Which Foods Are Alkaline and Which Are Acid-Forming?

Credit: stepintomygreenworld.com

By Wes Annac

Picking up from my report on organic and alkaline-rich foods, I’d like to put the spotlight on the alkaline-acidic diet. Contrary to what you might think, just because alkaline food is healthier doesn’t mean we should only eat it, and just like acid-forming food, too much of it is unhealthy.

We want to maintain an alkaline-acidic balance, and we’re generally okay as long as we don’t eat too much alkaline or acid-forming food. If we eat it constantly, acid-forming food will force the body to get its nutrients from important places like our teeth, thus depleting their nutrients, weakening the immune system and making way for disease.

Here, we’ll look at a list of alkaline and acid-forming foods, and we should keep in mind that a lot of people think differently about this topic. Some people think fruit is acid-forming, for example, while others will tell you that even tropical fruits produce alkaline in the body.

Dr. David Williams explains where over-acidity comes from and reminds us that acid-forming food isn’t necessarily unhealthy.

Overacidity in the body comes from consuming too many acid-forming foods and not enough alkalizing foods.”

“Keep in mind that a food is not necessarily unhealthy because it is acid-forming and that I’m not saying you should avoid all of them. In fact, many acid-forming foods are necessary for optimum health. It’s simply a matter of balance. Fixing your acid/alkaline balance isn’t the complete answer to perfect health; it’s only one piece of the puzzle. The bottom line is that we need to eat enough alkalizing foods to help our bodies neutralize the acid-forming foods.” (1)

Meat and rice are acid-forming foods. Credit: tjsino.com

He shares a list of acid-forming foods, which include rice, bread, alcohol, soda, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and refined salt.

“Acid-Forming Foods

All meat (beef, pork, lamb, and chicken) and fish

Rice (white, brown, or basmati)

Cornmeal, oats, rye, spelt, wheat, bran



Breads and most other grain products, such as cereals (hot or cold), crackers, and pastries

The following beans (unless sprouted, in which case they become alkaline-producing): pinto, navy, mung, lentils, black, garbanzo, red, white, adzuki, and broad

Cheese (Parmesan and sharper cheeses are the worst)

Sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Wheat germ

The following nuts: walnuts, pecans, cashews, dried coconut (fresh coconut is alkaline-producing), pistachios, macadamias, filberts, Brazil nuts, and peanuts


Alcoholic drinks

Coffee and other caffeinated drinks

Sweetened yogurt

Most forms of sweeteners (artificial sweeteners, cane sugar, beet sugar, barley syrup, processed honey, maple syrup, molasses, fructose, lactose)

Refined table salt

Soy sauce

Mustard (dried powder and processed)

Ketchup (unless natural and homemade)

Mayonnaise (unless natural and homemade)

White vinegar (apple cider and sweet brown rice vinegar are less acid-producing and preferred)



Practically all drugs” (2)

Most fruits and veggies are alkaline-forming. Credit: army.mil

Alkaline-forming foods include fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, tea, fruit juice, and unsweetened yogurt.

“Alkalinizing Foods

Practically all vegetables

Practically all fruits, except blueberries, plums, prunes, and cranberries. Even citrus fruits such as lemons, which we think of as being acidic, are alkaline-producing in the body. They are rich in organic salts, like citrates, which are converted into bicarbonates.

Beans such as string, soy, lima, green, and snap



Arrowroot flour

Grains such as flax, millet, quinoa, and amaranth

Nuts like almonds, pignoli, fresh coconut, and chestnuts

Sprouted seeds of alfalfa, radish, and chia

Unsprouted sesame

Fresh unsalted butter

Milk, cream, and goat’s milk



Plain yogurt

Sweeteners like raw, unpasteurized honey, dried sugar cane juice (Sucanat), brown rice syrup

Fruit juices

All vegetable juices

Most herbal teas


Cayenne pepper


Most herbs


Most vegetable and unprocessed sea salt

Most all spices

Vanilla extract

Brewer’s yeast

Most unprocessed, cold-pressed oils are neutral or alkaline-forming. (Even margarine seems to be neutral, but I don’t recommend this ‘liquid plastic.’)” (3)

Some foods are highly alkaline-rich, some are moderate, and some are light. TheAlkalineFoods.com shares a list of the richest.

