Saturday, July 3, 2010

Uric Acid Diet

Foods High in Uric Acid
Studies have shown that foods high in uric acid play a major role in the development and aggravation of diseases such as gout. In conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and changes in diet, it can actually be easier to manage than many people believe, as long as the sufferer is willing to make some significant changes in their eating habits.

Gout is a painful disease that is most common in men, especially older men, but can also affect women. It is caused by a condition called hyperuricemia, which means that there is actually too much uric acid in the blood. While uric acid is actually a waste product left over from metabolism of chemical compounds called purines, it can also be found in some foods and alcohol.

Diets to reduce uric acid are extremely helpful in lowering levels of uric acid in the body, and will usually involve reducing or cutting out foods that have high levels of purines.

Normally, uric acid is eliminated from the body by the kidneys and a bit of hyperuricemia usually does very little harm. In fact, most people with high levels of uric acid in the blood never develop gout. However, some people are more sensitive to high levels of uric acid, and their bodies will form crystals that accumulate in the joints and cause painful gout symptoms.

The main goals of treatment for gout are relieving the chronic pain that comes with this disease as well as prevention of future gout attacks. Left untreated, it can also lead to long term problems like joint destruction and, ultimately, kidney damage. Diets to reduce uric acid also benefit gout sufferers by helping them lose weight, which has also been shown to help lower concentrations of uric acid in the blood.

Foods containing uric acid and the compounds that metabolize into uric acid include most animal meats, such as beef, pork and seafood. Poultry and ham, the "white meats," can have some degree of purine content and should be eaten very sparingly, but they are not as detrimental as the "red meats." Bacon, however, is very high in purines due to the processing used to make it ready for human consumption and should be avoided. Alcohol and breads which contain yeast are also foods high in uric acid that should be kept out of the diet.

Black cherry juice, also known as sour cherry or bitter cherry, is also being used in great quantities to help relieve the symptoms of gout in conjunction with diets to reduce uric acid. Celery seed extract and bromelain are some popular alternative medicine remedies that have been used as natural anti-inflammatories and have been well received by those who suffer chronic inflammation. Adding eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and folic acid to the diet can also assist in reducing inflammation in gout episodes.

By eliminating some foods high in uric acid from the diet, many gout sufferers have found some measure of relief from their pain and taken back control over their bodies that they feel had been taken away from them. Diets to reduce uric acid are also quite beneficial in conjunction with other natural therapies such as heat therapy and acupuncture, and many people are reporting a definite decrease in pain and other symptoms simply by making a few changes to their diet and lifestyle.

Foods To Avoid

Diets which are high in purines and high in protein have long been suspected of causing an increased risk of gout (a type of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the body which form crystals in the joints, resulting in pain and inflammation.

·         peas
·         beans
·         mushrooms
·         cauliflower
·         spinach
Even though these foods are considered high in purines. Choi's team also found that low-fat dairy products decrease the risk of gout and overall protein intake had no effect. Ultimately, diets shown to be connected to gout are the same kinds of diet linked to cardiovascular disease.

Recommendations For Seafood Should Be Individualized

At this point, it may seem like it gets confusing. Isn't seafood typically recommended as part of a diet which is healthy for the heart? Yet research has revealed that there is a strong, undeniable link between seafood and gout. How does Choi reconcile what seems like conflicting information? He believes "recommendations for seafood should be individualized."

Sorting Out The Myths

More importantly, how does a person begin to sort the myths from the facts and decide what to buy at the grocery store? According to the University of Washington, Department of Orthopedics:
·         Obesity can be linked to high uric acid levels in the blood. People who are overweight should consult with their doctor to decide on a reasonable weight-loss program. Fasting or severe dieting can actually raise uric acid levels and cause gout to worsen.
·         Usually people can eat what they like within limits. People who have kidney stones due to uric acid may need to actually eliminate purine-rich foods from their diet because those foods can raise their uric acid level.
·         Consuming coffee and tea is not a problem but alcohol can raise uric acid levels and provoke an episode of gout. Drinking at least 10-12 eight-ounce glasses of non-alcoholic fluids every day is recommended, especially for people with kidney stones, to help flush the uric acid crystals from the body.

Foods Higher In Purines

·         hearts
·         herring
·         mussels
·         yeast
·         smelt
·         sardines
·         sweetbreads
Foods moderately high in purines include:
·         anchovies
·         grouse
·         mutton
·         veal
·         bacon
·         liver
·         salmon
·         turkey
·         kidneys
·         partridge
·         trout
·         goose
·         haddock
·         pheasant
·         scallops

Uric Acid Reduction Diet
Consuming a diet of foods, that can lower uric acid levels in the body, is essential for those who suffer from diseases related to high uric acid levels. Lowering uric acid levels in the body can also help treat other ailments like, diabetes and hypertension. Read on to learn more about uric acid reduction diet.

