The 27 Acidic Foods That Can Cause Inflammation

Acidic Foods That Can Cause Inflammation
Medically Reviewed
December 30, 2020

A cupcake or a lemon—which food do you think is more acidic? The answer may surprise you.

Certain foods create an acidic environment in your body. When we talk about food and how “acidic” it is, we’re not talking about the taste. For example, lemons may taste acidic, but they don’t create an acidic state in your body when you eat them. So when we talk about acidic foods, we refer to the changes in the body’s acidity levels once that food is ingested.

This means that while a cupcake may not taste acidic or sour like a lemon, it does create an acid condition within the body—it’s an “acid-forming” food. And when there is a lot of acid-forming food in your diet, it can lead to many different forms of chronic inflammation, including arthritis, acne, fatigue, bloated feeling, weight gain, and more.

How Do Acidic Foods Cause Inflammation in the Body?

Over time, highly acidic diets mean that the body has to work harder to neutralize its acidic state. Through your bloodstream, your kidneys, lungs, and other organs work hard to keep your PH balanced and keep your acid levels under control. When we ingest a high amount of “acid-forming” foods, our bodies work to neutralize it with a system called “buffering.”

One of the ways your body neutralizes or “buffers” these acidic foods is by taking calcium and magnesium from your teeth, bones, or muscles—calcium and magnesium that your body already needs for other reasons. Could an overly acidic diet put an undue burden on a body’s natural calcium sources?

What is a Food pH Value?

Every food has a pH value—a special scale created to measure how acidic or alkaline a fluid or substance is. It ranges from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline), with seven being neutral. The more alkaline a food is, the more detoxing it is. Alkaline foods feed and regenerate the body instead of depleting it. In addition, they are packed with live nutrients that help detoxify the body.

At NAVA, we believe that it is critical to minimize acid-forming foods like dairy, sugar, glutens, and red meats. We emphasize the foods that are alkalizing are mostly fruits and vegetables.

Which Alkaline Foods Should You Be Eating More Of?

Not all alkaline foods have a negative impact on the body. Most fruits and vegetables, tofu, soybeans, seeds, some nuts, and legumes are alkaline-promoting foods. Here’s a list of alkaline foods you should be eating more of:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Greens
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Raw nuts
  • Seaweed
  • Vegetable juices
  • Sprouts
  • Miso
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Which Acidic Foods Can Cause Inflammation?

In general, to avoid an acidic state within your body, avoid foods that contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, gluten, refined grains, or dairy products. Here is a list of common but highly acidic foods that can cause inflammation you should definitely rule out of your diet!

Fried Foods

As delicious as fried foods are, they are a recipe for disaster regarding your health. Fried foods with fatty acids are the leading cause of many medical issued in the United States. They are linked to obesity and heart disease, and acid reflux. The worst culprits are french fries and fried chicken. The fried foods you should avoid are:

  • French Fries
  • Fried Chicken
  • French Toast

Breakfast Foods

Some traditional breakfasts are on the list of acidic foods that can cause inflammation. Try to avoid breakfast favorites:

  • Pancakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Boxed Cereals


We all love a snack. I mean, who doesn’t? But, not all snacks are healthy. For instance, snacks containing sugar, such as candy and cookies, can negatively impact your health. These added sugars are harmful and can increase inflammation, which can lead to disease.

It’s best to avoid or reduce your intake of the following snacks:

  • Potato Chips
  • Yogurt-Covered Nuts and Fruits
  • Roasted Nuts
  • Pop-Tarts
  • Most Protein Bars
  • Corn Chips
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Candy

Other Foods

Along with other foods like pizza and cheese, red meat contains saturated fats, which can cause inflammation. Inflammation is an indicator of heart disease and worsens arthritis inflammation. To reduce the risk of getting inflammation from acidic foods, reduce or remove from your diet entirely the following foods:

  • Red Meat
  • Pizza
  • White Potatoes
  • White Bread
  • Heated Oils
  • Margarine


If you are drinking soda regularly or more than once a day, you may significantly increase your risk of developing inflammation. Coffee, fruit juices, and beer also have a negative impact on the body if consumed in excess. Avoid the following drinks to reduce that risk:

  • Bottled Fruit Juices
  • Coffee
  • Most Sports Drinks
  • Beer
  • Soda
  • Diet Soda

To summarise dairy, meat, most grains, and processed foods, like packaged snacks and convenience foods, are acidic and are not recommended. If you avoid the list of above foods and focus on a healthy lifestyle, you will be on your way to living a more vibrant, better life.

Take Back Control of Your Health and Diet

A healthy diet is essential to stop or reduce inflammation, having a healthy body, and is a natural way to boost your immune system.

At Nava, we offer a medical weight loss program – NavaRX which will help you reach your goal weight under close medical supervision. And once you’ve reached your goals, our support doesn’t stop there. Our Nava Nutrition Plan gives you a supportive, realistic plan to nourish your body for the rest of your life.

Nava Health Can Help!

Are you interested in learning more about our unique NavaRX program or Nutrition Plan? This could be the first step to a real, healthy diet and lifestyle. Start with a no-obligation phone consult today by contacting us at 800-672-6282Your journey to health starts here!

Article Name
The 27 Acidic Foods That Can Cause Inflammation
It's critical to minimize acid-forming foods. Here's a list of 27 common highly acidic foods that can cause Inflammation you should definitely rule out!