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Sunday, July 21 - 5:43pmSanction this postReply
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Dr. Greger brings up some really good and interesting points, but is guilty of poor thinking regarding meats and plants. For instance, by listening to him, you may decide to become a vegetarian or even a vegan -- but that might mean that you are 3% more likely to die (than if you refrained from doing so). It's important to make a distinction which Greger fails to make:
Western Diet: >70% of energy comes from grains and/or dairy and/or refined sugars and/or processed fat

Vegetarian (all) Diet: >30% of energy comes from grains and/or dairy and/or refined sugars and/or processed fat

Vegan Diet: >20% of energy comes from grains and/or dairy and/or refined sugars and/or processed fat

Paleo Diet: <10% of energy comes from grains and/or dairy and/or refined sugars and/or processed fat

Ed


(Edited by Ed Thompson on 7/21, 5:46pm)




Post 1

Monday, July 22 - 8:36amSanction this postReply
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I agree, also, that this is interesting - and obvious - but that his claims about the value of acidic foods like sauerkraut contradict what we just read here on RoR about the importance of an alkaline high in bases diet.

Maybe we should just eat a wide range of very many kinds of unprocessed foods.




Post 2

Monday, July 22 - 8:21pmSanction this postReply
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Mike,
I agree, also, that this is interesting - and obvious - but that his claims about the value of acidic foods like sauerkraut contradict what we just read here on RoR about the importance of an alkaline high in bases diet.

Maybe we should just eat a wide range of very many kinds of unprocessed foods.
Don't jump on the nutritional nihilism train so quickly. Food isn't as spooky or ultimately mysterious as you make it out to be (which would lead one not to make choices, but to instead opt for a "shotgun approach").

Sauerkraut is infected cabbage. It is infected with bacteria that is good for you. I have not yet checked, but I will make a guess -- an educated guess -- that sauerkraut does not present the kidneys with a net acid load. What's important is not whether a food is acidic when it is swallowed, but whether the physiological metabolism of the food results in a potential renal acid load (or PRAL, in science-speak). If it does, then you will get NAE (net acid excretion). In other words, the pH of your urine will drop.

Will someone with some sauerkraut on hand eat a bunch of it and then pick up some pH strips and pee on them?** If someone is willing to do this -- preferably 35 individuals (a good minimum for extrapolating experimental results to the general population) -- then we can settle the issue.

:-)

Ed

**Methods

[test pH of urine at least 3 times during days of usual food intake to establish your baseline]

Option 1 -- Eat the sauerkraut in the morning and don't eat anything else all day, taking the urine test in the evening.
Option 2 -- Eat the sauerkraut in the evening (with nothing else) and skip breakfast the next morning and take the urine test later on that morning (or in the early afternoon).




Post 3

Monday, July 22 - 9:40pmSanction this postReply
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Here are some sample breakfasts to compare (adapted from 3 of my dozens of diet books), and one of them is better for you than are all the others:

-----------------
Western diet
1 Danish pastry
2 cups of cornflakes
8 ounces of whole milk
2 teaspoons of sugar (1 for cereal; 1 for coffee)
coffee
1 tablespoon of cream

Lacto-vegetarian
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup whole-grain cereal
1/2 banana
2 slices whole wheat toast
2 teaspoons margarine
1 tablespoon jam
1 cup skim milk
coffee/tea

Vegan
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup whole-grain cereal
1/2 banana
2 slices whole wheat toast
2 teaspoons soy margarine
1 tablespoon jam
1 cup soy milk
coffee/tea

Paleo diet [cookbook]
"Grapes of Wrap" [1 minute preparation time]

2-4 ounces of shredded chicken breast
1/4-1/2 ounce of chopped walnuts
1/8-1/4 cup of red grapes
1/8-1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/8-1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 Bibb lettuce leaf
1/4-1/2 tablespoon cold-pressed flaxseed oil

[mix chicken, walnuts, grapes, tarragon, rosemary and spoon into lettuce leaf; drizzle with flax oil; roll leaf and secure with toothpick]
-----------------

One meal doesn't make a diet, but this paleo meal (actually, just listed as a "snack" in the cookbook, p 71) blows away the other meals in terms of human nutrition.

