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What to Eat or Not to Eat by Jaynet C. Levitsky

One of the latest health topics circulating the Internet revolves around food combining, specifically the alkaline versus acidic debate. My advice to anyone seeking more information on how and what to eat boils down to the following basic guidelines: drink more water; eat fruit between meals; consume plenty of vegetables; stay away from overly refined or processed foods; and avoid mixing highly concentrated proteins with highly concentrated carbohydrates.

It’s not so much that mixing carbohydrates and proteins is a bad thing; it is just that our bodies digest them very differently. In reality, it is not possible to isolate them completely because most foods are a combination of both. For example, beans, rice and wheat have decent amounts of carbohydrate and protein, while meat is high in protein and has no (or low) carbohydrates.

 

 

Compare that to the potato which is high in carbohydrates and low in protein. At this rate, most of our favorite dishes would be a no-no.

So where do we draw the line? There is an old saying—all things in moderation. To simplify, here are some things to keep in mind.

• Wake up fully before eating breakfast and stay away from the caffeine first thing as it stresses the adrenal glands. Do not eat right before going to bed.

• Eat animal protein with vegetables or by themselves as they can take up to three hours to digest.

• Eat fast-fermenting and citrus fruits between meals for an instant energy boost.

• Avoid refined or overly processed foods. Raw or slightly cooked veggies are best, as is home-made anything, and cut back on the fried and barbequed meals.

• Use an 80/20 model when choosing alkaline/acid-forming foods.

Does pH Matter?

William Howard Hay, MD, (1866- 1940), developed the method of food-combining based on his observations that people with more acidic blood tended to be ill. He identified the slightly alkaline range of 7.4 to 7.5 to be an indicator of good health. Celia Wright, author of The Wright Diet, suggests that overly acidic persons tend to be grouchy and rather sensitive individuals. They also tend to be physically exhausted, subject to aches and pains, suffer from headaches and have trouble sleeping.

There are many factors that impact our blood pH levels. To begin with, the food we eat has an effect. Protein-based foods like meat, fish and eggs (animal products) are acid forming, while those rich in carbohydrates—like most vegetables— lean alkaline. Then, of course, there is exercise which makes the blood more acidic. However, the deep breathing associated with yoga makes the blood more alkaline. Needless to say, smoking cigarettes is an acid-forming act. In fact, studies have shown that cravings decrease on a more alkaline diet.

Those wishing to change their diet to adjust their pH will need to know what types of foods fall into what category. Use Table 1.1 as a reference.

Jaynet C. Levitsky holds a Master of Science degree in natural health and is a board certified naturopath. She can be reached at 544-0447 and has an office at Vastu Health and Yoga Center at 17 Main St, Warwick. For more information, visit TheOpenBall.com.

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