Uric acid is a chemical, created in the body by the breaking down of substances known as purines. It is flushed out of the body by the kidneys, through urine, after it dissolves in the blood. If it is not flushed out of the body properly, high levels of uric acid gets accumulated which causes ailments like gout and kidney diseases. High uric acid levels in the body, is known as 'hyperuricemia' and it may also worsen conditions like diabetesleukemia and hypertension. Hyperuricemia is usually caused due to the regular intake of purine rich foods and conditions such as hypoparathyroidism, lead poisoning, renal failure and side effects of chemotherapy.

Uric Acid Reduction Diet
Diet plays an important role in maintaining the level of uric acid in the body. High levels of uric acid in the body can be reduced by consuming certain foods and reducing or completely avoiding purine rich foods. Uric acid reduction diet can also help reduce the risk of developing 
arthritisgout and kidney disorders that are caused due to hyperuricemia.

What to Eat
Uric acid reduction diet should consist of foods that are rich in 
potassium like potatoes, avocados, dried peaches, orange juice, apples, bananas, skimmed milk and yogurt, kidney beans, yam, etc. It is usually advised, that the diet for reduction of uric acid should contain foods rich in complex protein like tofu, berries, bananas, tea, celery, parsley, cabbage and tomatoes. Foods like eggs, butter, cheese, corn, gelatin, peanut butter, tart cherries, vinegar, etc. that are low in purines and protein, should essentially be a part of the diet of those suffering from hyperuricemia. Products like rice, pasta, whole wheat breads and cereals should be regularly consumed. Foods rich in bromelain and vitamin Clike pineapples, red cabbage and red bell peppers can also be very effective in reducing uric acid. Soy products, lemon juice and fibrous foods,chocolate and carbonated beverages help in natural uric acid reduction. Fatty acids found in salmon, olive oil, flax, nuts, etc. may also be very beneficial to reduce uric acid levels. Plenty of water should be consumed to ensure elimination of uric acid through urine.

What Not to Eat
While following a diet for the reduction of uric acid, foods that are extremely high and moderately high in purines and protein, especially some kinds of meat and 
seafood, should be strictly eliminated. Foods extremely high in purines and protein would include foods like yeast, pork, lamb, shrimps, anchovies, hearts, mussels, sardines, organ meats such as kidneys, liver and sweetbreads, etc. Those moderately high in purines and proteins include mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower, dried beans, peas, asparagus, turkey, goose, chicken, oatmeal, chicken, bacon, etc. Alcohol, especially beer and soft drinks should be avoided completely, when consuming uric acid reduction diet. It increases the levels of uric acid in the body, thus hindering the process of uric acid reduction.

All in all, uric acid reduction diet should be low in proteins and purines and high in potassium and complex carbohydrates. It is also essential to maintain a moderate body weight for the reduction of uric acid in the body. The diet, along with medication and exercise, should be able to successfully lower uric acid levels in the body.

Measures for how to reduce uric acid in diet And Uric Acid Foods that help reducing uric acid levels:
Tofu which is made from soybean is a good choice than animal foods. Tofu can alter the plasma protein concentration and increase uric acid clearance and excretion.
Uric acid level in the body can be reduced by cutting down the foods that contain high amount of purines. Foods with high purine content include anchovies, broth, roe, sardines, yeast, sweetbread and mincemeat. 

Avoid these foods totally. Some foods have moderate purine content like fish, lentils, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach and shellfish. One serving of meat, fish or fowl or one serving of vegetable is allowed daily. Foods low in purine are fruits, olive, vinegar, cereal and cereal products, vinegar and rice. These foods can be consumed daily.
Have foods that are relatively high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables contain fiber that can help in proper digestion of the foods and assimilation of the nutrients. Fiber can avoid excessive build up of the uric acid.
Reduce the intake of protein rich foods to 15 percent. Prefer soybean that has been defatted, lean meat and sprouts  that provide good quality protein but low fat content.
Fresh fruits like apples, bananas, oranges and lime are beneficial. Cherries are considered to be beneficial in reducing uric acid levels.

You can have juice of black cherry which is also called as sour cherry. Cherries contain certain natural chemicals that can lower uric acid levels and reduce inflammation.
Excess of alcohol can increase the uric acid production. Preferably avoid the consumption of alcohol.
Drink plenty of water or fluids (3 liters/day) like fresh juices or soups that can help in excretion of uric acid.

Certain guidelines that can be helpful in reducing uric acid levels are:
Maintain an ideal body weight. Gradual weight loss is beneficial rather than drastic loss weight. You can reduce your body weight by dietary modifications and exercise.
You can consult a doctor who can help you in reducing uric acid levels. Get the uric acid levels checked regularly.


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