Introducing ALKAscore tells you how this website came about. It’s aimed at anyone who is interested in knowing more about ALKAscore and it’s origins.
ALKAscore is a developing scoring system to help assess and manage healthy eating. It grew out of my frustration when trying to make food scoring simple. Measuring acid load in the research lab is one thing. Adapting alkaline food charts to everyday shopping and eating is another.
Understanding the scoring problem helps you understand the purpose of ALKAscore.
Laboratory Schemes for Estimating Acid Load
Established laboratory schemes for estimating acid load range from the complex NEAP to simpler Pro/K. In between, there’s the ubiquitous PRAL. That’s the one I’ve used mostly up to now. More recently, there’s an emerging LAKE food screener scoring system.
I won’t bore you with all the technical details. But, here’s a summary that leads to ALKAscore:
- NEAP: Net Endogenous Acid Production
- In the early twentieth century, scientists became aware of acid load to the kidneys. There are different metabolic processes that contribute acid or alkali to the kidneys. Eventually, scientists developed calculations that could assess the load on the kidneys based on certain nutrients in foods. NEAP gives accurate data for scientific purposes. But, it is too complex for everyday life.
- PRAL: Potential Renal Acid Load
- Later last century, scientists realized that the main factors that affected acid load could be simplified. PRAL is a calculation based on five nutrients that estimate the acid load of food servings. It makes calculation bearable, especially if PRAL food charts are available. But, it is still tedious to measure when calculations are necessary for every meal.
- Pro/K: Protein to Potassium ratio
- Pro/K takes PRAL a step forward in the simplification stakes. It recognizes that only two nutrients are necessary to estimate acid load. It still requires nutrient analysis, but less of it.
- LAKE: Load of Acid to Kidney Evaluation
- LAKE takes a different approach derived from PRAL. It gives average scores to different food groups. Analysis becomes much simpler. We only need to know that a carrot is a vegetable, not what nutrients it contains.
- ALKAscore: Acid Load to Kidneys Assay
- This is probably the only time I’ll use the “Assay” word. I just want a simple, real-world scoring system. It has to be home-based, not for the lab. The basis for my scoring system has evolved from sound scientific principles. Principles that are the foundation of lab-based scoring systems. However, ALKAscore accepts that variations in day-to-day living render complex scoring systems worthless. We need simple rules.
My concept for ALKAscore started when I realized how easy it was to misinterpret published nutrition research.
Though I like the look of my enhanced chart, it’s actually based on a misinterpretation of the LAKE food screener scoring system. Maybe, these were working data that became simplified in the LAKE system? It’s not important.
It made me realize that all we need to focus on are Meat and Veg. OK, ALKAscore is slightly more complex than that, but still uses easy-to-understand rules. When I read how the misinterpreted LAKE score was being used, I realized something else. We don’t live in a lab where everything has to be precise so that comparatives can be measured. We only need to compare our personal food score with what it was last month.
That makes ALKAscore adaptable to everyone. Those who like to measure things can measure every meal. If you prefer to measure less, you can just spend a few minutes each week checking your grocery bills.
You have learned that ALKAscore is science-based, yet suited to real life, not the lab. Now, I need to know more about what you want from alkaline eating.
Are you convinced that balanced alkaline diet is healthy? Do you want to learn more science? Or, just get eating plans? Maybe something in-between, like healthy meal planning tips.
Do you want to measure every meal? Or, just check your shopping?
What does healthy eating mean to you? Strict diets, better habits, or something else?
That’s a lot of questions from me, but I need to get to know you. I can tell you how ALKAscore works for me. But, it’s you that matters. ALKAscore is true alkaline diet your way.