I have heard that eating food that is acidic will help control my glucose level. Is this true about the acidic diet? If so, what foods do you recommend

By jigsaw Latest Reply 2012-02-20 12:49:46 -0600
Started 2012-02-06 09:52:13 -0600

I came across this interesting question on the internet. The answer is by a registered dietician. I have not tried any acidic foods in an attempt to lower my bg. What is your opinion, and have you tried it?


I have heard that eating food that is acidic will help control my glucose level. Is this true about the acidic diet? If so, what foods do you recommend.


In the past, some research has looked at the effect of vinegars (which are acidic) as well as acidic fruit juices on blood glucose levels after a meal. These many of these studies were small, and there is not enough evidence to recommend that people with diabetes use these ingredients for the purpose of lowering blood glucose.

Instead of recommending specific foods and ingredients, the American Diabetes Association recommends following a healthy, balanced meal plan that works for you.

There is no “magic” food or drink that works to bring blood glucose down immediately in the body. To keep your blood glucose levels on target, you need to take any insulin and/or medications according to their doctor’s instructions. Medications and insulin work in your body to bring blood glucose down after eating. Following your diabetes meal plan can also help you avoid high levels.

Exercise can help to lower blood glucose. This is as close to a magic bullet as we have. For more information on exercise

75 replies

ztalsi 2012-02-18 17:54:02 -0600 Report

I did some research on the glycemic index of food and found that eating pink grapefruit helped bring my A1C down from 8.5 to 5.8 in one year. Working on getting off my Metformin medication soon.

jigsaw 2012-02-18 19:55:22 -0600 Report

I haven't heard much about grapefruit, but if you can get off your meds that would be great.

jayabee52 2012-02-18 20:02:24 -0600 Report

Grapefruit is great except if you're on a medication which is affected somehow by GF.

I didn't do grapefruit because my late wife couldn't have it because she was on coumadin (GF increases the strength of Coumadin) Not eating GF was a good thing for me because certain meds I am on is affected either making them stronger or weaker by consuming GF.

jigsaw 2012-02-18 20:22:02 -0600 Report

I have heard about grapefruit affecting medications. I didn't know it affected coumadin. My wife has been on coumadin for years do to an inherited blood disorder. Thanks for that bit of valuable info!

jayabee52 2012-02-18 20:26:03 -0600 Report

she should have been informed when first being put on it. You might want to google it to doublecheck. Also she was not to eat green leafy veggies due to Vitamin K counteracting the coumadin.

jigsaw 2012-02-18 21:12:58 -0600 Report

We are aware of the effects of vitamin k and green leafy veges. Her hemotologist has instructed her to eat as usual. She has her INRs checked once a month, and they adjust her dosage if necessary. Of course we inject some common sense with anything she ingests as an added precaution.

jayabee52 2012-02-18 21:23:28 -0600 Report

Jem was checked every week. She was "brittle" with her INRs too. Very changable. We'd get a call to have her doseage changed if she needed to change her dosage. If no change needed they sent a letter through US mail. It kinda freaked me out to get that info so late. Wasn't sure if they'd forgotten her or what.

jigsaw 2012-02-19 06:31:50 -0600 Report

One doctor wanted to check my wifes INRs every two weeks. In the name of vein and artery conservation she kept it monthly. It's been working well for about 11 years. I know what you mean with the response through the mail. Her doctors do the same. She usually calls them a couple days after.

Bamberg 2012-02-17 02:48:24 -0600 Report

My average BG over the past week is 101.7. The week before it was about 105. The pickles seem to have made a difference. Let's see what happens over the next week when I stop eating pickles.

JSJB 2012-02-17 04:17:26 -0600 Report

I love pickles but never tried them in my diet. I grow them in my garded and my wife jars them. Will have to try them. Thanks

jigsaw 2012-02-17 06:58:41 -0600 Report

If it helps in some way, that's an added bonus. If not, you can still enjoy a good pickel!

jayabee52 2012-02-18 17:58:13 -0600 Report

I think it is the dill pickles from what I've experienced, not the sweet pickles or the "bread and butter" style.

jayabee52 2012-02-18 20:05:50 -0600 Report

haven't tried them, so no experience there, but from the name I don't think they'd hurt your BGs eating those.

jennylouise 2012-02-12 15:53:54 -0600 Report

id have to say pickles is one thing i have found to work for me but if im not carefull with the dill pickles i drop way to fast. durning my pregancy i couldnt eat them at all do to id drop to fast. any other ideas you have for me to lower my blood sugar would be great!!!

jigsaw 2012-02-12 18:09:27 -0600 Report

Two of the most important things you can do is exercise and develop a healthy food plan. Exercise burns off glucose. A 1/2 hour walk at a quick pace will do wonders. There are many resources here to help you learn which foods are recommended. You can check out the article section here on DC. You can go to Ask An Expert also here on DC. These are doctors, dieticians, and diabetes educators, all ready and willing to help out. I hope you check it out. It's better to learn by being educated, then through mistakes and complications. I wish the best for you!

