August 26, 2011

Top 10 Surprising Facts About Wheat/Grains

By Tim Lochhead

#9 Acid/Alkaline: Learn the Secret to Showing Your Kidneys Respect

Continuing our countdown of the Top 10 Surprising Facts about Wheat/Grains.

So far we’ve learned the concept that all living things, plant or animal, have defensive or offensive mechanisms for survival.

Wheat and Grains have several offensive ones that work to disrupt predators (anyone who would eat the grains). We’ve looked at a variety of substances found in wheat and grains and how they wreak havoc on our bodies including our digestive system and brains resulting in a variety of ailments. If that weren’t enough, they also cause addiction in several ways as discussed in Countdown #7.

And there’s more! (Of course, we still have to count down 9 and 10).

Today we’re considering Acid/Base balance.

This relates to a pH measurement that you may have heard of before (for the keeners it refers to potential for hydrogen; having less hydrogen means there is a greater potential to have more and this is a more alkaline state – so, having more hydrogen around would be a lower potential to increase hydrogen concentration and is acidic).

What we care about is whether a substance (we’ll be talking about food of course) is either acidic or base/alkaline.

Basically, after food is digested it reports to the kidneys as base or alkaline.

But the body likes to be slightly alkaline. If there is net acidosis (more acidic than alkaline) there are consequences. The kidneys have to “steal” calcium from bones to alkalize us, or it can take glutamine (an amino, aka building block of protein, hence from muscle) and use it to get rid of the excess acid in our urine.

Do you want to strip your bones of calcium and your muscles of it’s tissue components?

We can see being acidic is bad; and having very acid blood is related to a variety of diseases and basically every type of cancer.

So what about out foods? What would cause acidic conditions?

Wheat and grains are net acid forming.

Recall the last post where we compared wheat against every other food on a nutritional basis, and pound for pound or calorie for calorie wheat got knocked out?

Well, almost all fruits and vegetables are base forming. These are the types of foods that are likely to contain the same types of nutrients you can get in wheat and other grains.

“Hey buddy what about meat and seafood?” OK, meat is net acid forming too; however, consider the tradeoff and benefits. You get valuable protein, healthy fats (assuming it’s a properly raised animal, again another blog series if not a book here) and high amounts of other important nutrients like zinc!

And guess what? The acidic effects of meat and seafood can be counteracted with alkaline producing foods.

Eating meat and veggies as a regular combo will balance things out and provide a nice spectrum of nutrients and protein.

Plus, veggies can provide highly absorbable amounts of calcium and the protein of meat and seafood offers glutamine – so you can support your kidneys just in case (poor kidneys; they’re like the Rodney Dangerfield of organs – they don’t get no respect). Balance your pH and show some respect! 🙂

Try food combinations with wheat: other foods just get the job done better and without the drawbacks (like actually blocking mineral absorption, inhibiting protein assimilation, and other nasty effects we’ve counted down).


One more countdown to go and then some wheat-free treats I promised waaay back in #1!