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  •  Keith Taylor #566
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Unfortunately, Mo, you haven’t given me enough information to help you much. But hopefully, I can give you some pointers that will help you resolve your problems with heartburn, peanut butter, and CalMax. Also, I am currently preparing new information about acid reflux and diet which is relevant to heartburn and indigestion sufferers. So, before reading my pointers now is a good time to subscribe to my update service so you get an email when I publish that info:

    Enter your email address:

    Subscription is free and your email address is safe - I will never share it with anyone else.

    For personal nutrition help: Healthy Eating Forum.

    Most importantly, I think you should see a doctor about your heartburn. Because the symptoms of heartburn often indicate more serious health problems. Also, assuming you have a form of acid reflux, it’s important to know which type it is. Because dietary requirements are different for each type.

    Peanut Butter
    Research indicates that peanut butter is one of the foods that was associated with GERD-type acid reflux in recent research. As the foods listed are: Chocolate, coffee,
    sugar beans, mayonnaise, peanut butter, alcoholic beverages, dried vegetables, spicy foods, sweet potatoes, round [sic] nuts.

    But, Mo, you’ve only mentioned peanut butter, and I need more information about other food and drink. In fact, I strongly recommend a complete review of your entire diet. Beyond that, heartburn experts recommend:

    Patients with heartburn should keep a diary in order to record dietary, lifestyle, and medication factors that trigger symptoms.

    [Berardi, Rosemary R. “Therapeutic approaches to the treatment of heartburn.” Journal of Modern Pharmacy 14, no. 3 (2007): 10.]

    Unfortunately, there are several dietary supplements called CalMax (or Cal-Max). So, I’m unable to suggest any potential link here. But, if you post a link to the actual product you use, I can help. Or post a list of ingredients. Also, I need to know how much you take, and how often. Because I notice that all these dietary supplements are calcium based. So, there is a small chance that excess calcium intake could be causing abdominal symptoms that you are confusing with heartburn.

  •  Keith Taylor #565
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Acid reflux and heartburn or indigestion are hot topics at the moment. So, I’m publishing some new research into acid reflux and diet soon. Because it highlights the need to consider 2 extremely important points:

    1) You must consider the type of acid reflux you are suffering. Because different types of acid reflux have different dietary needs.

    2) You must consider your total diet, not just alcohol, or a few types of drinks. Because different foods affect acid reflux in different ways. Therefore, it is vital to start with a good healthy foundation diet that does not normally irritate digestive processes. Then carefully isolate personal trigger foods that cause acid reflux. So that you can replace your trigger foods with suitable substitutes while maintaining healthy nutrition balance.

    So, to ensure you get notified when I publish new information about acid reflux, subscribe to my update service:

    Enter your email address:

    Subscription is free and your email address is safe - I will never share it with anyone else.

    For personal nutrition help: Healthy Eating Forum.

  •  Keith Taylor #552
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Hi Herb,

    Thank you for your interest in ALKAscore.

    To explain, ALKAscore was my idea for a simple, flexible diet scoring system. Because feedback from users of my PRAL alkaline food tables suggested that the original PRAL formula can be hard to understand. Also, it is time-consuming to calculate PRAL values for your food diary.

    So, I realized that PRAL can be simplified when I read about LAKE scores and similar systems. Also, I believe that diet scoring is easier at the food shopping stage rather than from meal history. So, I included an option to apply ALKAscore to meal history, meal plans, food shopping lists, or grocery bills. But, I soon came to the conclusion that refining ALKAscore for an easy, user-friendly application is beyond my resources.

    Therefore, I have mothballed the project. But, I am happy to talk about principles of ALKAscore. Also, I can help you apply those principles to your own practical healthy diet planning or food diary. Obviously, to help you with that, I need to know much more about your current situation and your nutrition goals. So, please keep posting here.

    Finally, does anyone want to partner with me on my ALKAscore project? If so, let me know here, or start a new topic.

  •  Keith Taylor #519
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    You must always remember that the acid-alkaline food charts on Foodary are based on PRAL. So, to use them correctly, you should start with your whole diet. In detail, that means taking your entire food intake and calculating the PRAL value.

    Then, you can think about improving your diet. Though you must also remember another golden rule of PRAL. Because PRAL is only an estimate, and for true health measurement, you should test urine pH. Then, you only have to worry about details if your PRAL score is too high. Or, more importantly, if your urine pH is too low. So let’s assume you’ve found good reasons to lower your PRAL score.

    Firstly, you should look at the big numbers. So, unless you have a very strange diet, changing your pumpkin and sesame seed preferences is not going to have much influence. But it is interesting to understand how food processing can change the nature of food.

    Alkaline and Acid Pumpkin Seeds

    Starting with pumpkin seeds, I turned to Amazon to highlight the significance. Specifically, I compared Pumpkin Seed Kernels ( with Whole Pumpkin Seeds in Shells (

    Pumpkin Kernel Nutrients vs Whole Pumpkin Seeds
    Removing Pumpkin Seed shells creates a different food

    Immediately, you can see from the nutrition labels that we are comparing 2 different foods. Because removing the shells changes the nutrient balance completely.