Bamberg 2012-02-10 14:48:40 -0600 Report

I am already on a healthy, balanced diet so I plan to have a pickle a day for a week and then stop to see what happens.

dietcherry 2012-02-09 22:40:02 -0600 Report

Hello everyone! Id like to share my experience with apple cider vinegar or ACV. I didnt take it to lower blood sugar because Im T1, but had read about all the health benefits it would provide me and was excited about the prospect.

I dont know that I received any of those benefits but what I did receive was a ravenous appetite! I was hungry constantly and overate and thus complicated my blood sugar control so I had to stop using it.

And I used the good stuff that included "the mother", not just the stuff from the grocery store.

I do eat a fair share of white vinegar because of my love of pickles, peppers, and the like. It doesnt raise my blood sugar at all but I doubt its lowering it either.

jigsaw 2012-02-10 15:39:01 -0600 Report

I tried ACV a few years ago and got heartburn! However, pickles are deliciious!
Seriously, thanks for the info!

Caroltoo 2012-02-09 20:34:20 -0600 Report

One article I read (online, don't recall source) stated that eating acid foods had the opposite effect on our blood ph making it more alkaline which was healthier. If anyone has any real information about that, I would be interested as it's not my area of expertise.

DragonDreams 2012-02-10 10:32:43 -0600 Report

I found a general article explaining the effects of alkaline and acidic foods on the body. http://drbenkim.com/ph-body-blood-foods-acid-... It also talks a bit about why stones form.

jigsaw 2012-02-10 15:44:44 -0600 Report

Very interesting article. Do you know what kind of doctor Ben Kim is? Just curious. Thanks.

jayabee52 2012-02-12 07:54:14 -0600 Report

From my reading of his website I believe he is a Naturopathic Dr, though it nowhere says this explicitly. But from the types of articles and items for sale, that would be my best guess.

annesmith 2012-02-07 22:17:25 -0600 Report

Thank you for bringing up this topic, as you helped me to look back and see how my body has reacted to highly acidic foods. Many many many times, high acidic foods set me way way way too low. However, my light bulb just went off on how tricky this disease is: If I eat something with vinegar in it at all, and I have protein with it or beforehand, it sends my blood sugars extremely and dangerously high—-into the 600s and even 700. That's an interesting topic. The times it set me into low after low I had ONLY the acid, and no protein…how dumb on my part…ANNE

jigsaw 2012-02-08 15:35:54 -0600 Report

Thanks Anne! Apparently acidic foods have had a powerful effect on you. Very interesting and appreciated info! I look forward to seeing if others have had similar effects.

Caroltoo 2012-02-06 20:55:25 -0600 Report

I use vinegar and lemon juice. I was using vinegar for BG intermittently for about a year. Lemon juice, I've used for about 5 months. Either can be taken in water. I put the juice of one lemon in a glass of filtered iced water. I drink this during the day and have gotten to where I no longer want to sweeten it. I also drink iced tea with the juice of a lemon (not a slice). For vinegar, I use a teaspoon in a little hot water in the morning and then flush out my mouth with clean cold water so it doesn't etch my tooth enamel.

Several months ago when I developed gall bladder issues, I discovered that cucumbers with vinegar and beets with lemon juice are highly recommended to increase stomach acid (which really is the issue with many 50+ folks who think they have too much), normalize gall bladder function, and, in some cases, reduce the size of stones so they can pass without surgery.

judy makowski
judy makowski 2012-02-12 15:49:37 -0600 Report

I wish I had known this. On the 27th I am having my gall bladder out ( didn't even know I had gall stones) Also having gastric bypass. They discovered the stones during the preliminary test for the by pass at which time they also found I have fatty liver disease which if not taken care of will go into cirrous (sp) of the liver. Had no idea that that could happen with out alcohol use. They said the surgery would help the diabetes, liver and weight problems. I have gained way to much weight since being put on insulin. Part of the problem is I don't enough. Never did I think that would come out of my mouth. But I have found out that not eating enough of what I should loweres my metabolism and I keep on the weight. Say a prayer for me please that all goes well

