How can we remain in natural alkaline balance if we are eating meat – which is so acidic ?
Thanks Chantel for asking this question it’s a really good one!
Here are 12 reasons why I believe our bodies, if given the right nutrition, will be so much more alkaline when including meat in the diet.
1. Stress is the greatest acidifier to our bodies and getting the right nutrition can help calm the mind enormously.
It’s been mine and Ian’s experience that stress is no longer nearly the problem it was prior to going on this Alkaline Paleo diet.
By getting all of our amino acids so necessary from high quality protein (meat, eggs or fish) and the good fats we need, we’ve created a platform for the body to have the brain function as it should.
A really calm and clear mind, a mind that doesn’t get caught on the small stuff and with the big stuff is able to creatively find ways through and beyond.
A calm mind also allows for deep breathing. When we are stressed we shallow breathe which means we don’t eliminate the carbon dioxide so well from our lungs. Carbon dioxide comes from carbonic acid which is acidifying and part of the way the body gets rid of excess acids.
Depression which doesn’t allow good thinking has become something that is very rare for us now and only lasts for a very short time before we get to understand what it is about and then do what it takes to move quickly through it.
Stable blood sugar levels from the Alkaline Paleo diet ends the up and down mood swings that come from low blood sugars. Ian used to get really grumpy when he didn’t eat on time. He can now miss a whole meal and remains a happy boy!
2. Grains are more acidifying to the body than meat.
There has been much said about meat and its acidifying effects but the most acidifying food (apart from sugar) is grains. One of the things about any grains is they are not easily digested because of many factors including phytates, lectins, gluten (forms of gluten are found in all grains) and high carbohydrate levels. When foods are difficult to digest this sets up inflammation in the gut which then promotes gut dysbiosis and finally inflammation throughout the body.
Inflammation is acidifying and painful which causes more stress which in turn is acidifying.
One way to gauge acidity is to measure acid-induced calcium loss in the urine. A study by the Uni of Toronto examined the effect of increasing gluten consumption with the level of calcium loss in the urine. An incredible 63 percent increase in calcium loss occurred with an increase of gluten from bread.
About 10,000 years ago our Paleo ancestors ate meats, vegetables and a small amount of fruit, nuts and roots. This formerly alkaline human diet pH balance shifted to the acid side with the introduction of grains, especially wheat.
3. Sugars: the most acidifying foods – are almost eliminated and cravings for sugar just disappear!
If we do decide to eat berries we will be ingesting some acidity and sugar from these fruit, but for the most part, with the Alkaline Paleo diet, Ian and I just prefer savoury foods now. Our sweet tooth has just faded away. No more cravings. This doesn’t mean there isn’t an occasional foray into the fruit world but where we craved sugar and fruit before, it is now just a nice thing to eat a tiny bit of fruit every now and again – as it would have been with our Palaeolithic ancestors.
4. We need only a small amount of meat, eggs or fish with every meal; a lot less than if we still needed to get all our essential amino acids from grains, pulses and nuts.
Compared with the amount of grains, nut and legumes we need to eat to get enough nutrition, the amount of meat, eggs or fish we need is comparably much much smaller in bulk. Meat, eggs and fish are the only foods that contain all the essential amino acids, B12 and easily absorbed iron. We are probably even saving money on this diet!
5. There are other factors in meat that mediate the acidity.
In his book ‘Wheat Belly’ Dr William Davis tells us that “new research suggest that meats have other effects when ingested that partially negate the acid load. Animal protein exerts a bone-strengthening effect through stimulation of the hormone insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which triggers bone growth and mineralization. The net effect of proteins from meat, despite their acid-generating properties, is that of increasing bone health. Children, adolescents, and the elderly who increase their meat intake show increased bone calcium content and improved measures of bone strength.”
The fact that vegetarians don’t eat acid forming meat would lead us to expect their bones to be strong and healthy but they actually have the highest incidence of osteoporosis.
