What is uric acid?
Uric acid is a chemical which is a breakdown product of purines in the body. Purines are compounds which are naturally found in some foods and are also produced by the body too. Once produced, uric acid is filtered out by the kidneys.
Foods with different content of purines.
|Foods with high purine content||Foods with medium purine content||Foods with low purine content|
|Organ meats such as liver, kidneys and brain||Oat meal, wheat bran||Some green vegetable and tomatoes|
|Meats including beef, pork and lamb||Vegetables such as mushrooms, peas, cauliflower, spinac||Whole grain cereals|
|Sardines. mackerels and scallops||Chicken||Eggs, dairy products such as butter, buttermilk, cheese|
|Beer||Fish||Nuts such as almonds and walnuts|
What causes high uric acid levels?
Most of the time, uric acid levels increase when the kidneys don’t eliminate it efficiently. The major factor associated with high uric acid levels is an unhealthy lifestyle.
Other factors that may cause increase in uric acid level include:
An obese person is 4 times more likely to develop hyperuricemia.
Minimal water intake
Low calorie diets
Excessive intake of fructose or sugar-sweetened drinks
Uric acid is a byproduct of fructose metabolism.
What happens when the uric acid levels go high?
Uric acid crystals deposited in the joints can cause swelling, pain, stiffness and impaired movement. High uric acid levels are linked to the development of the inflammatory metabolic disorder gout.
The Solution: Focus on lifestyle changes to reduce the risk
Maintain a healthy weight.
Follow a healthy and balanced diet
Consume a diet that contains mostly vegetables, whole grains, fruits and low fat dairy.
Limit alcohol intake
Metabolism of alcohol in the body increases uric acid production.
Limit saturated fats
which come from meat, poultry and high-fat dairy products.
Watch out that protein level
Limit daily proteins from meat, fish and poultry. Add protein to your diet from low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as yoghurt and skimmed milk, which is associated with reduced uric acid levels.
Drink enough water
Keep yourself hydrated. Studies have shown that increasing water intake reduces the risk of high uric acid levels in the body.
Limit sugar-sweetened foods and drinks
especially those that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Vitamin C ahoy
Add enough vitamin C to the diet as it helps in lowering high uric acid levels.
Have a cup or two of green tea.