    Alkaline and Acid Sesame Seeds

    Also, this applies to tahini, since most commercial varieties are made from hulled sesame seeds. So, most of the calcium is lost. Conversely, phosphorus concentration is increased and this combination switches near-neutral sesame seeds to acid forming tahini. Of course, you might make your own tahini. Then retaining the hulls and adding lemon juice could produce different results.

    But, it’s best not to get too bogged down on foods that only play a small part in your diet.

    At this stage, I won;t bore you with precise nutrient comparisons. Because it’s better to be aware of principles and apply them in a practical way. But, if you want more details, just ask.

  •  Keith Taylor #505
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    I’m still waiting for responses from you, so I can tailor my research results to your situation. It’s a very big topic (actually 2 big topics). So, I don’t want to bore you with certain details of gluten-free or dairy-free, if they don’t apply to you.

    More importantly, I’ve just got a reply from a very relevant researcher. I asked Catherine about her pending research: The Unintended Consequences of a Gluten-Free Diet. It’s due to be published soon. But, she kindly sent me a pre-publication draft.

    This is very important research, that is relevant to everyone. But, it is particularly relevant to gluten-free dieters. This new research shows the real dangers of mercury and arsenic for gluten-free dieters. But, I feel it has implications for everyone who eats rice regularly.

    Do you eat a lot of rice, Michael?

  •  Keith Taylor #512
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Hi Donna,

    You say “I need to change my diet and not sure if this is the way”. But, I’m not sure what you mean by “if this is the way”. Are you referring to a specific diet? Or, just diet in general.

    If you mean diet in general, I recommend the best starting point is the DASH diet. But, as with all changes to diet, you should discuss it with your doctor first. In particular, you should make changes to your diet slowly. Because rapid changes in diet can cause tachycardia problems. Also, certain dietary supplements are associated with tachycardia. So, your diet should be as natural as possible, based on whole foods.

    Anyway, I’m sure I can help you improve your diet. Especially if you explain to me, what you currently eat. As ever, the more personal information you provide, the better I can make my answers.

    DASH Food Pyramid
    Tachycardia (tachyarrhythmia) is abnormally fast heart rate. Over 100 beats a minute. Pacemakers reduce heart palpitations. But, can DASH diet also help?
  •  Keith Taylor #502
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    OK, Michael, I’ve started my research. And, I’ve found several recipes for meals that tick all 3 boxes. Alkaline meal plans that are gluten-free and dairy-free are possible.

    I’m not sure if you are looking for random recipes. Or do you want daily meal plans?

    As I expected, I found that the healthiest meal plans depend on specific health issues. For the best meals for you, please tell me more about your health issues that prompted your question.

  •  Keith Taylor #500
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Hey Michael! I really appreciate your post in this neglected part of my online world. It’s a pleasant coincidence that you posted here at the same time I was working on my Foodary website. I’ve neglected it too long. So, I promised myself earlier today that I would start an improvement project. Anyway, that’s far too much about me. Let me start on your problem.

    Up to now, I haven’t investigated gluten-free and dairy-free diets. I will change that now, and try to update my lists. So, hopefully, that will help you better.

    To encourage me, I’d like to understand the problems that you have with gluten and dairy. I will research general principles on my own. But, I’d like to make sure any advice I give is the best it can be for you, personally.

    Do you have to avoid all dairy and gluten? Or, are there some foods you can tolerate?

  •  Keith Taylor #459
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    I’ve just had a further thought about PRAL scores in different circumstances. Prompted by a comment on my alcoholic alkaline drinks page.

    That comment, and my response, are about the physical pH measurement of drinks, compared to the effects of drinks on alkalizing urine after digestion.
    I wonder if there are some illnesses where the physical pH matters? Please let me know your thoughts.

  •  Keith Taylor #401
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Sorry for the delay in replying.

    You are right that the diet looks easier. But, it isn’t an alkaline diet. That chart, and similar looking graphics, are all over the Internet, but they are fundamentally flawed.

    They are all based on a technique that was investigated many years ago. It involves incinerating food, then measuring the pH of the resulting ash. The data is still included in the USDA databases that I use. The difference is, I ignore it because it is meaningless as far as diets are concerned. In fact, it is worse than that – it is misleading.

    Coincidentally, there are many healthy foods in my PRAL tables that also produce alkaline ash. But this is not the basis for a healthy diet.

    PRAL estimates the effect of food on the kidneys. The alkaline affect happens due to how our bodies digest the nutrients that form the PRAL calculation. There are other factors that affect acid load at the kidneys, but those are the most significant food related items.

    This does not mean to say that you cannot eat healthily on an ash-based diet. However, you have no accurate way of planning or assessing your food intake if you rely on ash calculations.

    With PRAL, you can assess your total diet, and you can also use PRAL tables to improve your alkaline diet. By changing some of your food to a lower PRAL value, you will always reduce the acid load on your kidneys.

    Remember though, the objective is not to minimize your PRAL score. A healthy diet must include up to 25% acid forming foods, but the overall balance must always be alkaline. Your best approach is to achieve this with a wide range of different fruits and vegetables.

