Relevant data show that the incidence of hyperuricemia among young men in my country has been rising in recent years, and even more and more young women have excessive uric acid levels. The general trend of rising uric acid levels must be related to unhealthy physique and wrong lifestyle. So, what factors can cause elevated blood uric acid levels? Among them, unreasonable diet is one of the important factors causing elevated uric acid.
15 lifestyle habits that can easily lead to elevated uric acid
1. Love to drink sugary drinks. Including sucrose-containing, fructose-containing syrup, and fructose-containing beverages. Fruit juice drinks, sweetened milk tea, etc. are also included in the scope of sugary drinks.
2. Drink lots of juice (including 100% juice).
3. Love to eat all kinds of sweets, desserts, candies, sweet baked goods (sweet biscuits, sweet bread, cookies, etc.).
4. Love drinking, including beer, liquor, and excessive amounts of red wine.
5. I like to eat seafood and river fresh food. Including shellfish, oysters, roe, crab, shrimp, sardines, anchovies and more.
6. Like to eat animal offal with high purine content.
7. Eat a lot of barbecued and grilled meats.
8. Eat too much beef, mutton, pork, etc. daily.
9. Eat too much processed meat products, such as ham, bacon, bacon, sausages, etc.
10. Eat too few vegetables, potatoes, cereals, and milk, and have insufficient intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
11. Eat too salty food and have excessive sodium for a long time.
12. Eat too few carbohydrates or lose weight through ketosis for a long time.
13. Frequent dieting to lose weight and long-term semi-starvation.
14. Insufficient exercise and weak muscles.
15. Excessive exercise/labor intensity and often in a state of stress.
Let’s take a look, how many of them have you or your family members with hyperuricemia got?
Three major dietary structures can easily cause uric acid to rise
Based on the above 15 dietary habits, if we summarize, from a dietary perspective, there are several mechanisms that can easily cause an increase in blood uric acid levels –
1. Eat too much sugar, such as sweet drinks, pure juice, etc.
Studies have confirmed that excessive intake of fructose not only leads to insulin resistance, but also causes uric acid metabolism disorders. Drinking large bottles of sweet drinks is the best way to consume too much fructose.
In ancient my country, we did not have the habit of drinking sweet drinks. We only drank soup or tea during meals, and did not drink sugar-added drinks. Only drink water and tea between meals, and no sweet drinks. After the 1990s, foreign sweet drinks gradually entered China. Under the influence of strong commercial promotion, drinking sweet drinks gradually became a consumption habit. Especially when dining in restaurants and adult gatherings, children will order sweet drinks. Because children naturally like sweetness, they can easily become obsessed with sweet drinks.
It must also be said here that the sugar content of pure fruit juice is higher than that of many sweet drinks. A glass of juice often contains the sugar contained in two or three apples/pears/peaches/oranges, and drinking two glasses of juice is very relaxing and enjoyable. Therefore, using fruit juice instead of fruit can easily lead to excessive sugar intake.
Some people may ask: Can fruits still be eaten? Can be eaten. Dietary guidelines recommend 200-350 grams of fruit per day. Within this range, it will not introduce too much fructose and will not cause excessive uric acid levels. However, if you eat two to three kilograms of fruit a day, the total amount of fructose will be too much, which is probably also worth worrying about.
In addition, in recent years, due to the development of the starch sugar industry, the amount of fructose production has increased, and many desserts and sweets are willing to use “crystalline fructose” directly.
Fructose has good hygroscopicity and pleasant sweetness. It has quickly entered various aleurone foods and soft pastries, and is also used by milk tea shops and dessert shops.
Honey, which does not crystallize easily, is also a dense source of fructose. Some sweet foods use honey as a source of sweetness, which also introduces fructose.
Therefore, the amount of fructose eaten from various sweet foods other than beverages is also showing an increasing trend.
2. There are more and more fish, meat and seafood, and less and less vegetables, potatoes and grains.
Studies have confirmed that eating too much aquatic animals and red meat is positively correlated with the risk of hyperuricemia and gout.
Since children are the treasures of the family, there is an abundant supply of various animal foods since childhood. There are many children who eat meat, fish, and shrimp as meals. The purine content of fish, meat, seafood, river fresh food and other foods is much higher than that of grains. Staple foods, vegetables and fruits are well known to everyone. At the same time, their acid load on the body is relatively high. Recent studies have found that food acid load is associated with the risk of hyperuricemia.