Ed




Post 4

Tuesday, July 23 - 12:16amSanction this postReply
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A lot of people are confused about the EFFECT of foods on our blood pH, thinking that if a food is acidic, like sauerkraut or lemon juice, it must therefore have an acidic effect on blood pH. As Ed points, it's just the opposite. Vegetables and fruits that are acidic are alkaline producing in the body, not acid producing.

Despite the many good points that Dr. Greger makes in this video, he seems unaware of the acid/alkaline producing nature of various foods and of their effects on blood pH and on bone mineralization and the maintenance of muscle mass. Vegans have to be aware of that as well.

Ed wrote,
Vegan Diet: >20% of energy comes from grains and/or dairy and/or refined sugars and/or processed fat.
Just to be clear, vegans don't consume dairy products. A vegan is someone who eschews all animal products, not just meat and fish.

P.S. The diets that Ed lists all have a net acid-producing effect on the body, including the Paleo diet that he recommends. If I were to eat that diet, I would definitely take a potassium bicarbonate supplement to balance it out.

Also, just because a diet is vegan doesn't mean that it's necessarily healthful. There's a lot of sugar in the vegan diet that he gives as an example. I doubt that a health conscious vegan would be eating that combination of foods.


(Edited by William Dwyer on 7/23, 12:24am)




Post 5

Tuesday, July 23 - 9:20pmSanction this postReply
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Good points, Bill.

Ed




Post 6

Friday, July 26 - 7:32pmSanction this postReply
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... but you don't have to rely on potassium pills if you don't want to. Net acid production in the body (from the ingestion/metabolism of foodstuffs) can be estimated from the ratio of food protein to food potassium. All you would have to do to balance out any given acid load from protein, is to include high potassium foods (e.g., fruits & veggies) in the meal. Here's a rubric I just invented, in order to evaluate acid-alkaline balance of any given meal -- based on the ratio of potassium to protein.

20 mg potassium for every gram of protein: definitely acidifying
30 mg potassium for every gram of protein: probably acidifying
40 mg potassium for every gram of protein: possibly acidifying (or neutral)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
50 mg potassium for every gram of protein: possibly alkalinizing (or neutral)
60 mg potassium for every gram of protein: probably alkalinizing
70 mg potassium for every gram of protein: definitely alkalinizing

As you can see from the rubric, you can balance out the effect of any individual food, just by adding another food to it!

For instance, let's say you want to eat a hard-boiled egg but for some reason or another, you want to be sure that you do not get any acidifying effect from doing that. A large hard-boiled egg has 6.29 grams of protein and 63 mg of potassium (about 10 mg potassium for every gram of protein). That means it is definitely acid-producing. But, if you include a cup of chopped celery (0.7 grams of protein + 263 mg of potassium) -- then your snack has 6.99 grams of protein and 326 mg of potassium, or about 47 mg potassium for every gram of protein. Here's the basic physiological equation for acid production from food metabolism:

[acid load] - [base/alkaline load] = net acid production

Using a validated nutritional algorithm for foods (one which includes protein, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium), your [egg + celery] snack is estimated to be alkalinizing: the acid load is 7.173 milli-Equivalents and the base/alkaline load is 7.917 milli-Equivalents.

[acid load] - [base/alkaline load] = net acid production

By using the rubric, you can nullify all of the acidifying effect of foods that you like to eat (by adding things like celery or carrots or whatever). By doing this, you can make sure that a diet such as the Paleo diet is free from presenting your system with a net acid load (without relying on pills).

Ed

p.s., Fun with Science: An ongoing debate around here is whether you can definitely know things in advance, even things that transcend experience -- such as predicting the effect of a diet (one that you haven't even started yet) on your body.

There are subtle differences in individual metabolism and myriad, potentially-confounding constituents in food. I attempted to account for that physiological and chemical variety inside of the rubric I created (by broadening the categories, in order to become sufficiently vague: in order to achieve certainty about the matter). If you are up for a challenge, then attempt to prove me wrong in one of either of two ways:

1) find a food combination that has 20 mg of potassium per gram of protein -- but is alkalinizing (rather than acidifying)
2) find a food combination that has 70 mg of potassium per gram of protein -- but is acidifying (rather than alkalinizing)

Good luck!

:-)

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 7/26, 7:52pm)




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