Foods to Avoid and Foods to Eat with High Uric Acid Levels

health disorders of uric acid

Uric acid is a chemical released by the body when it digests chemical compound called purines. Purines are available in the food we eat, and are naturally produced by body too. Generally, the body filters away uric acid through kidneys. However, if the body consumes too much purine through diet or can’t flush the uric acid completely, it builds up in the body over time. When uric acid is high in the body, the acid takes crystal form and gathers in the joints. This process results in intense pain, swelling and inflammation. Foods rich in purine can result in high uric acid in the body.

There are also certain health disorders that can cause high uric acid in the body. They are:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Psoriasis
  • Some kinds of cancers or chemotherapies
  • Kidney disease

When the body is suffering from high uric acid levels, specific foods can increase the levels of uric acid. Foods that should be avoided when suffering from a condition of high uric acid are:

  • Purine-rich foods: Purine foods are the ultimate source of uric acid, and limiting them could help a great deal in reducing uric acid levels in the body. Mushrooms, dried beans, fish, shellfish, mutton, organ meats, turkey, pork, scallops, dried beans, green peas are a few foods rich in purine.
  • Sugar: Recent studies and research have shown that a diet high in sugar could increase uric acid levels. Fructose is the main type of sugar in refined and processed foods. Researchers have claimed that fructose can increase uric acid in the body. It is advisable to check labels before buying foods. A few products high in fructose are corn syrup, table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.
  • Sugary beverages: Fresh fruits juices, soda, and sugary drinks are full of fructose and glucose sugar. Fructose from refined sugar gets absorbed faster than sugar from foods that need to go through the process of breaking down. This quick absorption of sugar could spike the blood sugar levels and result in the formation of high uric acid. Replacing sugary drinks with fiber-rich smoothies and filtered water could help in reducing the uric acid levels.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol dehydrates the body, which also results in high uric acid levels. This happens because the body has to flush out toxins present in blood because of alcohol rather than uric acid and other kinds of wastes. For example, drinks like beer are high in purines, as well.
  • Seafood: Seafood like lobsters, anchovies, mussels, shrimp and sardines should be avoided.

Also Read: Purines and Gout: Here’s What You Should Know

Low-Purine foods and other foods can result in a vital decrease in the uric acid levels like:

  • Fruits: Fresh fruits can do wonders for reducing uric acid levels in the body. The water content in the fruits can easily flush out uric acid, and cherries can even help prevent attacks by lowering inflammation and reducing the uric acid levels.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables like eggplants, fresh peas, potatoes, and dark green leafy vegetables are good for people suffering from high uric acid levels.
  • Legumes: Lentils, tofu, beans, and soybeans are just fine for the body.
  • Dairy products: Low-fat dairy products are beneficial for lowering uric acid levels in the body.
  • Whole grains: Oats and barley are beneficial in controlling and reducing the uric acid levels.
  • Plant-based oils: Olive, canola, coconut and flax oils are absolutely safe to be consumed.

The foods cooked in the above oils, when consumed in moderation will have less effect on the uric acid levels in the body:

  • Meats: Meats like beef, lamb, pork, and chicken can be consumed once in a while.
  • Fish: Fishes like salmon have no effect on uric acid levels when taken in moderation.

There are certain additional lifestyle changes one can make to reduce excess uric acid levels in the body:

  • Losing weight – Excess weight can aggravate the uric acid levels in the body. Excess weight can turn the body resistant to insulin and make it harder to eliminate sugar from the blood.
  • Exercising more – Exercising regularly will eventually decrease weight and also maintain the uric acid levels to a lower amount.
  • Staying hydrated – Sufficient water intake can easily eliminate excess uric acid and flush it out of the system.
  • Taking vitamin C – Vitamin C based fruits or vitamin C supplements can lower uric acid and help the kidneys by removing it through urine.

Following a healthy diet and avoiding foods that can aggravate uric acid levels, adding more fiber, staying hydrated, and exercising are perfect ways to keep uric acid in optimal levels.

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