Uric acid diet is recommended for people suffering from gout, which occurs when the level of uric acid in the blood increases. The high levels of uric acid cause urate crystals to form which get deposited in joints or the synovial fluid in the joints. Uric acid is formed on the break down of purines by the body. Typically, purines occur naturally in the body, but are also present in certain foods. So, when a person is put on a uric acid diet, these foods are avoided.
What causes uric acid buildup?
When purines are broken down, the resultant uric acid is flushed out of the body through the kidneys. However, when too much uric acid is produced, or the kidneys are unable to excrete the acid, it forms needle-like urate crystals, which get deposited in joints, such as ankles, feet and the big toe. Causes of uric acid buildup include eating food rich in purines, elevated blood pressure, drinking too much alcohol, obesity, and taking certain medications, such as diurectics, aspirin or drugs for chemotherapy. Hereditary also plays a role, as gout tends to run in families.
Uric acid diet
Gout diet or uric acid diet has to be followed stringently to alleviate the symptoms of the disease. The symptoms include inflamed and red joint and severe pain in the affected joint. Gout diet is not a treatment, but it helps to reduce attacks and the severity of the symptoms.
The diet involves reducing consumption of animal protein rich in purine, such as organ meat, herrings, mackerel, anchovies, beef, pork, lamb, fatty fish, shrimps and other seafood. Animal protein intake should not exceed four to six ounces per day.
Plant protein is recommended as it offers gout relief. Sources of plant proteins include beans, lentils and legumes. This will also help a person to reduce saturated fat intake, which is often the cause of obesity as well as gout.
Low fat and fat-free dairy products make other components of a uric acid diet. This helps to reduce gout attacks. A person should be looking to consume around
16 to 24 fluid ounces of low fat and fat-free dairy products everyday. Whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables should form a major part of a gout diet. Above all, the uric acid diet advocates increase in water consumption, as it helps to flush out excess uric acid from the body. A person should consume around
8 to 16 glasses of water per day. Alcohol, refined sugar and sugary foods are categorised as food to avoid if a person is looking for gout relief and reduction in uric acid levels.