Extremely Alkaline Forming Foods – pH 8.5 to 9.0

Lemons, watermelon, agar agar, cantaloupe, cayenne pepper, dried dates, figs, kelp, limes, mango, melons, papaya, parsley, seaweeds, grapes, watercress, asparagus, kiwifruit, fruit juices, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, raisins, umeboshi plums, vegetables juices.” (4)

They also share a list of moderate alkaline-producing foods, which include beans, cabbage, grapes and lettuce.

Moderately Alkaline Forming Foods – pH 7.5 to 8.0

“apples, apricots, alfafa sprouts, arrowroot, flour, avocados, bananas, berries, carrots, celery, currants, grapefruits, guavas, herbs (leafy green), nectarine, peaches, pears, peas, persimmon, pumpkin, spinach.

bamboo shoots, beans, beets, bell pepper, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carob, daikon, ginger, grape, kale, kohlrab, lettuce, okra, oranges, parsnip, peaches, peas, potatoes and skin, raspberry, sapote, strawberry, squash, sweet corn, tamari, turnip, apple cider vinegar.” (5)

Besides being delicious, cucumbers are also a light alkaline-forming food. Credit: mypotsandfrills.blogspot.com

And finally, they share a list of the lightest ones. They also mention the dispute between whether fruit is alkaline or acid-forming.

“Slightly Alkaline Forming Foods – pH 7.0

Almonds, artichokes, barley-malt, brown rice syrup, brussels sprouts, cherries, coconut, cucumbers, egg plant, raw honey, leks, miso, mushrooms, ripe olives, onions, pickles, radish, sea salt, spices, taro, tomatoes, vinegar, water chestnut, amaranth, artichoke, chestnuts, raw goat’s milk, olive oil, millet, sesame seeds, soy beans, soy cheese, soy milk, sprouted grains, tempeh, tofu, tomatoes, yeast.

“There are some dispute over whether fruits are acidic and alkaline. In Dr. Robert Young’s pH miracle book, he claimed that fruits has high sugar content and when the sugar in fruit ferments, it produces acidity in the body and hence it’s acid-forming.” (6)

The sugar in fruit could make it acid-forming, but I don’t think this is a reason to avoid it altogether.

The best thing we can do is find nutritious food we enjoy without worrying too much about which food is the healthiest. If you eat a lot of different food, there were probably a few things on the alkaline and acid-forming list you enjoy. Since we shouldn’t get too much of either one, we might as well embrace the things on both lists that we enjoy and remember to eat consciously.

We don’t have to go crazy over our health, but we can make a little bit of an effort. If we know organic food is better for us because of the lack of chemicals and pesticides, we can try to eat more of it. It might not be too hard depending on where you live, and it’s worth it to stay healthy.

If we know too much acid-forming food is bad for us, we can limit our intake while we embrace the alkaline foods we enjoy. We don’t have to force ourselves to eat new things just because they’re alkaline, but it only takes a little effort to find healthy food that tastes good and has a noticeable effect on our energy and clarity.

We’ll feel better when we take an interest in our health, and we might even inspire the people around us to do the same. Good health will fuel our life purpose and inspire us to do good things in the world, and a healthy lifestyle will give us all the energy and vitality we need to live our purpose.

Being conscious about what we eat is the first step, and instead of being militant about it, we can start with a small effort that could eventually grow into a new way of life.


  1. “Acid-Forming and Alkalanizing Food” by Dr. David Williams, Drdavidwilliams.com – http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/acid-forming-and-alkalinizing-foods/
  2. Loc. cit.
  3. Loc. cit.
  4. “Alkaline Foods List” Thealkalinefoods.com – http://thealkalinefoods.com/alkaline-foods-list
  5. Loc. cit.
  6. Loc. cit.

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