Balancing the body’s pH levels may be almost entirely dependent on the food we eat. In order to enjoy optimal health, we must embrace the old adage, “You are what you eat.” The closer to nature our diets are, emphasizing whole, fresh, nutrient-dense foods, the healthier we are. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a designation indicated for eating a diet high in processed foods, trans and saturated fats, and sugar. Rejecting the Standard American Diet in favor of more nutrient-dense foods is the main route to longevity and high-quality living.

Typical Foods in the Standard American Diet

Certified personal trainers tend to have a much more knowledgeable grasp on what kinds of food support a healthy body. What’s obvious to you may not be obvious to your clients. Do not fall into a trap of condescending to your struggling clients. Instead, gently guide them towards healthier options when you find their food diaries heavy in some of the following “foods”:


  • White Flour – When mixed with water makes paste. Donuts have little to no fiber and have high sugar and trans fat content.
  • Sugar – Destroys B-Vitamins. B-vitamins feed our nervous system and help keep us calm.
  • Hydrogenated Oil -The hydrogenation process was developed in 1912 to harden soap. The food industry uses this process on oils to prolong the shelf life of foods. This “fake fat” can cause lesions inside the arteries impairing cell function. Over time, cholesterol and calcium will stick to the damaged areas of the arteries thus leading to blockage and hardening of the arteries.


  • Processed coffee beans –are acidifying. Coffee also destroys our friendly gut bacteria. (choose organic coffee beans if you enjoy your morning coffee)
  • Creamer substitute: Several hydrogenated oils (fake fats) – cause cholesterol build-up inside our arteries.
  • Nutra-Sweet or Aspartame: Aspartame when heated to high temperatures, the wood alcohol in this chemical is converted by enzymes to formaldehyde. It potentially can become a neurotoxin that passes the blood-brain barrier causing potential health challenges.


  • A staple of the standard American diet. More white flour, which makes paste in the gut. Processed cheese is made with hydrogenated oils, and even looks like plastic. Hamburger meat. Our conventional cattle are fed antibiotics and steroids. Consider opting for grass-fed and finished beef or bison, free-range game meats like venison and elk.

French Fries

  • Potatoes fried in more hydrogenated oil. More lesions inside the arteries.

Soda (Cola):

  • Phosphoric acid in soda’s will leach out and chelate the calcium in our bodies. When we are acidic, our body will rob calcium from our bones to neutralize the acid. The 1st bone it will draw from is your jaw bone, a non-weight-bearing bone. The sugars in soda will cause acidity.

Canned Food

  • Loaded with preservatives. If you can’t pronounce the words on the label don’t eat it. Because these can be foreign chemicals, your body may not know what to do with them.

Ice Cream

  • All-American comfort food! Commercial ice cream is made with over 300 different chemicals, one being Diethyl Glucol used in anti-freeze and paint removers.


  • More white flour, hydrogenated oil, and sugar.

Pasteurized Milk

  • When milk is pasteurized to kill the bacteria, it becomes an inorganic form of calcium. It is not fully assimilated by the body and calcium deposits tend to form from too little calcium in the diet. Milk is also mucus-forming. If you fed pasteurized milk to a baby cow for 30 days, it would die. We consume the most dairy in the world, but we have the highest rate of osteoporosis.

Not So Typical American Diet

Fresh Raw Fruit

  • Fruit is high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and bio-flavonoids. Fruits have high water content, ideal for hydration. Fruit contains natural sugar (fructose) providing a good source of energy. It is also a great source of phyto-chemicals–nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, and grains that contain compounds that help fight against cancer and other disorders. Fresh raw fruits are loaded with enzymes; when we eat our foods raw 30% of the digestion is done for us by the virtue of the enzymes they contain. When we cook our food over 110 degrees F, we destroy living enzymes and our body must use its own for digestion, robbing us of energy.

Fresh Raw Vegetables

  • Vegetables are mainly carbohydrates, high in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. Dark green vegetables will help to alkalinize the body and are a great source of calcium. Vegetables are also low in calories and sugar, making the a low-calorie nutrient-dense food. There are at least five different cultures boasting lifespans exceeding 100 years old sharing one thing in common: a diet of raw vegetables grown in very rich soil. We should try to eat at least twp large salads per day and two to three more servings of fresh vegetables, either steamed or stir-fried in good oil like olive oil. Avoid overcooking them, keeping the vitamin content intact.


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David Brancato

Dr. Brancato’s cumulative experience in nutrition, alternative medicine, chemistry, toxicology, physiology directed him to holistic approaches in human physiology to correct system imbalances. He maintains his professional certifications as a Naturopath from the American Naturopathic Medical Certification and Accreditation Board; the National Federation of Professional Trainers; Black belts in Kick Boxing and Kenpo.