What diet is recommended for high uric acid?
Q: My 58 years old husband has high homocystine levels and the uric acid is 6.9 and blood pressure is 130/90 mmHg. He takes Tozzar 50 and Metilda plus. Please suggest which fruits and vegetables he should avoid and which oil is safe for him?
A:Purines are organic compounds, which create uric acid [photo gallery] on breakdown in the body. While your body needs uric acid for blood vessel health and other processes, a buildup of excess uric acid can lead to gout, diabetes and even cardiovascular disease. Purines consumed in the diet account for about 50 percent of the uric acid produced in the body. Therefore, avoiding foods high in purines or following a modified purine diet may help improve uric acid levels.
General guidelines are -
- Restrict meat/fish/poultry intake
- Avoid alcohol and processed foods
- Lose weight if overweight
- Exercise regularly
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day
- Eat plenty of fruits & vegetables
Restrict foods high in purines -
- Organ meats such as liver, kidney, heart
- Selected fish and shellfish
- Meat & yeast extracts brewers and bakers yeast
- Meat soups & stock cubes
Recommended foods to eat -
- Fresh cherries, strawberries, blueberries and other red-blue berries
- Vegetables including cabbage and parsley
- Foods high in bromelain (pineapple)
- Foods high in vitamin C (red cabbage, red bell peppers, tangerines, mandarins, oranges, potatoes)
- Low-fat dairy products
- Complex carbohydrates (breads, cereals)
- Chocolate, cocoa
- Coffee, tea
Since purines are found in so many foods, it’s important to understand that not all purine-source foods affect the body in the same way. For instance, although purines are found in vegetable sources, these purines don't cause the same amount of uric acid buildup in the body that meat sources do. In fact, fresh fruits and vegetables reduce acid levels in the body and it is often advised to avoid red meats, organ meats and highly processed foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are encouraged so the patient can increase alkalinity in the blood. Therefore, rather than attempting to find foods that are free of purines and uric acid, its important to know how to increase the body’s alkalinity, which naturally reduces the body’s acidity. Fresh, non-processed foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are the way to go.
Being overweight appears to be the most common determining factor for excess uric acid production. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a healthy weight. Consider the calorific value of the foods that do not contain purines and aim to eat a healthy well-balanced diet. Fatty foods such as butter and cream should be avoided. When you begin to lose weight, the kidneys are more able to eliminate uric acid and in some cases, the production of uric acid by the liver is also reduced.