Asked by: Louie Bailie, St Albans
Proponents of ‘alkaline diets’ claim that too much acid in the blood can cause a range of health issues, from osteoporosis to cancer. They advocate filling up on alkaline foods (those with a pH higher than water), but the body’s system for regulating blood pH is actually unaffected by diet.
As luck would have it, though, alkaline foods do tend to be healthy – they include fruits, beans, nuts and vegetables. So it’s not bad to eat ‘too many’ of them. On the other hand, cutting down on many acidic foods, such as refined sugars, coffee and alcohol, won’t do any harm.
Dr Emma Davies is a science writer and editor with a PhD in food chemistry from the University of Leeds. She writes about all aspects of chemistry, from food and the environment to toxicology and regulatory science.