This one’s for those of you who think you’ve got this whole healthy eating thing down cold.
You’ve shunned aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, you’ve minimized meat in your diet, and you eat lots of greens.
And that’s great! You should pat yourself on the back for all your efforts to eat nutritious foods and stay healthy.
But I’m a big believer that the more you know, the better you’ll do. As you continually educate yourself by reading books and blogs like this one, you will make better choices for yourself because you know how important it is and how it will benefit you.
Here is what I mean…
I can’t tell you how many times my patients will say to me “Dr. Daryl, you’ll be so proud of me…I am eating so much healthier…” and then they proceed to give off a list that is 100% ACIDIC AND INFLAMMATORY!
Now, many of the choices they were making may have been a step up from pizza, chips, and soda, but as you will see below, they are on my list of UNUSUAL SUSPECTS!
In other words, you may be eating foods and THINKING that they are healthier, when in fact, they’re not.
So today, I want to talk about the foods that you probably think of as nutritious, often because most people will tell you that they are.
In fact, several of these foods are the current darlings of the food media. They’re touted as angelic, but I’m here to tell you they have a devilish side. And that’s acid.
Let’s take a look at 7 of these offenders, why they’re not good for you, and what to eat instead.
1. Greek Yogurt
This one’s all the rage right now, isn’t it? And partly for good reason.
Unlike all of the yogurts that filled the shelves a few years ago, Greek yogurt has less sugar or even no sugar, and very few contain artificial sweeteners.
I’m all for that, so if you’re going to eat yogurt, an unsweetened organic Greek yogurt is probably the way to go. BUT, that doesn’t mean you SHOULD go there!
Here’s the problem – Greek yogurt is still made from cow’s milk, so even if it’s less acidic than the sugary kind, it’s still HIGHLY acid-forming.
Let’s recap why yogurt and all dairy products are bad for you:
- They lead to weaker – not stronger – bones. While milk is high in calcium, it’s low in magnesium, which is necessary for calcium absorption. In fact, it has a 10:1 ratio of Ca to Mg which is VERY imbalanced. You need a ratio of 1:1 to be able to ABSORB the calcium.
- It is high in the sugar lactose, as well as phosphorous, so therefore your body needs more INTERNAL usable calcium (i.e. from your BONES) to neutralize the acid potential of the dairy
- Dairy has 20 TIMES the amount of casein than human milk which is poorly digested and very damaging to the human immune system
- Most dairy products are made from milk of cows that feed on grains and are loaded with pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and other acidic hormones and pesticide residues
- They are acid-forming in the body because of an imbalance in minerals.
- They can contribute to heart disease because of pro-inflammatory fatty acids.
- They can contain antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, and painkillers.
- They are difficult for humans to digest because cow’s milk is only intended for infant cows, NOT humans! In fact, we are the ONLY mammals that consume another mammals breast milk AFTER weaning (cows don’t even drink cows milk! Do you see what’s seriously wrong with this picture, yet we’ve been taken for a serious ride by the dairy industry and their $$$ milk mustache campaign!)
What to eat instead: So Delicious brand makes a Greek-style coconut milk yogurt with no sugar added. That makes a great alternative when you want the taste of yogurt without all of the acid.
I am also a big fan of chia puddings which have a similar texture and consistency.
When it’s calcium you’re after, look to better sources of calcium than cow’s milk such as:
Almond milk/Coconut milk
So many people these days are moving away from high-fructose corn syrup filled sodas or worse, diet sodas with artificial sweeteners. That’s great, but unfortunately, they’re replacing them with carbonated water.
While I like that it doesn’t contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, carbonated water is still acidic.
It takes around 20 glasses of water to neutralize the acid in ONE sparkling water!
Carbonated water is infused with carbon dioxide, a waste product of respiratory metabolism (we breathe in oxygen, and breathe out carbon dioxide).
This is one of the reasons why cancer patients have such a HIGH breathe rate! The average breathe rate should be between 5-6 breathes per minute, whereas most cancer patients it is OVER 25. They are breathing so rapidly to expel the CO2 in the blood that is making their blood pH so acidic.
And your lungs, being one of the most powerful buffers of acid, neutralizes 70% of the toxic burden in your body, and changing the way you breathe (rapid, short, and shallow) is how it does it.
If you are going to drink the occasional La Croix or other sparking water, make it a special treat as part of the 80/20 lifestyle, not a regular thing, add an organic lemon slice and BE SURE to follow it up with a dose of Alkamind Daily Minerals. That way, instead of needing 20 glasses of water (who is going to do that?), 1 glass of Daily Minerals will neutralize all that acid, plus leave you with some mineral reserves!
There’s a lot of confusion around this one. Lots of people think of fruit as in a different category than other sugars because it’s “natural.” Well, not so fast…
When it comes to fruits like berries, melons, bananas, apples, oranges, pineapples, and any other fruit you think of as naturally sweet, they have a lot of sugar called fructose.
And what makes a food acidic or alkaline consists of 3 different factors:
The mineral content
The sugar content
So even though sweet fruit has lots of good minerals and fiber (which indeed does slow down the metabolization f the sugar in the fruit), it’s also high in sugar, so therefore, it’s acidic.
Once it enters your body, sugar is sugar. It all gets treated the same.
Fruits like lemon, lime, grapefruit, avocado, coconut, and tomato are always alkaline because they are low in sugar, so eat as many of those as you want.
And this does not mean you can’t enjoy all fruits. Again, they are high in minerals and vitamins, so there’s a benefit to eating them.
I eat them. My family eats them, but we do so in MODERATION.
It’s also how you eat them that matters.
Mix your higher sugar fruits with healthy fats and alkaline fruits and veggies to neutralize the acid and slow down the process of metabolizing the sugar.
