You’ve likely heard all about the various diets that can help improve your health. If you’re worried about gout, your lifestyle certainly is partial to blame.
Gout was once known as the “rich man’s disease,” which certainly explains why there is such a major link to food. The rich could enjoy more luxurious, especially when it came to refined sugars and saturated fats. They were known to have higher risks of heart disease, inflammatory problems, and chronic illness before these conditions were given names.
When it comes to gout now, it’s more common in those with metabolic syndrome and those who are overweight. So, it’s still not surprising that the diet is linked to higher risks. Over the last few decades, it has become more common, with men more likely to suffer from it.
The condition involves inflammation of the joint. This inflammation is extremely painful and sudden, usually affecting the big toe. However, the fingers, knees, wrists, and heels can also become inflamed. The inflammation is caused by higher levels of uric acid within the blood, causing crystal deposits within the joints.
Doctors Continually Change Their Minds!
Before looking at how a low-carb diet can eliminate gout risks, it’s worth pointing out that doctors and experts routinely change their mind on the cause of gout. At one point it was considered that meat led to higher risks, due to the uric acid being found in purines, a protein within the meat. Yet, studies show that removing meat from the diet doesn’t help at all. Vegetarians are just as likely to suffer from gout as meat eaters.
Experts soon learned that by eating proteins from the meats helped to excrete the uric acid from the body, so it couldn’t build up in the blood. That meant doctors had to look at other reasons.
Of course, sugar and other refined carbs became the focus for studies. So far there have been positive results. Reducing your sugar intake specifically can help to reduce the risks of developing gout later in life. It can also help to reduce overall inflammation. The big question is how and why are low-carb diets so favorable?
Sugar Leads to Metabolic Syndrome
Remember that gout is more likely to occur in people with metabolic syndrome first. So, it’s worth looking at ways to eliminate the risks of that from your life. Metabolic syndrome is highly likely in those with a high-sugar diet. This is mostly in those with high refined sugar diets, but it can also occur in those with high natural sugar diets if they don’t get the natural sugars in the right way.
People with high sugar and refined carb diets are more likely to suffer from Type II diabetes, obesity, chronic illness, and gout. The sugars metabolize in the blood, leading to the body needing more insulin on a daily basis.
The link between sugar and gout isn’t that surprising when you look at when gout first became a major issue. It was around the time that sugar became popular, especially with the rich! Around the 18th century, the cost of sugar started to reduce and more people could afford it, so more people ate it. Gout issues continued to rise.
Studies now show that fructose, the main sugar that is consumed on a daily basis, causes the uric acid levels to increase considerably. Alcohol also leads to the same problem, as it is metabolized in the same way as sugars.
Don’t Low-Carb Diets Show a Rise in Uric Acid Too?
There are some studies that show low-carb diets don’t actually eliminate gout risks. However, it’s worth noting the length of the studies. In the first few weeks of starting a low-carb diet, patients did see a rise in uric acid in their body. This rise was only temporary. When patients stuck with the diet, the uric acid levels dropped and continued to remain low. Most patients saw positive results from around six weeks after starting the diet.
One study showed that uric acid levels significantly dropped after following a low-carb diet for six months. This suggests that low-carb could help to reduce the risks of gout. However, other studies haven’t shown the exact same results, but have shown that uric acid levels can remain at a healthy level.
So far, no studies have purposely looked into whether low-carb diets actually work to eliminate the risks of gout. Doctors can just go off the positive uric acid studies to make assumptions.
How Do Low-Carb Diets Help?
The focus is on metabolic syndrome when it comes to expectations and beliefs. Low-carb diets help to reverse metabolic syndrome, by helping people lose weight. While fats have been demonized for decades, it’s actually sugars that cause weight problems. Refined sugars lead to a rise in the blood sugar levels, leading to the metabolism slowing down.
To improve the metabolism, it’s important to boost the levels of protein and fats. Exercise is also essential to help build more muscle to increase the metabolic rate. Keeping the blood sugar levels to a minimum is essential. This prevents the metabolism storing unnecessary calories to deal with the blood sugar issues.
Intermittent fasting has proven some success in reversing metabolic syndrome. When you fast carefully, you can reduce your calorie intake to encourage the burning of excess calories. However, intermittent fasting will also increase the protein and fiber levels you eat, giving you more food to break down over a longer period of time. This can help to keep the blood sugar levels down.
High blood sugar levels also cause the inflammatory response within the body. This is the immune’s system way of healing, but it can also lead to chronic illness and pain. The metabolic rate is affected, as well as the joints. They become more swollen and can encourage the development of crystal deposits around them.
