While preparing the second edition of my best-selling book, The Acid Alkaline Food Guide, I wanted to include the acid or alkaline impacts of various sauces and condiments — such as oyster sauce, red chili paste or hot pepper sauce.
As I did my calculating, I realized several important points we should all keep in mind about the metabolic effects of sauces, condiments, and other prepared foods.
Secrets in the sauce
- Look at each individual ingredient in the sauce itself. The ingredients can vary widely from product to product even though they may have similar names.
- The specific type of ingredient used is very important. For example, a sauce made with alkaline-forming apple cider vinegar will have a different effect than a sauce made with acid-forming white vinegar. Or, the type and amount of sweetener can make a difference, as the comparison of acid-forming white sugar to alkaline-forming whole cane sugar such as Sucanat shows.
- Commercial preparations can be vastly different from homemade. The pad thai sauce you make at home can be much better alkaline-wise than what you get at the store.
Taking a look at the whole picture
To evaluate the potential acid/alkaline impact of a particular choice, you can certainly look at each individual ingredient as acid forming or alkaline forming, and estimate how much of the ingredient you’ll use. This way, you can get a rough idea of its impact.
Of course, more important than the impact of any single food is the net overall impact on your body of all foods eaten in combination. Take a look at the whole picture to see if your daily diet is acid forming or alkaline forming. Also, even though some foods are acid forming, they have many qualities that make them a valuable addition to your diet — walnuts are one good example. Other acid-forming foods, like soft drinks or excess sugar in general, have no redeeming value and need to be eliminated from the diet.
Finally, go by results. I encourage you to use the first morning urine pH to help estimate your overall metabolic acid load. Note what you are eating and how it affects your acid-base balance, and then modify your eating and supplement program accordingly.
Don’t worry about each individual food, but look at the big picture. If you can’t alkalize with foods alone it indicates that you need more alkalizing mineral compounds, such as those found in my Better Bones Health Program. It’s easy — don’t worry.
I’m Dr. Susan Brown. I am a nutritionist, medical anthropologist, writer, and speaker. Get my free weekly newsletter here.