Add coconut oil and spinach to your berry smoothies, enjoy watermelon on salads with tomato and avocado, or toss some chia seeds on your red apple slices with raw almond butter.
Listen, nuts are some of the healthiest foods offered by nature. They can help regulate blood sugar levels, decrease hunger urges, control inflammation, keep your bodily functions regular, help keep you young, and give you lasting energy.
However, peanuts are a different story. In fact, they aren’t nuts at all. Peanuts are legumes.
While nuts have a hard, protective shell (think about walnut and pecan shells and just how difficult they are to crack), legumes have a soft, permeable pod that makes them susceptible to conditions around them.
Peanuts also grow underground, because they are part of the plant’s root system.
Growing underground with a permeable pod leaves peanuts at the mercy of temperature and moisture conditions including warm humidity that allows for the growth of MOLD.
One of the most concerning toxins associated with peanuts is a mold that produces aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a known carcinogen that can impede liver function and has also been shown to stunt growth in children.
, as it is the nature of the peanut itself and doesn’t have to do with pesticides or herbicides.
Peanuts have 21 different form of aflatoxin which is a cancer-causing mycotoxin fungus, and you need to avoid this one like the plague! SERIOUSLY!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not let your kids eat this one (or you for that matter)!
What to eat instead: Raw almond butter and coconut butter are perfect substitutes for peanut butter. There’s no need to sacrifice the taste you love when there are nut butters available that are alkaline, mold-free, and full of healthy fat and protein.
P.S. Peanut butter is way worse than cocktail peanuts, as they take all the pretty looking peanuts with LESS mold and use those in the jars, as opposed to the ones loaded with fungus and mold that they mash up into nut butter because you can’t see it.
Whole Wheat Bread
Did you know that your typical grocery store bread contains sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, and preservatives?
Not only that, but the modern way of processing wheat leads to something called antinutrients, which means they prevent the body from absorbing any of the so-called ‘nutrients’ in the wheat product (there aren’t any, even though some will claim they do).
Your body can’t actually get them because antinutrients prevent absorption. And even worse, they can lead to food intolerances even for those of us with healthy guts.
That was the kind assessment of whole wheat bread – here is the truth. It is a grain, and all grains have the ability to become contaminated with fungal mycotoxins (a cancer causing fungus just like the peanuts above). THIS is why you need to avoid ALL grains!
Then there’s gluten, which is GLUE to your microbiome!
Gluten causes leaky gut, creating craters in your small intestine, allowing toxins, yeast, mold, fungus, undigested proteins, etc to leak into your blood, causing massive amounts of inflammation, acidity, and auto-immune issues.
What to eat instead: Fortunately, there’s an easy alternative. Ezekiel bread is available in the freezer section at just about every grocery store these days. Unlike most gluten products, Ezekiel bread is a gluten food that’s actually BETTER for you!
It utilizes sprouted grains and traditional processing methods to decrease the antinutrients and the amount of gluten (VERY minimal).
It also contains no sweeteners, preservatives (hence it being frozen), or artificial anything.
If you haven’t tried it, Ezekiel bread tastes just like regular bread after a few minutes in the toaster. I’ve got more info and a few ways to enjoy it here.
Many people will tell you that seafood like scallops, shrimp, or tuna are good for you, but I’ve got some news for you. Nearly all types of fish and shellfish are acidic, and many are highly acidic.
Why? Unfortunately, the increasing pollution of our oceans has a lot to do with it. As our planet has been more and more affected by climate change, the pH of water has increased, as have mercury levels. It’s no coincidence that many of the fishes that are highest in mercury like marlin, swordfish, and grouper, are also highest in acidity.
The higher up the food chain, you should avoid. Fish like grouper and swordfish have loads of metastatic tumors, along with the heavy metals.
What to eat instead: Wild, Pacific salmon, small fish like sardines, anchovies, and trout are exceptions that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and low in mercury. So indulge your love of seafood with those healthy fat, nutrient-rich alternatives.
We want this one to be good for us, don’t we?
Any many people will tell you it is. Did you know that a couple of years ago, a journalist faked a study showing chocolate will aid weight loss just to see if the media would report it? And guess what, they did! This story was everywhere because we wished it were true.
Sad to say, chocolate lovers, it’s not so good for us. Chocolate is processed, heated, and refined, removing many of the nutrients. It contains caffeine which is a liver and adrenal suppressor.
Plus, it often has additives and preservatives like corn syrup and other nasty junk.
Well, why do so many people crave it besides its sweet yummy taste? Because it is high in magnesium, so you really aren’t craving the chocolate, you are craving the MAGNESIUM because this is what you are most likely DEFICIENT in!
You need more minerals in the form of dark green leafy vegetables, avocados, and a good minerals supplement such as Alkamind Daily Minerals, which you should be taking daily to alkalize and replenish your body, and to help you sleep better.
What to eat instead: The good news is that you can still enjoy the taste of chocolate without all of the acid and other garbage. Cacao nibs are a perfect alternative, and packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
In fact, they have more magnesium and antioxidants than ANY OTHER FOOD.
You can eat raw cacao in several ways to benefit from it, as long as you eat it in its purest form. You can snack on raw cacao nibs and use them in baking recipes. Nibs are simply cacao beans that have been separated from their husks, roasted or raw, and broken into pieces.
Now remember, it’s not about deprivation. It’s about moderation. If you love one of these acidic foods, you can still eat it, as part of the 20% acid (and 80% alkaline) you’re striving for in your diet.
Just make sure you make smart choices about the acid you’re choosing to consume. And when you do, load up on alkaline minerals to balance out the acid.
So add in Alkamind Daily Minerals every night to ensure you’re getting enough magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium bicarbonate to neutralize acid and keep you sleeping well and waking up refreshed.