The Easiest Food Formula to Follow

Learning how to eat well for the reversal or prevention of disease need not be difficult. While there are many paths to follow: plant-based, vegetarian, vegan, pescitarian, flexitarian, paleo, gluten-free, ovo-lacto vegetarian, etc., there is one common underlying concept that can help fast-track your understanding and success.

The easiest formula to follow for health and wellbeing is an alkaline diet. When you master the concepts of acidifying versus alkalizing foods, you will be able to make wise and clear choices that support your health.

The human body is alkaline by design and necessity. Most metabolic functions produce acidic by-products which means that all your breathing, digesting, exercising, sleeping, cleansing, and eliminating create acidic wastes.

The body naturally moves acid out of the body, neutralizes acid (by drawing calcium from the bones, for example), and maintains an alkaline inner environment, however the body can slow down and falter due to an excessive intake of acidic foods, drinks, and habits which not only create more work for the body but also interferes with vital metabolic duties.

Inflammation Response

Inflammation Response

When this happens, the body slowly creates disease which is an acidic and inflamed inner body environment. You can become more susceptible to colds, flus, and allergies, you feel tired or your recovery from exercise can take longer. These are early indications of over-acidity. Deeper and more complex diseases can develop when the inner body environment stays too acidic for too long.

Acute inflammation is a healthy body response to injury or infection, however chronic, systemic inflammation is an unhealthy response to long-term acidic destruction and dismantling of health. Chronic inflammation can lead to arthritis (osteo- and rheumatoid), heart/cardiovascular disease, diabetes type 2, hypothyroidism, auto-immune diseases, depression, anxiety, Chron’s, IBS, ulcerative colitis, obesity, high cholesterol, cancer, eczema, and Multiple Sclerosis. Chronic inflammation essentially puts your body in a constant state of injury response which weakens your immune system.

In 1931 German cell biologist Dr. Otto Warburg received the Nobel Prize for discovering that cancer cells thrive in a high-acid, low-oxygen biological terrain. In his speech he claimed that nobody could say we do not know the prime cause of cancer.

Dr. Otto Warburg

Dr. Otto Warburg

An alkaline inner body environment is one that is oxygen-rich. Inflammation, germs, and disease can not exist in an oxygen-rich environment, therefore it is important to eat water-dense foods rich in oxygen content. These ideally are water based drinks and raw fruits and vegetables.

pH Scale

pH Scale

Acidity and alkalinity are measurements of pH in the body fluids of the body other than stomach acid. The pH scale slides from zero to 14. Neutral is 7, higher than 7 is alkaline (or basic), lower than 7 is acidic. For optimal health our bodies need a pH between 7.365 and 7.45 which is just slightly alkaline. Even a tenth of a variation outside this range can result in death (acidosis).

The blood never becomes acidic during life. An alkaline blood and lymph is necessary to life and health and for the blood to reach even the point of neutrality (pH 7) would cause speedy death. The body will pull alkalizing minerals like calcium from the bones in order to prevent this whereby causing osteoporosis (density loss) or osteomalacia (softening) in the process.

Acidity can also be caused by smoking, drugs (recreational, over-the-counter, or prescriptive), air and water pollution, lack of sleep, excessive exercise, and emotional stress as well as acid-forming food (see charts below) and drinks like alcohol, carbonated drinks (sodas), coffee and black tea.

The mineral content of a food or drink is the primary determining factor as to whether the food produces an alkaline or an acidic reaction in the body. This is why vegetables are very alkalizing. The “acid minerals” are sulphur, phosphorous, bromine, fluorine, copper, silicon, iodine and choline, which predominate in meat, eggs, refined sugar and refined grain products, and most nuts and seeds. The “alkaline minerals” are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron, which predominate in virtually all fruits and vegetables and some nuts and seeds. To maintain the proper acid/alkaline balance, the diet should be 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods.

Sport drinks promote the replacement of electrolytes – calcium, potassium, and sodium – after exercise. After muscles have been worked and metabolic acids (like lactic acid) have been produced, it is important to alkalize. Rather than ingesting a sport drink with electrolytes AND excessive refined sugars and food colorings, both of which are acid forming, choose instead freshly squeezed fruit juice (like orange or lemon) diluted with quality water and a pinch of sea salt. Or drink coconut water.

Electrolytes are important because they are what cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in blood constant despite changes in your body.