Caroltoo 2012-02-12 22:12:11 -0600 Report

I sure will, Judy. I think I was really lucky because I only have 1 that is larger than the duct and that one, of course, is why I'm guzzling these stone softening concoctions. I've also had gallbladder massage which milked many of the smaller stones out of GB producing very visible proof that they were there.

judy makowski
judy makowski 2012-02-13 10:25:58 -0600 Report

Thanks Caroltoo. I always have vinegar on my salad. Don't know if that makes a difference or not. Had no idea I had gall stones untill they showed up in the scan. I was really surprised. Today I started the liguid protein shakes for 3 m3als a day and then a small dinner. Next Monday I star with just the 4 shakes a day. I'm going to have to be very careful about my bs. Friday I have an appt. with my endo and I will see how he wants to handle the insulin for my surgery etc. He may have to show me how to do a sliding scale. Especially on this drink.

jigsaw 2012-02-06 22:40:13 -0600 Report

Did the vinegar or lemon juice help much with your bg?
I have heard of doctors that treat the 50+ crowd with acid reducers, when in fact the problem is the opposite, not enough. I read about it in a book on naturopathc medicine. Simply makes matters more confusing.
Does cucumbers, vinegar and beets with lemon juice work to reduce kidney stones? I had my first experience with kidney stones about a year ago. After a thorough test, they determined the cause was probably dehydradtion. I was riding my bike as much as 30 miles in 90 degree weather and not hydrating that much. Just didnt feel a need to hydrate. I hardly ever feel thirsty. I do drink alot of water after that experience.

Caroltoo 2012-02-07 06:02:12 -0600 Report

I'm med free, Al, so something is helping. I do a number of things, so it's a bit hard to pinpoint cause and effect. I started using vinegar in water at breakfast for a few weeks. It seemed to help. Then I added aloe to my breakfast menu. I had read these would "cure" diabetes…didn't really believe that, but would be happy to have reduced BGs.

A number of other things happened in my life and I lost focus for a while. Then realized that, though I didn't know when it had happened, I had much lowered BGs and was able to stop all meds whereas before I had only been able to reduce the significantly. I've continued the vinegar but discontinued the aloe as I lost my source.

Because gall stones are created from bile and other hormonal components of the digestive system which are different than the chemical composition of kidney stones, I would not assume a cross over for this remedy. Why don't you check out some holistic treatments for kidney stones online? I'd only recommend this for GB, BG, and GERD caused by too little acid. Yes, dehydration is a potential cause for both types of stones. You have my sympathy. I experienced K stones about 25 years ago. They moved on, but it was worse than giving birth…not a nice experience. I didn't take calcium supplements for many years after that experience because I was uncertain what had caused it.

jigsaw 2012-02-07 07:56:22 -0600 Report

I believe that anyone who is courting diabetes, and is med free is to be commended. You are apparently doing many things that have helped you manage your bg successfully. From your previous postings, I see many simlarities in how we both manage our diabetes. I would guess that many of the natural and holistc treatments have a subtle but positive effect on bg. I have had some experience over the years with alternative medicine, naturopathic, and holistic with excellent results also. Like you, and especially in the early years of my diabetes, I tried many approaches to managing my bg. It can be difficult to tell which approach was actually working, and to what extent. Especially when you are taking numerous approaches simultaneously and getting positive results. Through my experience over a 17 year period, I have found that as diabetes progresses. the positive effects of natural and holistic remedies seem to have less and less of an effect in many cases. I suspect that good mgmt along with natural and holistic remedies, has slowed the progression of my diabetes. I was on no medication for the first 6 years of diabetes. Then I was on a minimal dose of Amaryl ( 1mg ) for a number of years . Stronger and additional medications were necessary as years went by. As of the last year insulin has been added to my regimen. For me, at this stage of my diabetes, exercise, healthy eating habits and meds are a necessity regardless of any other remedies that i have tried. I hope I am wrong, and I remain open minded to other opinions and experiences. I would love to get off meds once again, still be able to eat a variety of foods and stay as healthy as I have so far. I think it's a great idea to make the elimination of meds a definite and commendable goal for anyone with diabetes. I'm not sure if its a realistic goal for someone in the advanced stages. Do you think it's possible?
Thank's for your additional info concerning gallstones and kidney stones.

judy makowski
judy makowski 2012-02-12 15:54:59 -0600 Report

I also went for many years without meds and then found it necessary to go on metformin, then janumet I also tried sorry i just had a senior moment and can't remember the 2 injectables that are not insulin. Anyway after 18 years I too was put on insulin.

jigsaw 2012-02-13 06:36:38 -0600 Report

We both took nearly the same amount of years to get insulin. To bad we can't say that we got winning tickets for the lottery instead! But actually I'm glad insulin exists for those of us that need it.

