These terms refer to the residue of the metabolism of foods. The mineral salts of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are base-forming, while phosphorus, sulphur, and chlorine are acid-forming. Which of these predominates in foods determines whether the residue is acidic or basic (alkaline); meat, cheese, eggs, and cereals leave an acidic residue, while milk, vegetables, and some fruits leave a basic residue. Fats and sugars have no mineral content and so leave a neutral residue. Although fruits have an acid taste due to organic acids and their salts, the acids are completely oxidized and the sodium and potassium salts form an alkaline residue.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.