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Thank you Joan, and welcome to my Healthy Eating Forum.
Though I’ve been aware of food interactions for some time, I’ve never really considered it – until now.
Thanks to your post, I’ve investigated this topic. I’ve found good news and bad news.
The good news is that there is some science that measures how some food combinations are more beneficial for certain health conditions, compared to the individual foods eaten separately.
The bad news is that I cannot find a comprehensive list to use as a basis for a chart. The nearest thing I can find for now is Healthy Food Combinations Chart.
This chart is not ideal, as the source material is not very strong. Despite being widely referred to in books and Internet articles, the science is not well documented, with no proper citation. At least one suggested combination is attributed to the wrong source.
I’ve decided to use the report as a starting point for my new project to create a comprehensive Healthy Food Combinations Chart. I will examine each of the claims, and check for later research. Then I can grade the suggestions for food combinations according to the quality of supporting evidence.
If there are any particular combinations that interest you, or any specific diseases you would like me to look at, please let me know by replying to this topic, or by starting a new topic.in reply to: Do you have healthy food combination charts?
You can apply the PRAL formula to anything. It is just an estimate of the acid load on the kidneys (hence – Potential)
Actual acid load can only be measured by pH testing urine. As we are talking organic chemistry here, the situation can get very complicated. Extra unnatural minerals in highly-processed foods can affect acid load. They might distort the picture, but in a healthy diet, processed foods should be insignificant.
By the way, the 80:20 alkaline:acid split is only a rough guide. Some people say 2:1, or something in between. You are unique, so you must go for whatever gives you the results you want.
Thanks Judy, sorry about the delay in replying.
I’ve found some data about stevia. According to the USDA database that I use, it is completely neutral. For 100g it has no recorded nutrient values. This might not be 100% accurate, but at the level of consumption in a normal diet, this doesn’t matter.
In theory, you can include as much stevia as you like, but there is another issue. By over-sweetening foods, you can come to rely on sweet tasting foods, Then, when stevia is not available, you tend to eat sugary foods. This is really a personal matter. I preferred to stop using artificial sweeteners, and lost the taste for sweet foods. It’s your choice.
Almost all calculation methods for alkaline diets only work on wholefoods, or lightly processed foods. All the manufactured bars that I have seen are full of additives. Who knows what affect these will have on the kidneys.
I’m going to throw this open for comment, as I’m not aware of any healthy protein bars. In essence, it does not matter if snacks are not alkaline. For a balanced alkaline diet, daily overall intake must be alkaline, but around 20% of nutrition should be acid.
I think snacks are one of the most personal parts of any healthy diet. Some people need them to be able to make it to meal time. Some people just get fat if they snack.
What sort of calorie allowance are you setting aside for snacks? I’m sure I can find some healthy snacking options, but they only make sense in context of overall diet.
Although I’ve heard of agave, I had to check what it really is before I could answer this. I’ve certainly never seen it as a food, and I can’t remember ever seeing it in a recipe.
It turns out that agave is a cactus-like plant from Mexico. I assume that is why it is described in the list as “Agave, dried (Southwest).” This information comes straight from the USDA database. Unfortunately, agave is one of the products I should probably have left off my list. The complete USDA database has many of these rarely used foods. That’s why I started using the Key Foods list. The full list is too full, and the Key Foods list misses out on too many healthy options. That’s why it’s great to discuss these items. Together, we can create some really useful healthy food lists.
There might well be some ancient recipes that use dried agave. If so, I’d love you to share them here. If not, I think it better to take agave off my list of alkaline foods.
In the USDA database, there are 4 listings for agave. The most alkaline by weight is the dried version already discussed. Raw and cooked versions are also quite alkaline. These would probably have made it to my next list to make up the top 200 alkaline foods. However, I cannot find recipes or sources for cooked or raw agave, so I’ll probably omit them.
The final version is the agave syrup that Judy asks about.
This appears in lots of recipes, and agave syrup is quite widely available. Unfortunately, there are 2 major health-related issues:
First, agave syrup is as near neutral as makes no difference. It is not wrong to include neutral and acid-forming foods in an alkaline diet. If the overall daily total is alkaline, then the diet is healthy. Agave syrup is not contributing to a healthy alkaline diet, and also has a very high fructose content.
Worse than that, there are fears that modern manufacturing techniques that are now adopted by the agave processing industry might lead to toxic substances. Certified organic agave syrup from a reputable manufacturer might be OK.
I’m not convinced that agave syrup is a good idea. What do you think?