Does an acidic diet increase the risk of type 2 diabetes?

A study of more than 60,000 women found that higher overall food acidity, regardless of the individual foods that made up the specific diet, increased the risk of type 2 diabetes.


The study, published in the Journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, is the first large-scale study to scientifically establish the harm of an acidic diet.

The standard diet of most Europeans, including Bulgarians, includes more animal products and other acid-forming foods, which contributes to increasing the body’s acid load in a way that cannot be compensate with fruits and vegetables.

This, according to French scientists, can lead to chronic metabolic acidosis and other metabolic complications.

Monitoring the Impact of Acidosis

Most importantly from a blood sugar control perspective, increased acidity can reduce the ability of insulin to bind to the appropriate receptors in the body, as well as weaken insulin sensitivity.

With this in mind, scientists decided to analyze whether the increase in acidity due to the consumption of predominantly acidic foods increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

A total of 66,485 women participated in the European study. The participants were followed for more than 14 years.

Acid load from food consumption was measured using standard tests to measure the acidity of the body as a result of eating habits.

During follow-up, 1,372 participants developed type 2 diabetes. The scientists found that women whose diet included the most acidic foods had a 56% higher risk of developing diabetes compared to participants who consumed relatively few acidic foods.

In women of normal weight, that is, with a body mass index of about 25 or less, the scientists found the highest risk of diabetes /96% increased risk in those with the most acidic diet/. And in overweight women /BMI above 25/ a high-acid diet contributes to an increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes “only” by 28%.

Meat acidifies the body

The study authors point out that a diet that includes mostly animal protein contributes to the net acid intake.

And most fruits and vegetables are alkaline precursors which neutralize acidity.

Contrary to what is believed, most fruits such as peaches, apples, pears, bananas and even lemons and oranges actually reduce the body’s acid load originating from food after passing through the digestive processes.

Researchers note that the association between acid load and risk of developing type 2 diabetes persists even after adjusting dietary habits by reducing consumption of meat, coffee and sugar-sweetened beverages and intake of more vegetables and fruits .

And this suggests that acidic foods may be essential for the development of type 2 diabetes, regardless of changing dietary habits and consumption of alkaline and acidic foods.

Scientists conclude that, for the first time in such a large-scale study, it is proven that the acid load on the body through nutrition conditions the development of type 2 diabetes, independently of other risk factors.

Balancing the body’s ph

Keeping the body slightly alkaline is directly related to diet. And adjusting your diet is an easy way to help reduce your acid load.

In addition, it is necessary to maintain physical activity and practice techniques to manage stress. Because stress makes it harder for the body to cope with the higher acid load.

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