For example, during heavy exercise, electrolytes are lost in sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of the body fluids constant. Chronic laxative abuse or severe diarrhea or vomiting can lead to electrolyte disturbances along with dehydration. People suffering from bulimia or anorexia nervosa are at especially high risk for an electrolyte imbalance.



This Gatorade has two sugars as the second and third ingredients and questionable artificial food additives. While the potassium and sodium can help alkalize, the sugars and artificial ingredients will acidify.

Gatorade G2

Gatorade G2

This calorie reduced Gatorade has sugar as its second ingredient and questionable artificial additives. It also contains two artificial sweeteners: sucralose and acesulfame potassium both of which are acid producing. Instead of using these or similar sport drinks, make your own or drink natural coconut water.

The chart below comes from Dr. Robert O. Young’s website.



Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage Lettuce
Collard/Spring Greens
Green Beans
Lamb’s Lettuce
Mustard Greens
New Baby Potatoes
Red Cabbage
Red Onion
White Cabbage




Other Seafood (apart from occasional oily fish such as salmon)


Ice Cream


Almond Milk
Fresh Vegetable Juice
Green Drinks
Herbal Tea
Lemon Water (pure water + fresh lemon or lime)
Non-sweetened Soy Milk
Pure Water (distilled, reverse osmosis, ionized)
Vegetable Broth


White Pasta
White Bread
Wholemeal Bread
Soy Sauce
Condiments (Tomato Sauce, Mayonnaise etc.)
Artificial Sweeteners


Fizzy Drinks
Fruit Juice
Dairy Smoothies
Traditional Tea


Any Sprouted Seed
Buckwheat Groats
Caraway Seeds
Cumin Seeds
Fennel Seeds
Hemp Seeds
Sesame Seeds


Microwave Meals
Tinned Foods
Powdered Soups
Instant Meals
Fast Food


Saturated Fats
Hydrogenated Oils
Margarine (worse than butter)
Corn Oil
Vegetable Oil
Sunflower Oil


Evening Primrose
Oil Blends


Sprouts (soy, alfalfa, mung bean, wheat, little radish, chickpea, broccoli, etc.)


All fruits, aside from those listed in the alkaline column.


Cashew Nuts
Pistachio Nuts

General Guidance:Stick to salads, fresh vegetables and healthy nuts and oils. Try to consume plenty of raw foods and at least 2-3 liters of clean, pure water daily. General Guidance:Steer clear of fatty meats, dairy, cheese, sweets, chocolates, alcohol and tobacco. Packaged foods are often full of hidden offenders and microwaved meals are full of sugars and salts. Over cooking also removes all of the nutrition from a meal.

One misconception about alkalizing foods is that citrus, like lemons and grapefruit, and tomatoes are acidic. They are in themselves acidic, however they have an alkalizing effect in the body once digested.

There are many products and supplements that you can add to your routine to help achieve ideal alkalinity, however nothing more is required than a pH understanding and wise shopping at the grocery store.

You can see that the chart above promotes a high-vegetable, high-fat (nuts) diet. I favor a low-fat, high-fruit diet because vegetables are generally low in calories and I’d rather source my calories from water-dense, sweet fruit full of vitamins, fuel-ready fructose, and antioxidants rather than nuts. When eating a high-fruit diet, it is important to limit whole fat intake from nuts, avocados, seeds, coconut and olives.

Here is another chart from Health Wyze which breaks foods down a little differently. You can see that there are some discrepancies between the two charts above and below, however the overall messages are in alignment.