Carbs are also linked to weight gain, which is linked to obesity. The body can’t function as well as it should when you’re overweight. You’re more likely to have fatty and crystal deposits, which lead to more uric acid and metabolic syndrome. Once again it comes down to these two components that lead to gout.
All types of carbs can be harmful to the body, but the refined carbs are the worst. Some complex carbs can still be consumed and offer health benefits. For example, fruits are a carb because of the natural sugars. When consumed whole they are also full of fiber, which will help to eliminate the increase in your blood sugar levels.
The Ketogenic and Paleo Diets Have Proven Most Successful
When studying all the diets available, both the ketogenic and Paleo diets have proven the most success. They are also among the easiest to stick to.
The paleo diet involves the eating of foods that are natural; anything that the cavemen would be able to eat. This eliminates grains and other agricultural foods, mostly the simple carbs that break down in the body slowly. There is more focus on protein, especially as meat is one of the main sources of energy in the diet.
Remember that meat doesn’t lead to gout. It can actually help to reduce the levels of uric acid in the body. At the same time, you’ve cut out the sugars that lead to inflammation and high sugar issues. It’s much easier to keep uric acid levels down and eliminate the risks of gout.
The paleo diet also has the benefit of being high in omega-3 fatty acids. This helps to protect the cells in the body, reducing the effects of the purines within the meat. The body also gains more antioxidants in the fruits and vegetables, which helps to reduce the damage to cells and lowers the uric acid levels.
As for the ketogenic diet, this has a focus on more fats. Saturated and unsaturated fats are consumed and show benefits in increasing the amount of BHB in the body. This is a chemical that helps to inhibit the production of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which triggers the symptoms of gout. By eliminating the chemical it’s possible to eliminate gout symptoms.
The great news about the ketogenic diet is that the immune system isn’t affected. The body can still fight against bacterial infections.
But how do you lose weight through eating fat? Well, because the diet is extremely low carb, the body needs to turn the fat into energy. This helps to reverse issues like metabolic syndrome when followed correctly.
The ketogenic diet is one of those that showed initial increases of uric acid in the body. It’s important to continue following the diet for more than six weeks to start seeing the benefits. You will also feel more energetic and see the weight drop. While there is no conclusive evidence that the diet works to eliminate gout, there is nothing to say that you shouldn’t try it as the results have been positive so far.
The Atkins Diet is another option if you would like to include some grains and keep your fat content down. This diet is a little stricter than most of the fruits that you can eat, but there are plenty of vegetables to tuck into. The diet has been through numerous changes over the years but offers a maintenance plan to help you keep any weight your loss off for the long term.
Think About the Type of Carbs You Eat
A low-carb diet can certainly be beneficial. It will help you lose weight, which can help to repair metabolic syndrome and reduce the risk of gout. However, you don’t have to eliminate all carbs. Remember the term low. It’s all about the type of carbs you consume on a daily basis.
Opt for the carbs that are lower in sugars and higher in fiber and other health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are carbs, but they’re known as complex carbs.
What you really want to do is cut out the fructose and table sugar. It’s time to cut down on the refined carbs as much as possible, including cookies, cakes, candy, and sodas. Those who have cut down on fructose show a lower chance of developing gout than someone who has soda and cookies on a daily basis.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
One of the best things you can do to avoid the development of gout is to exercise. This will help to keep your blood flowing and your organs working. The kidneys can excrete more uric acid, which means the reason for the gout is gone from the body. Exercising will also help to boost your metabolic rate, getting rid of the issue of metabolic syndrome. You will build muscle, encouraging the body to burn more naturally on a daily basis.
Exercise can also help to encourage you to eat healthier. You don’t want to do something that goes against the workout you’ve just done. You’re more likely to enjoy low-carb meals, and the body benefits as you get more nutrients over a longer period of time. You eat less to help keep your calorie intake down and lose more weight.
The Truth About Gout
There isn’t a guaranteed way to eliminate gout from your life. Studies are still inconclusive, as many haven’t bothered to look into the correlation of carbs, proteins, and other food groups and gout symptoms. However, it’s easy to see from history what is the likely cause: sugar.
Refined sugar is damaging to the health. While you may not need to eliminate all carbs, you want to cut out any refined carbs that are filled with sugar and empty calories. Not only will you keep the amount of uric acid in your body to a minimum, but you will also improve your overall health. When you do eat carbs, keep them to a minimum and opt for those that won’t increase your blood sugar levels.
Low-carb diets like the ketogenic and Paleo diets have proven to be the most successful for eliminating the risks of gout.