Sunday, August 23, 2009

Food That Cause Gout: The Underlying Factors

By Rashel Dan

Avoiding food that cause gout is the surest way to preventing gout. To determine which foods are detrimental, you should first get to know the main factors that contribute to the development of gout. Uric acids and purines are precursors to gouty flare-ups, so you should look for food or beverages that are low in purines, low in uric acids and sufficient in Alkalines.

How does a gout occur?

Gout happens when an abnormally high level of uric acid accumulates in your joints. The accumulation turns the uric acids into crystals that somehow "jam" your connective tissues, making it hard for you to move your fingers or toes. The crystals will grow overtime, usually in a matter of hours and therefore causes inflammation-you will see your skin physically swelling and turning red as a result. If left untreated, the swollen area will burst as the crystals exude through the skin.

What is uric acid?

Uric acid is a product of purine. We all naturally have uric acid in our bodies, but sometimes we could have abnormal levels either at birth or by eating certain types of food that cause gout. Uric acid can form into crystals that cause pain and swelling.

What are purines?

Purines are the chemicals in certain food that occur as nitrogenous compounds in nucleic acids. They are excreted as uric acid and are not considered vital in our diet. Since purines are excreted as uric acid high-purine sources are obviously food that cause gout. It is estimated that 50% of those who have high-purine diets have a higher tendency of developing gout. Purines can be found in food that cause gout, so listing food sources would be essential.

Found below is a list of high-purine food that cause gout:

- Beef - Pork - Poultry: turkey, goose - Meat organs: liver, heart, tongue - Seafood: anchovies, herring, salmon, crabs, shrimps, scallops, mussels - Vegetables: asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms. - Legumes: green peas, lentils, dried peas, beans, - Sauces / dressings: creamy sauces, gravies, meat broths - Beverages: coffee, alcohol (beer, wine, etc.) - Oatmeal, wheat bran and wheat germ, yeast - Sweetbreads

The foods listed above trigger high levels of uric acid in the body. One way to lower acidity is by eating alkaline foods.

What is alkali?

Alkali neutralizes the acids in our body. It raises pH levels to more than 7. Acid has a pH less than 7, so alkali can be used to dilute uric acid in the body.

Here are alkaline foods that could help counteract high uric acid levels in your system:

- Bananas - Watermelon - Orange juice - Potatoes - Spinach - Figs - Dandelion Greens - Chocolate - Mineral water

Take note: Sources high in fat are known to be food that cause gout. Also avoid foods that are high in proteins, because they are often high in purines that raise levels of uric acid in the body.

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