Category Strong Acid (least healthy) Medium Acid Weak Acid Weak Alkaline Medium Alkaline Strong Alkaline (healthiest)
Fruits Blueberries, Cranberries, Prunes, Sweetened Fruit Juice Sour Cherries, Rhubarb, Canned Fruit Plums, Processed, Fruit Juices Oranges, Bananas, Cherries, Peaches, Avocados Dates, Figs, Melons, Grapes, Papaya, Kiwi, Berries, Apples, Pears, Raisins, Alfalfa Lemons, Watermelon, Limes, Grapefruit, Mangoes, Pineapple, Papayas
Vegetables, Beans, Legumes Potatoes (without skins), Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Lima Beans Cooked Spinach, Kidney Beans, String Beans Carrots, Tomatoes, Fresh Corn, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Peas, Potato Skins, Olives, Brussels Sprouts Okra, Squash, Green Beans, Beets, Celery, Lettuce, Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Carob Asparagus, Onions, Vegetable Juices, Parsley, Raw Spinach, Broccoli, Garlic
Meats Pork, Shellfish, Rabbit Turkey, Lamb, Beef Venison, Cold Water Fish Chicken
Eggs and Dairy Cheese, Custard, Homogenized Milk, Ice Cream Butter, Buttermilk, Cottage Cheese, Raw Milk Goat Milk, Goat Cheese, Whey, Yogurt, Eggs
Grains and Cereals Wheat, White Flour, Pastries, Pasta White Rice, Cornmeal, Buckwheat, Oats, Rye Sprouted or Whole Wheat Bread, Brown Rice Millet, Wild Rice
Oils Safflower Oil, Sesame Oil Sunflower Oil Corn Oil Hemp Seed Flax Seed Oil Olive Oil
Beverages Liquor, Beer, Soft Drinks Tea, Cocoa, White wine Ginger Tea, Red wine, Distilled water Green Tea Herb Teas, Lemon Water, Spring/Mineral Water
Sweeteners NutraSweet, Equal, Aspartame, Sweet ‘N Low White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Molasses Processed Honey Raw Honey, Raw Sugar Maple Syrup, Rice Syrup Stevia, Agar, Ki Sweet
Nuts and Seeds Peanuts, Walnuts Pecans, Cashews, Pistachios Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds Chestnuts Almonds
Misc. Chocolate Jam, Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Mustard, and Vinegar Margarine, Lard Sodium, Potassium, Apple Cider Vinegar


To test your pH, you can obtain pH paper from a drug store or online. Testing your first morning urine or saliva (before brushing your teeth!) can indicate where you’re measuring on the pH scale.

pH Paper

pH Paper


Institutions that are achieving success reversing disease with diet use many of the same foods as on the alkaline charts. While there are some differences between the protocols, it’s interesting to note which foods help to reverse disease.

• The Gerson Institute Diet

• The Hippocrates Health Institute Cuisine

• Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center Protocols

Hallelujah Acres Diet

I like to look at organizations who are facilitating success with reversing chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes type 2, cancer, and heart disease to learn which foods help the body to heal. Eating these same ways to prevent disease is the best way to avoid needing to adopt strict protocols for healing once the body has tipped over to the side of inflammation, acidity, toxicity, and disease.

What can heal or cure can prevent.

Symptoms of acidosis (too much acid) are fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, general nervousness, acid stomach (hyperacidity), acid perspiration, ongoing, irritating joint or muscle pain, allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, ulcers, IBS, chronic skin problems, irritations or rashes, frequent bouts of colds, and a sour disposition. Chronic fatigue is often nothing more than acidosis.

“The cells of the body are born, pass through their regular life-cycle and are exfoliated and replace by new ones. Whether they are replace by normal cells or diseased ones depend wholly upon the kinds of materials out of which the new cells are created and upon what inhibiting waste is present of absent. The body is created anew daily; but if its blood and lymph are not normal, the process of renew is imperfect.” Dr. Herbert M. Shelton

Cell Regeneration

Cell Regeneration

Understanding an acid versus alkaline diet can help you bypass the myriad – and sometimes confusing – options to healthful eating. Studying the charts then shopping and eating accordingly  from the grocery store will allow you to invest your precious time and money in an effective and affordable wellness plan.

I aim to eat a low-fat, high-fruit diet 80% of the time which allows me a little wiggle room to splurge on the weekend. This keeps me on task, motivated, interested, family-friendly, and sustaining. In the event of injury, crisis or other need for increased, clear energy (the undertaking of a creative endeavor, for example) I know that I can get to 100% low-fat, high-fruit with relative ease. Healing and creative energy is available when the body is not in a chronic state of inflammation or acidosis.

Did this post help simplify a sensible approach to eating for you? Is there anything that is not clear? Please comment below and I will explain further. Alkalinity is the best concept to master! Get started today with my online Fruit Til Five™ program!

Additional Resources:

How Much Water Do You Have to Drink to “undo” a Cola?

Extensive pH charts

Acidic & Alkaline Attitudes

Detoxing is the New Crash Diet Fad

The Alkaline Sisters

Carla Golden is a vegan nutritionist and a massage therapist in private practice specializing in therapeutic essential oils. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Holistic Health & Healing, she enjoys helping others discover the benefits and liberation inherent in a whole food, plant-based vegan diet. The Vegan Key™ is her newest online nutrition program based on tried and true methods which foster performance, vitality, and purpose. Join Carla in person at a Palmetto Plant Eaters Club meeting!

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