High uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia. In order to maintain normal levels you need to reduce your intake of certain foods, foods rich in purines. The excess is removed through urine or passes to the intestines. Otherwise, it can build up in the joints and form crystals.
Normal levels of uric acid are: 2.4 to 6.0 mg/dL for women and between 3.4 and 7.0 mg/dL for men.
High levels of uric acid can be bad for your health. It’s important to keep uric acid at the right levels or reduce it if it’s higher than it should be.
Causes of high uric acid
One third of the uric acid body that exists in the human body comes from food and drink which is rich in purine. The other two thirds are produced naturally by the body. Therefore, it’s important to know the causes for high uric acid.
1. Poor diet
It doesn’t tend to be the only cause, but it’s a very important factor in controlling this illness. Eating foods that are rich in purine such as meat, offal, fish, sausages, or burgers produce higher levels of uric acid. Each a lot of salt also doesn’t help.
2. Refined sugar
Eating a lot of food which is rich in sugar, such as sweets, refined sugar, sweet pastries, sugary drinks, processed fruit juices or chocolates, can also cause this problem.
Foods which are very rich in sucrose and fructose can increase your uric acid levels. The best thing is to avoid them. Try to stick to a diet based on fruit and vegetables.
3. Alcohol intake
Drinking alcoholic drinks can cause problems with the hepatic metabolization of uric acid, causing the alcohol to build up in the body and increase uric acid levels. It can negatively impact the intestinal flora and cause a reduction of healthy bacteria.
4. Diuretic medication
These medications increase the production of urine to help control high blood pressure. The kidneys eliminate more water, which increases the risk of high uric acid due to the inability of the kidneys to process it.
5. Obesity or being overweight
Weight influences the risk of developing gout, which is an illness which occurs when uric acid builds up and forms crystals in the joints.
Obesity, hypertension, and diabetes increase the production of uric acid in the body and it is eliminated much slower.
Diet recommendations to reduce your uric acid levels
If your level of uric acid is only slightly too high then it can easily be treated by changes to your diet.
Foods that contain a lot of fibre can reduce the uric acid levels in the blood and encourage better absorption by the intestines.
Foods that contain a lot of fibre:
- Foods which contain a lot of anti-oxidants: berries, tomatoes, grapes, Swiss chard.
- Whole grains
- It’s recommended that you eat more whole grains and avoid refined carbohydrates such as white bread or sweets. These foods are of low nutritional value.
Avoid foods such as:
- Trans fats
- Fats increase triglycerides, which are deposited in the arteries, and can cause a heart attack.
- Pastry products also contain a high amount of saturated fats and are not recommended.
- Alcohol affects the elimination of uric acid from the body. You should also reduce your consumption of meat, chicken, and fish, since animal proteins increase the level of uric acid in the body.
Keep yourself hydrated: It’s important to increase your liquid intake, above all, your water intake to encourage the elimination of uric acid through your urine. We recommend that you drink 2 to 3 litres of water per day.
- Avoid too much salt to avoid fluid retention.
- Stick to a diet based on fruit and vegetables.
- Reduce your consumption of red meat and sausages.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Do regular physical exercise for a range of health benefits and avoid joint problems.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight.
- Increase your intake of vitamin C. The recommended amount is 500 mg to help reduce uric acid levels.
- Add tea or plant infusions such as horsetail or green nettle, which are recommended for reducing uric acid levels and improving kidney function.
- It’s always important that you watch your diet and do exercise to keep in good health.