At the same time, the intake of foods that provide large amounts of potassium to the diet, such as vegetables, potatoes and whole grains, is seriously insufficient. Many children don’t like to eat vegetables and eat very small amounts at each meal. In addition to fried and baked foods such as French fries and potato chips, there are also very few steamed and cooked sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams and other potatoes. We only eat white rice and white flour, which cannot achieve a nutritional balance.
3. Too few carbohydrates, insufficient body energy, or even hunger
When food is insufficient, the body can only decompose its own tissues to supply energy, and the decomposition of tissue cells will produce purine, causing an increase in endogenous uric acid production.
When there is insufficient carbohydrates, the body rapidly degrades fats but cannot oxidize them into carbon dioxide and water, causing excessive ketone bodies to be produced, resulting in a decrease in the body’s ability to process and excrete uric acid.
People who are not obese but adopt a very low carbohydrate diet, including a ketogenic diet, may put their body at risk of hyperuricemia.
In an obese state, a temporary low-energy diet or low-carbohydrate diet may reduce obesity levels, and fat loss itself is beneficial to preventing metabolic disorders. However, if the person does not meet the obesity standard and does not have obvious metabolic disorders, then low-carbohydrate weight loss will do more harm than good, and will disrupt purine metabolism.
We often see cases like this. Some girls are originally healthy, but just in a normal plump state, and have not reached the obesity standard. However, they use starvation weight loss or extremely low carbohydrate weight loss methods to significantly reduce staple food or even not eat staple food. The result is that Decreased disease resistance, irregular menstruation, insulin resistance, and even hyperuricemia. After returning to normal eating staple foods and exercising moderately, uric acid levels gradually returned to normal.
15 Tips for Improving Uric Acid Levels
The physical education department of our school offers fat-reduction classes every semester. I have some dietary guidance and suggestions for these students, and I would like to share them with you for your reference:
1. Try not to eat snacks with added oil, salt, and sugar.
2. Eat more vegetables cooked with less oil, eat two servings of green leafy vegetables every day, buy some extra tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and other raw vegetables, and eat them directly with meals without adding oil or salt.
3. The amount of staple food can be controlled, but each meal must have at least 50 grams of dry weight (the so-called “one or two meals”). When you feel particularly tired after a heavy workout, you can increase the amount of staple food to promote muscle recovery.
4. Try to eat original staple foods, do not eat pastries such as cakes and sesame cakes with added oil and salt, and do not eat baked goods such as bread and snacks.
5. Have regular and quantitative breakfast every day. Add a carton of milk you bought yourself (milk is better for controlling uric acid than soy milk).
6. Do not drink sweet drinks (including sugar substitute drinks), no juice, no milk tea, and no coffee with added sugar.
7. When eating, focus on feeling full from the food and don’t look at your phone.
8. Try not to eat after dinner.
9. If you are hungry between meals, you can drink skim milk and eat a small amount of fruit, but the fruit should not exceed 400 grams per day (weight with skin and core).
10. Do not sit down within half an hour after a meal, but take a walk or do standing work.
11. Give priority to dishes that reduce oil and salt. If you eat a strong-flavored dish, balance it with a dish with less oil and no salt.
12. Do not eat staple foods with added oil, salt, or sugar, and only eat the original flavor.
13. Eat whole grain staple foods such as oatmeal, multigrain rice, and whole wheat steamed buns every day. Whole grains such as millet, brown rice, and oats are not high in purine. It is recommended to buy instant oatmeal and make a bowl of it yourself for breakfast instead of white rice porridge.
14. Drink a bowl of soup without salt or a glass of water before meals. Eat a small bowl of vegetables first, then half a portion of other dishes, and finally eat rice, steamed buns and other staple foods.
15. Reduce stress, avoid staying up late, and try to go to bed as early as possible at night.
If the uric acid level reaches a serious level, or even gout occurs, it is recommended to seek medical treatment. But regardless of whether you take medication or not, the combination of diet and lifestyle is an important measure. Before your joints and organs have been substantially damaged, and while you are young and have strong recovery capabilities, you must adhere to a healthy diet and moderate exercise to return uric acid levels to the normal range and return your body’s metabolism to a state of vitality. Text/Fan Zhihong (Director of the Chinese Nutrition Society, chief scientific communication expert employed by the China Association for Science and Technology)