If you are a sufferer then you know that high uric acid leads to gout. So you know you need to reduce those levels. A key part of the process is to avoid certain foods. But which foods? Here you’ll discover 7 foods to avoid for uric acid buildup in order to prevent gout…
“You are what you eat” may never be truer than in the case of gout. You see, although gout symptoms are caused by the buildup of crystals in your joints and connective tissue, these crystals generally only form when you have higher-than-normal levels of uric acid in your system.
So how does high uric acid come about and what part does the food you eat play in all this?
Uric acid is a normal byproduct of your body’s metabolism, produced by chemical compounds in your body called ‘purines’ that breakdown during this process.
Now, normal healthy levels are a good thing because this acid is a very important antioxidant. The problem is that higher-than-normal levels isn’t such a good thing, causing things like gout and kidney stones, among other things.
But as long as your kidneys are healthy and working to their full potential they process and flush excess uric acid out of your body, leaving sufficient to do all the good things necessary.
However if your kidneys aren’t working effectively then not enough acid is being excreted and the excess is retained in the blood. This can lead to crystals forming in the joints and so gout.
The problem is that even when your kidneys are working effectively there is another cause of high uric acid, which is that your body is producing too much for your kidneys to handle.
One of the reasons for this could be your diet. The foods you eat also contain purines, some much more than others. So eating a diet that’s high in purines only produces more uric acid, maybe more than your kidneys can handle.
That’s why it’s important for gout sufferers to take a close look at their diet and consider making any changes necessary to help reduce the production of uric acid.
7 Foods to Avoid for Uric Acid
So what foods should you avoid for uric acid? Seven foods that are particularly high in purines are:-
1. Organ meats: e.g. liver, heart, kidneys, brains, sweetbreads.
2. Game and game birds: e.g. venison, rabbit, partridge, pheasant, duck.
3. Shellfish: e.g. prawns, shrimp, langoustine, scallops, mussels.
4. Certain fish: e.g. mackerel, herring, anchovies, sardines, fish roe.
5. Some poultry: e.g. goose, turkey, chicken.
6. A few vegetables: e.g. mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus.
7. Gravy / meat extracts: e.g. gravies, consomme, broth, boullion.
Although not a food, alcohol is known for being a major trigger of gout and should be avoided, especially beer, because brewer’s yeast – and baker’s yeast – is also high in purines.
Whilst it’s much better to avoid these foods if you can, it clearly can be difficult to stick to long-term. So, if you find it difficult then, at the very least, you should reduce their consumption in terms of how much you eat at one sitting and how often you eat them.
For example, eat no more than a total of 6 ounces of lean meat, fish and poultry per day. But, while doing this, you’re still best to avoid game and organ meat altogether as they are so very high in purines.
[Note: Before changing your diet you must always consult your healthcare provider / physician for advice about its suitability for your particular case.]