There is a dirty little secret about PRAL.
Your total PRAL value for the day results solely from these factors:
Protein intake: no matter what kind. Each gram adds 0.49 to your score. Higher values mean more acid load.
Phosphorus intake. Each mg adds 0.037 to your score. (Thus, phosphorus content is actually penalized.)
Potassium intake. Each mg subtracts 0.021 from your score.
Calcium intake. Each mg subtracts 0.013 from your score.
Magnesium intake. Each mg subtracts .026 from your score.
There’s no magic “vegetableness” going on.
What you’re really doing by aiming for alkalinizing (as judged by PRAL) foods is selecting for foods high in potassium, calcium, and/or magnesium, with absolutely no care as to which specific ones are being increased or whether this is matching your needs for these nutrients or not, and aiming for low protein foods, and rewarding for low phosphorus even if you need phosphorus.
Could it make more sense to instead aim potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus contents to what they should be?
For example, I think about 5000 mg of potassium per day is good for a typical weigh training athlete. So that works out to -105.
Calcium? 2 g/day, which works out to -26.
Magnesium? 1 g/day, which works out to -26.
Phosphorus? 2 g/day, which works out to +74 per day.
So the total alkalinizing effect at these arbitrary good values is -157.
Suppose you have 300 g protein. Then the acidic load from this, calculated by the PRAL method, is 147. Add in the phosphorus, and you have +221.
Congratulations, you are at a modest +64 “despite” not necessarily having consumed a single vegetable!
So what’s so awful about the grains that are so “acidifying”?
Why, they supply you with phosphorus. That raises their score and makes them look bad, to be avoided or minimized.
But having low daily intake of phosphorus is in fact not good.
So going by PRAL scores instead of getting good amounts of each electrolyte and mineral is I think not the way to go.
Ought you really to change the above sort of diet to lower the total PRAL?
Well, we could reduce the positive scores. Are we really going to be better off with less protein just for the sake of lower PRAL score?
Should we have less phosphorus? Could get by with half as much, but why?
Ought calcium and magnesium really be even higher yet? It’s true that they might wind up being twice as high with no detriment. That would change results by -52, still not quite yielding a net negative (alkaline) value. No reason to go beyond double the above values, and I’m not sure there’s any need to go beyond the above values at all. But no harm if it is so to speak naturally happening from the diet. (I wouldn’t supplement to drive past the above values, myself.)
Should potassium be even higher? I’ve never seen substantially more than that recommended. Why do so: just to drive down the PRAL score?
Those are the only ways to change the score.
It’s important to understand what things are actually measuring or quantifying. This is what PRAL is really quantifying. What I am saying is that the components should be optimized, rather than each or all made non-optimal for the sake of an imagined (but unproven) optimum PRAL total.