6. Total food consumption lessens due to satiety from eating healthy fats, and less food consumption means less acidity in the body
Eating too much is very acidifying no matter how alkaline a food is. When the stomach and digestive system is overloaded it puts tremendous stress on the body to deliver the saliva, hydrochloric acid, pancreatic enzymes, bile, digestive enzymes and all the other hormones and enzymes needed for digestion. We all know what it’s like to be over-full. We feel awful. The body is in an enormous amount of stress trying to deliver what is needed to digest this surplus of food and we know what stress does – it acidifies!
7. Dairy products are acidic
Sorry, but dairy – especially plain milk – is acidic and so is cheese. It’s usually a part of a vegetarian diet as it is one of the few ways that a vegetarian gets enough quality protein, and fat soluble vitamins such a Vitamin A, K2, D3 and the vitamin B12.
If someone is vegan and doesn’t eat these foods they quickly become deficient in essential amino acids and all these vitamins will need to be supplemented in order to get these nutrients. Is this an optimal diet if you need supplements to survive? How can it be ‘natural’?
What happens if you are vegetarian and have a food sensitivity to dairy? Unless you supplement with a large amount of eggs you will have a lot of deficiencies, you will get sick as vegetarians and vegans often do, despite their alkaline diet. I know. I was one of them.
8. Leafy green vegetable juices are very alkalizing due to high potassium salts and we love them!
We drink (when we are back in Australia) a green vegetable juice every day. We don’t add carrots, beetroot or fruit as they are high in sugar. Fruit juice is acidic also. We have juices of kale, celery, cabbage, cucumbers, parsley, lettuce, coriander (detoxes mercury) and some ginger.
The alkalinity of the palaeolithic diet has been estimated to be 6 to 9 times more alkaline than the modern diet thanks to his large potassium salt intake from vegetable sources.
It is thought that our ancestors’ urine pH was as high as 7.5 to 9.0 compared to the our modern range of 4.4 to 7.0. Our Paleo forebears also lived in a much cleaner world where his air was clean and rich in oxygen, with clean food and (most likely alkaline) pure water, stress would have been limited to those moments where they were hunting – or being hunted!
9. Stable blood sugar levels from eating good fats and less carbohydrates means less acidity in the blood and a slowing down of the ageing process
High blood sugar levels will of course increase blood acidity. Sugar = Acid. You don’t need to have high blood sugar levels all the time to cause damage. Just fluctuating levels can do this. Making the blood more acidic means the body has to utilise its precious alkaline minerals to neutralise the acidity. The blood must be kept at a very specific alkalinity for optimal health. Increased blood sugar levels increase the amount of AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End Products) which cause all the ageing symptoms such as cataracts, dementia, arterial hardening, wrinkling, age spots etc. Everytime we allow our body high carbohydrates foods our blood sugar elevates thereby increasing these AGE’s and forcing us to grow old that bit quicker.
10. Just drinking alkaline ionized water alone will increase alkalinity – and help to negate the effects of AGE’s (free radicals)
Unlike our Paleo ancestors” world, in today’s world we need all the help we can to stay alkaline and drinking alkaline water is an easy and great way of achieving this. Alkaline water is a rich sourse of antioxidants. Antioxidants are fantastic for negating AGE’s in the blood stream thereby increasing the ability of the body to remain youthful and healthy.
11. Candida Albicans and other bad gut bacteria, with their excretion of very acidic waste, will no longer thrive in a low carb environment
Getting the proper probiotics environment back in the gut is essential for alkalinity.
12. We eat more vegetables now with the Alkaline Paleo diet than we did as vegetarians. We don’t fill up on grains, pulses or nuts so there is more room for fresh vegetables.
This has been so good to write and I hope I have helped to make it clear that contrary to our modern belief that eating meat = acidity that actually eating meat= great nutrition and more alkalinity.
I would love any comments on the above or any ideas you might have about why the Alkaline Paleo diet might contribute towards alkalinity.