Caroltoo 2012-02-08 09:41:17 -0600 Report

Actually, my experience has been the opposite. I've always heard diabetes is progressive, so keep that thought in the back of my mind, but it isn't what I'm experiencing. When first diagnosed my doc wanted me on 4 insulin injections to start. I declined and tried diet and exercise for about 2 months. Saw significant improvement (BGs from 400 to 130 fasting) and weight loss. Was given Actos instead: 1 tablet daily. As I continued my diet and exercise program (I had no advice on this .. doc just said lose weight) and found a diabetic educator for a couple of sessions and read everything I could find on the subject of management, cause, and care, I reduced my meds to 1/2 tablet in about 2 years. Took that 1/2 dose for about 4 years, then reduced again, and now about 2 years without. I am about 9 years into this process and continue to improve. I know this isn't typical and I think that's why my current doctor was so happy when I told her about my success in turning this around. I know I am still diabetic because of how I have to manage my diet, but it is becoming more, not less, managable. Who knows what the future will bring, but for now I am hopeful that it will not progress.

jigsaw 2012-02-09 05:22:14 -0600 Report

I believe perception to be a key word and possibly an explanation here. It is obvious that over time you have learned to better manage your diabetes. Through knowledge and experience many of us can certainly obtain good #s such as bg, and lipids and bring them within normal range. There have been times that I have been able to eliminate meds. Usually and mostly heathy diet and exercise were the key elements that enabled me to accomplish this. There is no documented medical evidence that diabetes can be cured. It is medically proven that with good mgmt the progression of diabetes can be slowed but not eliminated. This is a fact that I dislike intensly, but I must face it on a daily basis.
I believe that your ability to manage your diabetes has improved over the years, but I am skeptical as to whether your diabetes has improved. I sincerely hope for your benefit that it has.

Caroltoo 2012-02-09 14:52:54 -0600 Report

I think what has improved is my insulin sensitivity because when I eat things that used to cause a massive spike, they now cause a little spike. Regardless, I know I am still diabetic, just a much healthier one than I was 10 years ago.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-02-09 06:07:38 -0600 Report

I have been wondering about water since I drink well water at home do you think I should change this?

jigsaw 2012-02-09 07:00:38 -0600 Report

There is certainly possibilities for dangerous or unhealthy contaminents to be present in well water. I have read that deep wells help to cut the odds of contamination through natural filteration.. Unless you have your water tested from time to time, there is no way of knowing for sure. Filtration certainly wouldn't hurt. I personally would not drink well water without being absolutely certain that there are no contaminants present.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-02-09 09:18:54 -0600 Report

Thank you so much, oh and I did forget to say that we did install a water filter system about 8 months ago.

Caroltoo 2012-02-09 14:50:08 -0600 Report

Oh, good. Is it for your whole house or the kitchen? That's what Renee was talking about wantiing to do (whole house) in one of the discussions a week or so ago.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-02-09 19:30:09 -0600 Report

It's through our whole house well worth the investment, since the hard water was causing staining throughout our bathrooms, not to mention the dry hair!

melanietravelwriter 2012-02-09 00:25:14 -0600 Report

I had 2 huge kidney stones several years ago and it took 3 surgeries over 3 months to get rid of them. The doc said I had been getting too much calcium and not drinking quite enough fluid. I am a vegan now and my levels have never been better. Eating dead animals leads to coronary artery disease, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer and dairy and eggs are bad too. In fact, there is much horrific animal abuse in all of those industries. I am so much healthier now. I exercise and use metformin and try to keep my carbs down. It has been really a great thing to be vegan, cruelty-free, and get all my needs met easily through plant food. I get all of my calcium and vitamin B12 through 16 ounces of Silk brand Pure Almond milk per day, loads of protein, and all of my nutrients this way. I just had my annual physical with all the tests and blood work and everything was just perfect! Yes, those stones hurt worse than childbirth and I know because I had natural childbirth at home.

Caroltoo 2012-02-09 20:35:03 -0600 Report

Interesting. I went the natural route also, but didn't have an at home option. Probably best since my cardiologist was concerned about my pulse spiking over the food additives I mentioned in the Additive discussion.

