Alkaline Food Questions Answered: Why Are Alkaline Food Lists So Different?

by Ross Bridgeford

lemons acid or alkaline?

Hey everyone!

I recently emailed out to a heap of folks as a thank you and to say thanks I simply said:

Let me know your BIGGEST alkaline diet and alkaline food question & I will answer it for you in 24 hours

Needless to say I got a HEAP of responses! True to my promise I answered every single one of them personally and uniquely – but I thought it would be a fantastic idea to share the replies here so that you can all learn from them and hopefully it might prompt a few conversations in the comments!

SEE ALSO: Get Over 150+ Delicious, Easy Alkaline Recipes Here

So here is my first response, but there are a heap more to follow.

Why Are the Alkaline Food Lists So Different?

Question: Hi Ross, I have decided to ask you the question on alkalinity, thank you. The thing is that every article that I have ever read about the acid/ alkaline balance, and what foods are indeed alkaline differs from so called expert to expert.

I do have some knowledge myself and would also be guided by my own intuition, but it is nevertheless confusing when there is so much difference of opinion.

For example, I always believed that bananas were an alkaline food, even though as a food source I don’t think they are always as beneficial as is often claimed, and potatoes ie white, red etc have always been known to be very alkaline and potato juice has been used to neutralise acid in the stomach for centuries, and yet certain articles cite same as being acidic. Also there are differences in the acid/alkaline ratio quoted in differing articles re various foods. I’m not mentioning any names in particular as I have come across many articles and books on the subject and it is always the same, and so is rather frustrating as one doesn’t know who is right.

If you can shed light on this it would be great.


Alkaline Recipe BookThis is a GREAT question and one I am asked a LOT. It has become one of my missions to educate and answer this question for as many people as possible. It was so confusing for me when I first started out and it frustrates me that there are still millions of people worldwide who still have this question – or worse – are following bad advice and are eating the wrong things!

Firstly – here is our my list of alkaline and acid foods.

My list is based upon the research and theories of Dr Robert Young, who is the leading researcher in the alkaline diet field.

Now, onto the explanation. I’ll copy and paste this from a blog post I wrote a while back about different alkaline food lists as this is a good start:

I know it is quite confusing to see such differences in the charts. This amount of conflicting information is the main reason I set up and I believe our chart (based on the research of the Alkaline Diet pioneer, Dr Young) is the most accurate.

The reason that other charts show such disparity is because they base their classifications on the readings for the Potential Renal Acid Load research (PRAL). This is not an accurate source for this purpose. The reason for this is, to test for PRAL they basically burn the food at an extreme temperature and then take a read of the ‘ash’ that is left behind and what it’s pH is.

While this does give a read of its alkalinity from the mineral content of the food, this is only half the picture. By burning it at such a high temperature they also burn away all of the most acid-causing content of the food, namely sugar. That is why on some charts high sugar fruits are listed as alkaline. Bananas for instance are high in the alkaline mineral potassium, BUT they are also 25% sugar which makes them very acidifying when we consume them.

Dr Young has also tested the blood (through live blood analysis) of over 40,000 people and has seen first hand the effect different foods have on the body. So his classification of acid/alkaline foods is really the most accurate and the most relevant to the effect foods have on our pH levels.

(by the way, the blog post is answering the top 10 alkaline diet questions – so feel free to have a read)

So, basically, the main difference between the alkaline food charts comes down to one simple thing:

Some charts determine acidity or alkalinity on the food before it is consumed & others (like mine) are more interested in the effect the food has on the body after it has been consumed.

Personally, I have no interest in what a food is before I’ve eaten it – I want to know whether it will alkalise or acidify my body. Make sense?

Some stand out examples include fruit, as you mentioned, such as banana – but another great example is the low sugar fruits such as tomato and lemon. These are listed under the PRAL charts as acidic, and in their natural state they are – but they are very, very alkalising once consumed and are a really integral part of the alkaline diet – featuring in hundreds and hundreds of recipes.

I hate to think of the amount of people there are out there who are eating a heap of high sugar fruits every day and are not getting any tomato, avocado, lemons, limes etc.

Some people I have spoken to even eat ONLY fruit for half of the day. They are literally living the acid diet!

I hope this helps clear things up. I have a video here with nutritionist Gareth, where he explains why lemons are alkalising.

Gareth has trained with some of the best nutritionists in Britain and has gone through months of training and research with Dr Young who is the leading authority on the alkaline diet – so I thoroughly trust his opinion.

I hope this helps!


Click here for my Alkaline Diet Recipe Book (Paperback)

Click here for my list of alkaline foods and acid foods – it is a PDF download with explanations, a printer-friendly, stick-on-the-fridge cheat sheet and a super-large list of acid and alkaline foods.

It’s awesome.

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Alkaline Food Questions Answered: Why Are Alkaline Food Lists So Different? by

About Ross Bridgeford

Ross Bridgeford is known as THE Alkaline Diet Expert...especially when it comes to implementation and making the alkaline diet REAL in your life. He has been living, learning, teaching, coaching and loving the alkaline lifestyle since 2004 and has written over 650 articles, alkaline recipes, videos and guides on how to live alkaline and stay alkaline for life.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne July 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm

My daughter has a terrible yeast infection and diarrhea. She is a very picky eater. What would be best for her to drink and eat to get better?


Jerry p September 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Try GREEN VIBRANCE sold as powder in most
Health food stores. I had the same problem
But not yeast..


Rosie May 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Hi Ross,
Such a great website – thank-you!
I just have a question about the chart. I noticed brown rice was in the moderately acidic table but then also listed as an alkaline food. Could you please clarify this for me?


Tim Beynon December 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

Hey Ross! Great post, thank you for sharing:)


Trish July 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I have city water that has tannon in it and it stinks. They also add Floride. I don’t drink the water but have no choice but to wash with it.
I bought a distiller. What else can I add to it to make it safe to drink? Bottled water was much too costly and had too many additives as well.
I don’t drink enough water and it shows up as kidney failure. I need help!


Thomas July 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

@Zinturis, even though the high sugar fruits are natural and would contain more alkaline minerals as you mentioned. Regardless it being natural sugar, sugar = acid. The high acidity would actually cancel out the alkaline properties. Dr Young, has tested a guy from California that loved his oranges. I am not from the states but I think that they are known for oranges there. However, he thought it was the healthiest thing on earth and Dr. Young did a live blood test and it froze and stuck together and did not move for hours. He was not happy.
If you want to really test it, a Live/Dry blood analysis would answer it for you.


KarenB February 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I have also been confused about the differences between charts and after talking to my kinesiologist on the subject (it was her that introduced me to alkalising foods) , I asked her to test which charts were right and she found that it depends on your blood type to whether a food will be alkaline or not to the individual.


zinturis February 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I agree with this alkaline approach. But there is still a missing part in this chain. If you check many high sugar fruits you will notice one very interesting thing – the more sugar fruit has naturally the more alkaline minerals it contain. Isn’t it a natural balance of nature? For instance the same mentioned banana has much sugar but the nature gives much alkalizing minerals with it. The same story with other foods like raisins and other fried fruits, oranges, apples, pears, plums and etc. It would be interesting if someone who has pH of 7,5 would do a test and eat just bananas for instance for a couple of days and measured pH. So the answer would be a fact.


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