Robin Quay, MS, RD Dietitian for Sodexo
Did you know that common foods in the standard American diet cause a state of chronic systemic metabolic acidosis? Not only does it sound horrible, it actually causes a lot of trouble for us, leading to bone loss, muscle degradation, and accelerated aging. Being in an alkaline, or basic, state is best for our health and best to avoid disease.
The good news is, what we eat can have a big impact on whether our bodies are in an acidic or alkaline state. By making the right food choices, we can protect our bones and muscles from debilitating loss.
Foods that are acid producing are meats, dairy, legumes and grains. In order to neutralize the acids produced by these foods, our bodies pull calcium from bones, and glutamine from muscles, weakening them. However, if we eat foods that are alkaline, or basic, we can counteract these effects.
Foods that are alkaline to the body are….FRUITS AND VEGGIES! It may seem like these foods, especially fruits, are acidic. Even though they’re acidic outside the body, they are alkaline inside the body. To counteract the acids produced by meats, dairy, legumes and grains, we simply need to eat 2 fist-size servings of fruits and vegetables with every meal.
How do we do this? Besides just grabbing a piece of fruit, or adding a cooked vegetable or salad to our meals, we can make fruits and vegetables, not bread or cereal, the center of breakfast. We can swap out the rice or bread at meals for starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or winter squash. We can have fresh or cooked fruits for dessert, and we can choose fresh foods over processed ones.
So save your bones. Save your muscles. Stop the wrinkles. Achieve acid-base balance. Eat more fruits and vegetables.