Sounds like you have a system that works for you. You mentioned Almond milk, which I also use, but what are your other sources of protein? That is the piece about being Vegan that always puzzled me. Of course, part of it is also growing up in the time when the "common knowledge" was that you had to eat all the needed amnio acids at one time to be able to have the positive effects of protein. It's my understanding that that is no longer a stipulation.

jigsaw 2012-02-09 19:45:43 -0600 Report

I don't know much about a vegan diet, but I do see some of the advantages that you mention. It's great that you have found a meal plan that is working so well for you. I am also an animal lover and I have seen some of the animal abuse that takes place. Very sad.

robertoj 2012-02-07 02:33:18 -0600 Report

That's what I heard years ago about lack of acid. I know people that used pure cranberry juice to pass gallstones but I haven't known anyone that had a natural treatment for kidney stones. It might be a sensitive subject for some.

jigsaw 2012-02-07 07:59:59 -0600 Report

Thanks robertoj…As far as I know, alot of water for the flushing effect is about all there is.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-02-07 19:46:29 -0600 Report

My husband used to have kidney stone problems. After determining his were calcium based he gave up all dairy. Still had problems Then we discovered the local water was loaded with calcium. He switched to distilled water and no more kidney stones. He was even able to start consuming dairy products again Our Dr had another patient he referred to us for what had worked for him.

jigsaw 2012-02-07 21:18:48 -0600 Report

Your husband is very fortunate to have found and eliminated the problem.
I had extensive testing done by a urologist and labarotory, and everything checked out fine. My calcium levels were normal. I have been drinking distilled water for about 15 to 20 years. Dehydration seems to have been the cause in my case. I find your husbands situation to be very informing. I don't drink tap water, but I'm sure there are some that do. Thanks.

Snookie7 2012-02-06 22:33:39 -0600 Report

What does vingar and lemon juice suppose to help you with??

robertoj 2012-02-07 02:39:42 -0600 Report

When I was first diagnosed I used vinegar. I got my bg under control but I also did a lot of other things so I can't swear that was the reason. Diabetes is tricky so trying different things is not a bad idea.

jayabee52 2012-02-06 14:36:37 -0600 Report

Howdy Al!

That RD wouldn't happen to be Emelia Klapp would it? Emelia posts a lot in our blog tab.

I took the time to Google the query "Do acidic foods affect Blood Glucose" and one of the things which came up was this here ~ http://thediabetesclub.com/high-acid-foods-th... ~
Since my BGs are controlled by what I eat, I have tried some things to bring my BGs down when they are higher than I'd like them to be. I have occasionally used dill pickles and dill pickle juice to bring down my BGs. The effect seems to be slight, but it does seem to be there. (of course what works for one person's metabolism may not work as well for everyone).

Why this seems to happen is according to Emelia ". . . high acid foods slow down stomach emptying; . . . ." So it slows down digestion of a meal, spreading out when the time when the glucose is placed into one's bloodstream.

To me, who may be affected by gastroparesis (or at least beginning to be), it would perhaps mean that I should not use this as a tactic for lowering my BGs very often.

Blessings to you and yours Al!


Traveling Gypsy
Traveling Gypsy 2012-02-11 10:51:43 -0600 Report

I was diagnosed as a diabetic over twenty-six years ago and managed to keep my BG under control without meds for almost fifteen years with diet alone. My diet was like a"jail-house" one on my job, lots of carbs and very little protein.Now that I've retired my diet has become more balanced, with many fresh veggies and fewer carbs. For almost thirty years I have eaten one or two large dill pickles or a whole lemon once a day. Before I began the dill pickle and lemon "treatment" ,I had three surgeries for kidney stones. I am a 65 year young female and have not had a kidney stone problem in over twenty-eight years. My a1c has stayed at or below 6.0 for the past twenty years. I take 1000MG of Metformin and 20MG of Gyburide a day. My weight has remained steady for almost twenty years. I can not say that the pickles and lemon has been the reason for my good numbers, but the sure can't hurt!

jigsaw 2012-02-06 18:41:06 -0600 Report

I didn't take note of who the RD was and unfortunately, i don't recollect.
I have heard about the effect of acidic foods lowering bg on several occasions in the past. I never thought to pay much attention to it until recently. You are the first person that I've come accross that has given it a try and taken note of the effect. Certainly the effect of acidic foods slowing down of digestion would explain it. As Emilia mentions, the question is how much would one have to take to see a worthwile effect.
At one time in the past, i suspected that I might have gastroparesis. I suddenly started having the most intense cramps and constipation. Never had any kind of digestive problems before. One doctor that I saw suggested that I research the subject. Apparently, there is a very uncomfortable test that can confirm it. Turned out my dietician had the answer. I was eating a large amount of vegetables, and I thought my diet was high in fibre. This dietician said to increase my fiber intake and add some whole wheat produts and more protein. Prior to seeing her, I was not eating any bread, or cereals at all. So I took her advice and also added Metamucil before bedtime. Almost a year now and there has been no reocurrence. I hope that you don't have that nasty condition.
Thanks for the info,very helpful!

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