The internet seems to be all over the place on this. Some people say oatmeal is an alkaline food, and others say it is acidic.
In this article I’ll talk about how we know whether foods are alkaline or acidic. We will see where oats fall on the scale.
You will learn some foods to pair up with oatmeal to make it even healthier. I will also list some more ideas for alkaline breakfast foods.
How Do We Know If a Food is Alkaline?
We know if a food is acidic or alkaline by looking at the PRAL score of that food. PRAL stands for Potential Renal Acid Load. Let’s take that mouthful apart.
Renal refers to the kidneys, which are the organ in charge of getting rid of excess acid or base out of your body. So the PRAL is the potential of a food to load up the kidneys with acid, which they need to excrete (1).
Most of the research here is done in patients with chronic kidney disease. CKD patients need to pay close attention to foods that create a burden on the kidneys, like acidic foods.
Even though the PRAL score is used most often for kidney patients, you can also use it to help you stick to a more alkaline diet.
PRAL looks at the amount of protein, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium in a food. It uses a complicated formula to calculate the amount of acid that will be generated per 100 grams of that food (2).
PRAL Scores of Various Foods
Acidic foods have a positive score, and basic (alkaline) foods go into the negative range. There are very acidic foods such as meats with a score of 12 or above. Then there are foods that are less acidic and fall closer to 0.
Fish oil has a PRAL score of 0, meaning it is a neutral food.
On the alkaline side you will find mostly fruits and vegetables. Freeze dried parsley has a very alkaline score of -108 (3).
Is Oatmeal Alkaline?
According to the PRAL score, oatmeal is an acidic food. Oat bran has a PRAL score of 2.8. Rolled oats are more acidic with a PRAL of around 10. Nearly all whole grains fall on the acidic side of the scale.
Should You Stop Eating Oats ?
You should NOT stop eating oats, or other whole grains, because they fall on the acidic side of the scale. Whole grains are an important part of a balanced diet. They also have many of the minerals you need for healthy bones.
Oats are a great source of soluble fiber, which has been found to help prevent cardiovascular disease. This type of fiber can also help get rid of chronic diarrhea or constipation (4).
The point is not to only eat alkaline foods. That would give you very limited choices, and restrict your protein to unhealthy levels.
It is all about balance. You can balance out nutritious acidic foods by eating a lot of alkaline fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
How To Make Oats More Alkaline
You can easily tip oats over to the alkaline side of the scale by combining them with alkaline fruits and veggies.
Here are some foods that go great in oatmeal. They can balance out the acidity of the oats.
- Dried apricots
- Pumpkin seeds
- Pine nuts
- Kiwi fruit
Making Breakfast More Alkaline
Here are some ideas for ways to slide your breakfast over to the alkaline side of the scale.
- Try savory oats with vegetables and fruits.
- Eat a Mediterranean plate with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
- Scramble some veggies into your eggs.
- Make an asparagus omelet.
- Try a green smoothie for breakfast.
- Spread your favorite toast with avocado and top with sprouts or radishes.
The Last Morsel
We use the PRAL score to tell whether a food is acidic or alkaline. Like other whole grains, oats are a slightly acidic food.
You don’t want to restrict all acidic foods. They tend to be the best sources of protein, which is an important nutrient for bones.
However, you can add alkaline foods like vegetables and fruits to tip your oatmeal, and other acidic foods, to the other side of the scale.
Eating fruits and vegetables for breakfast starts your day off with alkaline foods.
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