Which Foods Increase Uric Acid in Your Blood?

Gout attacks may be prevented by avoiding certain foods.
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Gout is a painful condition that occurs when urate crystals build up in the tissues in and around your joints. Treating gout requires the care of a physician, but you can make some dietary changes that may help reduce your chances of a painful attack. 

Eating certain foods can increase the amount of uric acid in your blood that leads to the build-up of the crystals. You should avoid alcohol, low-carb diets and foods that are high in purines.

Purines

Purines are specific amino acids found in a variety of foods, especially in foods of animal origins.

Purines aren't dangerous or harmful to your health, but when your body breaks them down, it creates uric acid. The uric acid builds up in your blood and triggers an attack in people who are prone to gout.

If you cut back on foods that are particularly rich in purines, you might reduce your risk of a gout attack.

Avoid These Foods

  • Anchovies
  • Asparagus
  • Kidney
  • Legumes like beans and peas
  • Game meats
  • Gravy
  • Herring
  • Liver
  • Mackerel
  • Mushrooms
  • Mussels
  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • Sweetbreads

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol increases the levels of uric acid in your blood, so you're better off cutting down or giving up liquor, wine and beer. Drink more water or other non-alcoholic beverages instead — they'll help flush the uric acid out of your system.

Some better beverage options if you are prone to gout include:

Low-Carb Diets

Following low-carb diets are popular for weight loss, but they might not be so good if you're prone to gout attacks.

When you follow a low-carb diet, your body uses fat as fuel and creates an excessive amount of ketones, which can lead to increased levels of uric acid.

In order to lose weight without raising your ketones, you should:

  • Follow a low-carb diet
  • Learn to monitor your ketones and blood-sugar levels
  • Exercise regularly

If you have symptoms of gout, such as painful and swollen joints, you should speak with your health care provider. Don't make these dietary changes without your doctor's guidance.

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Article Sources

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  • The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. "Gout." Accessed March 25, 2016. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal_and_connective_tissue_disorders/crystal-induced_arthritides/gout.html

  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. "Questions and Answers About Gout." Accessed March 25, 2016. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout