High uric acid is one of the main reasons for gout- that sudden ache and pain in your joints. It is also a strong factor for cardiovascular disease
The main causes for high uric acid can be either higher synthesis of uric acid or low excretion from the body. If you have a higher waist circumference (men > 108cm and woman > 80cm and BMI (body mass index) above 27kg/m.sq, you could be at risk of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance reduces the excretion of uric acid. Insulin resistance is inability of body to respond well to insulin which results in high blood glucose.
It is also noted that when liver produces higher level of triglycerides (a type of fat) it can produce high uric acid. The role of diet is still unclear leading to high uric acid but prominent reasons are high fructose rich foods and high intake of beer. Some researchers have found that diets which are rich in purine only increase blood uric acid by 1-2 mg/dl. So, let us look at what is uric acid and how we can avoid high levels through dietary regime. After all, a slight reduction is going to helpful.
Your top 5 lifestyle habits which can reduce uric acid in the body
A diet which is rich in vitamin c reduce uric acid, A minimum 500mg vitamin c is shown benefits in improving uric acid levels in the body. Vitamin C rich foods like mausambi, oranges, lemon, lime, coriander, mints, amla, guava, karonda are good sources of vitamin c. It is seen that a diet which is sufficient in vitamin c prevents the re-absorption of uric acid in the kidneys. All it takes is just adding a glass of lemon juice in your diet, some chutneys with your meals, sprinkle some herbs on your meals, accompany meals with an oil free- pickle, add some green chilies to salads and consume fresh fruit.
Drink 1-2 cups of black coffee
Researchers have found that drinking back coffee decreases uric acid concentrations in the blood. When we drink black coffee a compound “chlorogenic acid” an antioxidant found in black coffee improves insulin resistance. It should be noted that adding milk to coffee will reduce the absorption of this compound. Hence, coffee should be black. Also, each cup of black coffee should be accompanied with a glass of water to avoid dehydration.
Stop the Beer
Beer are rich in purine, a compound which leads to high uric acid concentrations in the blood. If you are thinking of consuming other type of alcohol and you have high uric acid then the answer is strictly no! All alcohol beverages will cause uric acid levels to go high. This is mostly, seen because alcohol intake reduces the body's ability to excrete uric acid and it also increases production of uric acid. However, a moderate intake of red or white wine (120 ml a day) does not increase uric acid.
It is evident that calorie restricted diets improve insulin sensitivity in individuals. When you lose weight, it improves insulin sensitivity which is one of the reasons for high serum concentrations of uric acid. Insulin sensitivity means body's ability to use insulin efficiently. In high levels of insulin resistance, our bodies insulin does not work efficiently, and hence sugars in the blood gets stored as fat. There are many ways to lose weight and probably I will need a next column to just talk about weight loss. Fasting once a week or intermittent fasting, reducing portion control, timing the meals appropriately, being mindful of your meals are some examples. So, think about losing 10% of that body weight to control high uric acid levels. It is a great idea.
Watch: Weight Loss Diet Tips:
Consume low fat dairy products
Low fat dairy products like whey, buttermilk, homemade paneer, curd from low fat milk, low fat milk shows a decrease in uric acid levels. This is probably due to milk proteins (lactalbumin and casein) which helps in the release of uric acids from the body. You don’t have to go overboard in consuming excess dairy. You just have to consume 2 serves of low-fat dairy product in a day, like 2 cups low fat curd or 1 glass low fat milk and 50gm homemade paneer.
Drinking plenty of water
It removes excess uric acid from the body. On an average an individual needs 35ml/ kg/ day of fluid in a day, which means a person who weighs 70 kgs needs approximately 2.5 liters of water in a day and extra for any sweat loss in any vigorous activity. Drinking water in sips is the key to stay hydrated.
Watch: Mistakes that we make while drinking water:
Home Remedy To Treat Gout Pain
Consume coriander seeds or leaves water once a day or 2 times a day. Soak 1 tablespoon of coriander seed or ¼ cup fresh chopped coriander leaves in 250 ml glass water overnight and consume this water anytime of the day. At the time of gout attack- Wrap your swollen joint with cabbage leaves. Trust me this works! Wash 5-6 cabbage leaves and store in the fridge. Wrap the leaves around the swollen area and wrap a muslin cloth on top. Once the cabbage leaves are wet discard them and repeat if need be. Cabbage leaves a diuretic; it drains the extra fluid and provides a comfort from red swollen joint.
So above are the all good reasons to reduce uric acid but the question always gets asked what are the foods that can cause high uric acid. Shall we avoid daals or shall we avoid eating breads? So, let me take a pleasure to bust this myth for you. Below are the Top 5 foods to avoid if you are at risk of experiencing gout.
Symptoms of Gout:
Avoid purine rich foods- These includes red meats like mutton, lamb, buffalo meat, pork, turkey, chicken and seafood like shell fish like prawns, scallops, anchovies, herring, mackerel, crabs, lobsters. Any variety of shell fish should be avoided but fresh water fish like rohu, catla, hilsa, rani can be eaten. This is because high intake of purine rich foods increases uric acids. One must remember, it isn’t protein rich food, it is about purines. Many people mistake this for nuts and dairy and dairy products which are proteins.
Fructose, sorbitol and xylitol (types of sugars) increase uric acid production in the body. When high fructose intake occurs in the body it leads to increase production of uric acid during its metabolic pathway. Hence, fruit juices, concentrated fruit sugars from the market, excess consumption of fruits > 3 fresh fruits in a day should be avoided during episodes of gout attack. Lentils and pulses like masoor daal, chickpeas, chana daal and rajma should be consumed moderately. Often, sorbitols and xylitols are used as plant sugar substitutes and this must be consumed only moderately. Remember, diet accounts for only 2 % high uric acid in the body, consuming 1 katori daal or chickpeas or rajma once a week will not trigger uric acid, it is the excess of any of the above listed foods which is detrimental to health. Key message is to lose weight, drink plenty of water.
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