What is uric acid, you ask? It is a waste product in the body from metabolized purines. We’ll get into this in more detail in a minute and a diet and foods that lower uric acid. But know that too much uric acid in your body is like a toxin. Elevated uric acid levels cause a myriad of health issues like high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and chronic kidney disease (Mehmet Kanbay et al., ).
Elevated uric acid triggers lots of health problems. And it has a name: hyperuricemia. You’ve heard of gout and kidney stones. Those are just two of the more well-known conditions that uric acid causes. There are many others like those mentioned above. Doctors are saying that it might be the cause of our obesity epidemic and even diabetes.
I’ll go over the basics of what causes elevated uric acid levels but I’ll also give you a book recommendation if you’d like to get into more of the details. Read on.
Uric Acid – What Causes It
Having some uric acid in our bodies is perfectly normal. It is a waste product and a normal component of urine. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purines and also increases with the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose. Diet is a big factor in your uric acid levels.
There was a time when early man produced uricase, which reduced uric acid naturally. But as it was difficult for early man to find food, genetics turned off the ability to produce uricase so that early man could gain more weight to survive between the times of finding food by hunting or foraging.
Not producing uricase is a problem for modern man. We don’t need to gain weight or keep fat on since most of us have food readily available. So if we aren’t careful, our uric acid levels can soar and cause bigger problems.
Normally we urinate out quite a bit (70%) of the uric acid in our bodies, but eating a lot of foods high in purines makes it difficult for our kidneys to keep up with it. It can wreak havoc with our health if levels get too high.
That shows you that uric acid has a lot to do with gaining weight and fat storage. Uric acid turns on the ‘fat switch’ as Dr. David Perlmutter puts it. We are “hardwired to store fat when calories are abundant in preparation for times of food storage”.
There are some purine-rich foods you might want to avoid if you want to lower your uric acid and also some other good foods that help lower uric acid levels.
Foods and drinks especially high in Purines – Try to Avoid
- Sucrose and artificial sweeteners
- Red meat and organ meats
- Gravy/pan drippings
- Sardines and anchovies
We’ll talk about a diet and specific foods that help lower uric acid.
For more on the details and health ramifications of high uric acid, please read Dr. Perlmutter’s book: Drop Acid. It just dropped in 2022 and contains the latest information on uric acid and how to lower it:
The LUV Diet
LUV stands for Lower Uric Values. It is a super healthy and delicious diet that can help you with almost any health issue you are experiencing or just keep you healthy longer.
I think you’ll find you have more energy and feel hungry less often on the LUV diet as it’s low in sugar and high in nutrients.
Basics of the LUV Diet
- Go gluten- and GMO-free.
- Eat mostly plant-based meals with whole acid-dropping fruits and veggies (below).
- Consume no refined carbs, added sugars, or artificial sweeteners.
- Do not eat organ meats. Other meats in moderation.
- Limit serving sizes of higher purine red meat and fish, especially sardines and anchovies.
- Eat seeds and nuts.
- Eat organic eggs.
- Eat very few dairy products, if any.
- Alcohol should be avoided. White wine seems lower in purines than other alcoholic beverages. Beer is the highest.
- Be generous with extra virgin olive oil.
- Eat acid-lowering foods (e.g., cherries, broccoli sprouts, coffee).
What You Can Eat Freely
- Healthful fats: Extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut or MCT oil, avocado oil, grass-fed tallow and organic or pasture-fed butter, ghee, coconuts, olives, cheese, cottage cheese, nuts and nut butters, whole eggs, and seeds.
- Herbs, seasonings, and condiments. Leave out the ketchup though. Look for gluten-free condiments.
- Whole fruits and vegetables. Less sweet fruits like avocadoes are preferable to the sweeter fruits but you can still eat them. They have more benefits than risk of too much sugar. Leafy greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower and most other vegetables are given a green light.
- Plant sources of protein such as legumes, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas, even miso are okay to eat freely.
- While you may not want to consume large quantities of caffeinated coffee, coffee is a uric acid-lowering beverage. So feel free to indulge.
Foods That Lower Uric Acid – Green Light
Cherries (tart and Bing)
Broccoli and broccoli sprouts
Herbs and spices: Cardamom, clove extract, thyme, peppermint, rosemary, and oregano
Supplements That Lower Uric Acid
If you find it difficult to add in lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, these supplements can help you out. Even if you are able to follow the LUV Diet, these will help lower your uric acid levels and you’ll feel great.
Quercetin (a plant flavonoid):
Luteolin (another plant flavonoid):
DHA (an Omega 3):
Chlorella (healthful algae):
500 mg per day
100 mg per day
1,000 mg per day
500 mg per day
1,200 mg C. vulgaris
Some additional all-in-one supplements to lower uric acid:
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Wrapping Up Lowering Uric Acid
I hope you can take some steps to lower uric acid for yourself and/or your family. High uric acid levels may be a cause of the obesity epidemic in the world today. Cutting out refined carbs and adding more whole fruits and vegetables will make a huge difference.
While you can still eat meat, try cutting down portion sizes and stick with white meats and fish.
You might be surprised how much better you feel if you give the LUV Diet a try. And add in those uric acid-lowering foods and supplements.
Thank you for reading today. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the Comments section below. Thank you!