One of the major nutritional characteristics of ancestral human diets that have been almost totally ignored in both the lay and scientific literature is acid/base balance. Pick up the latest best selling diet book, be it a reincarnation of Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution, The South Beach Diet or whatever, and and you will see that it most of them will not even touch upon this crucial concept.
Briefly, let me review the basic concept. All foods upon digestion report to the kidney as acid, base or neutral. Acid yielding foods are all cereal grains, meats, cheeses, fish and salt. The only base yielding foods are fruits and vegetables.1,2 Fats, oils and refined sugars are neutral, however because they typically displace base yielding fruits and vegetables, they are partially responsible for the net acid load in the typical western diet.3,4 There are a number of adverse health effects either partially or wholly caused by a net acid yielding diet including: osteoporosis, hypertension, stroke, calcium kidney stones, age-related muscle wasting, asthma and exercise-induced asthma. Read more…
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