    I hope this makes it clear. If not, please log-in and ask further questions.

    If anyone has trouble logging in, you can ask questions, and share opinions via the red Help button. This will add a ticket to the Foodary Helpdesk, but please note that I give priority to forum discussions, and helpdesk responses may take several days.

  •  Keith Taylor #56
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Thanks, that looks tasty to me.

    You have to realize that an alkaline diet is not just about one meal. It’s about balancing total acid load at your kidneys on a daily basis. Strictly speaking, as I explained in Redefining pH Balance Diet Scores, the only way to test is by measuring urine pH.

    This is not always practicable, so we can apply a scoring system to food to estimate its acid or alkaline effect.

    I’m trying to find an easier way to do this, because PRAL calculations can become tedious.

    Having said that, if enough people are interested, I will calculate the PRAL values for this lentil, coconut, and cheese bake. To show your interest, please just ask for the PRAL values in a reply to this.

  •  Keith Taylor #594
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Wine has an alkalizing effect on the body (i.e. it has a negative acid load on the kidneys which means the PRAL calculation is negative. So for most people, an alkaline diet including moderate wine consumption is helpful. But this has nothing to do with pH, which is a physical test of the chemical properties of wine. Most wine falls into the pH range 3 to 4, so it is acidic in the bottle, but alkaline in the body.

    More importantly, acid reflux is a range of conditions where the less common forms can be affected by pH. But, most acid reflux sufferers do not need to consider the pH of food and drink. If you want to discuss acid reflux, you should be very clear about the specific type of acid reflux that is affecting you. So get a proper diagnosis from your doctor first. Because different types of acid reflux need different treatments and different diets

  •  Keith Taylor #405
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Hi gwsheetmetal and thanks for your question about PRAL.

    I hope you can see from that PRAL is not directly associated with measuring pH. As I suggested above, you can reduce the average PRAL of your total food intake, and this should increase the pH of your urine – i.e. make it more alkaline.

    This happens due to the way you digest food, and is the result of a complex series of organic reactions. As I said, PRAL is an estimate of what will happen at your kidneys based on normal food digestion. It is designed to measure food intake.

    However, acid load at the kidneys (renal acid load) can also be changed by many other factors. Chemicals from food additives, supplements, medicines, and other sources can affect renal acid load. These chemicals do not occur in food in abundance, so they are ignored from the PRAL calculation.

    This is done to make PRAL useful for food analysis. There is another calculation for estimating renal acid load, called NEAP. This is often deemed to be more accurate, as it includes bicarbonates in the calculation. That might be true in the lab, but it is rarely relevant in the kitchen.

    In a healthy diet, baking soda should not form a significant part of your total food intake. Therefore, PRAL is accurate enough to guide us towards healthier eating. There is no doubt that bicarbonates in baking soda and other chemicals will reduce the acid load on your kidneys. However, this is not relevant to healthy diet.

    If you have a medical condition where alkalizing urine is important, such as certain kidney stones, then bicarbonate supplementation usually helps. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), potassium bicarbonate, and potassium citrate are all used medically for this purpose. However, they are usually irrelevant to PRAL calculations, and they are not food.

    The whole point of PRAL is to use it as a guide towards healthy diet. However, it is not a target in itself. False alkalization using chemicals will not improve your health. Alkaline foods balanced with less acid foods is the only way to achieve good health. In the same way, you should ignore any processed supplements and drinks that claim to be healthy just because they are alkaline.

    Alkalizing is a product of a healthy diet. Alkalizing is not a goal in it’s own right.

  •  Keith Taylor #355
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Wise words, Anthony.

    I’d like to extend the personal profile on this forum, as I have on other health websites. However, I’m still thinking about what fields to add for data. My other project was relatively easy, as it dealt with only one disease. On Foodary, I want to widen the scope, and look at healthy eating related to any disease.

    In this case, we’re talking about acid reflux, and alcohol. Now I know nothing about acid reflux, though I am good at research. I can probably find the basic facts, but would need other people to tell me what the main issues are.

    But, as you say, alcohol is a personal issue. Any sensible discussion must start with the amount of alcohol being consumed. JohnJoe never gave me that information, so I could never really help much. Perhaps now, I can.

    Whatever the case, it is essential, as you say, to keep track of intake and responses. That is what the personal profile is for, when you log in to this forum.

    Irrespective of any admin changes I might make, the most important thing is to take a personal approach to any health/food issue. It starts with facts about specific health conditions, symptoms and treatment. Only then can we investigate and consider what dietary effects might be.

    In this case, I would need to know if a doctor had diagnosed acid reflux. Assuming yes, I would need to know more about the specific person’s symptoms, and any current treatment. Additional information about treatments and outcomes tried in the past is always useful.

    Only then can we consider how alcohol affects acid reflux symptoms.

    As you say, Anthony, it has to be personal, because what suits one person might not suit another.

  •  Keith Taylor #63
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1,191.16

    Hi Jesartp,

    I think the nice thing about recipes is that they make a good starting point for different meals. You can often substitute different ingredients, and any type of squash will work fine. I often substitute red sweet potato for squash, and spinach for parsley.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 50 total)