid content. However, beers that are sour are more acidic as their average pH is 3.30. This includes Berliner Weisse and Belgian lambic.
8. Energy Drinks
Energy drinks promise to boost your stamina to keep going, but the truth is they are high in acid. Gatorade is one of the most popular brands and it has a pH level of 2.9. SoBe Energy Citrus also has 2.9. while Monster Energy and AMP Energy both have 2.7 pH. Rock Star has high acidity level at 1.5 pH, and Full Throttle has the highest at 1.45 pH. Red Bull has the lowest pH at 3.3, although it’s still far from the neutral level.
9. Citrus Foods
While citrus foods are good in boosting the immune system, they are highly acidic; so, if you are experiencing problems due to high acid in your system, they should be avoided too. Lemons and limes are some of the most acidic fruits with their pH level ranging from 2.0 to 2.80. Grapes have a pH level of 2.9 to 3.82, and oranges have 3.69 to 4.34 pH.
The average acidity of meat, such as chicken, pork, and beef is between 5.2 pH to 7 pH. While there are some meats that fall under the neutral pH level, most are still on the acidic side. Meats have high purine content that can start the formation of uric acid. This may cause high acidity in the blood, which can also spread to the joints and tissues, causing kidney stones and gout. Plant proteins have lower purine level so they are good alternatives.
Word of Advice:
Acid is not all bad as it is needed by the system to break down substances. However, too much of this is what’s bad. Control the portion that you take on these acidic foods, or if you are already suffering from health problems caused by high levels of acid in your system, it’s best to completely avoid them.