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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Oatmeal for cholesterol and uric acid

Oatmeal for cholesterol and uric acid:

I have cholesterol and uric acid I have heard that some foods which are good to lower cholesterol are not good for uric acid as in the case of oatmeal, please advice.

Most of the foods that have a cholesterol lowering effect can be consumed by a person with high uric acid. For instance oatmeal is both low in fat or cholesterol and purines - the two main factors restricted in high cholesterol diet and high uric acid level diet respectively. Oatmeal is a type of cereal which is not high in proteins or purines. So oatmeal can be consumed by a person with high uric acid levels. Oatmeal is also high in fiber and other nutrients and at the same time it is very low in total fat and has negligible cholesterol.

So it is an ideal way to start a day if you have high cholesterol levels. Like oatmeal some other foods that help to lower cholesterol levels include fenugreek seeds, garlic, fresh fruits and vegetables and a low fat diet. All these foods are not restricted in a patient with high uric acid levels unless he/she is obese (fat is restricted in the diet of an obese person).

The main food that should be consumed in restricted amounts if you have high uric acid levels is food with high purines. These foods include fish, pork, meat and meat products, organ meats (like liver, brain, and kidney), shellfish and yeast. Some vegetables like spinach, peas and asparagus are considered good source of purines so they should be avoided. The gravy of meat, poultry and fish is also high in purines so it is wise to avoid the gravies too. All these foods (except the mentioned vegetables) also provide good amount of cholesterol in the diet and are restricted if you have high cholesterol levels.
Some diet tips to lower your uric acid and cholesterol levels -

Drink plenty of fluids like boiled water, barley water and non-sweetened fruit or vegetable juices as this will help to flush off the excess uric acid present from your system. Water will also help to lower cholesterol if you are above your ideal body weight, drink water approximately 20-30 minutes before having your main meals. This will help to restrict your food intake in the subsequent meals.

For proteins choose low fat or fat free dairy products and pulses in moderation in your diet. Pulses also have some amount of purines but they can be consumed in moderation.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (except the vegetables high in purines), this will not only provide many vital nutrients but also provide fiber in the diet which is an important factor to lower cholesterol levels.

If you have any doubt about a particular food that you feel will specifically increase your uric acid level, consult a health care professional.

Uric acid diet plan

Uric acid: Uses and diseases. When our body breaks down food for its energy needs, it produces uric acid. The formation of uric acid in our body occurs due to the breakdown of purine found in foods that constitute our daily diet. Purine is part of the chemical or genetic make-up of organic cell matter such as plants and animals. Moderate levels of uric acid are essential as they provide necessary antioxidants for the body. Uric acid in proportionate amounts also helps fight cell damage and reverse the effects of damage to the lining of our blood vessels. The body used the uric acid essentially for its functioning and disposes excess uric acid by carrying it through the blood stream, filtering it via the kidneys, and then excreting it in urine.

A high uric acid level may go unnoticed and may not cause problems for most individuals. However, for some individuals, high uric acid levels may cause conditions such as gout, kidney stones, or even kidney failure. In some cases, a high uric acid level may be an early symptom of some other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney disease. Recent studies show a link between uric acid and cholesterol, leading to cardiovascular disorders in the long-term. High uric acid levels may occur due to a diet high in purine, which forms uric acid. Another cause could be reduced excretion of uric acid, which may increase the level of uric acid in the body. Lifestyle choices may also adversely affect the level of uric acid in the body. Excessive consumption of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine enriched products and a lifestyle that leads to obesity may all contribute to high levels of uric acid. Certain diuretic medications and immunosuppressant drugs may also cause high levels of uric acid. A family history of high levels of uric acid or related diseases may also influence an individual’s risk of contracting the medical conditions associated with elevated levels of uric acid.

Uric acid diet plan. We have already learnt that the breakdown of purine result in uric acid. While purine occurs naturally in almost all foods, certain foods like vegetables, meat, seafood, and certain dried beans and peas contain concentrated amounts of purine. High levels of uric acid in the blood may form uric acid crystals. These can accumulate and lodge themselves in various joints, resulting in a painful condition known as gout. Patients suffering from gout maybe prescribed a uric acid diet plan to reduce the levels of uric acid in the body. The focus of the uric acid diet plan is to reduce the intake of those foods that are high in purine and substitute them with other essential diet requirements. Some foods that you may have to avoid while following a uric acid foods diet plan include:

• Vegetables high in purine such as asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, dried beans, and peas. In particular, dried beans such as kidney beans, lima beans, and navy beans contain high amounts of purine.
• All animal proteins contain purine. On a uric acid diet plan, your doctor may recommend avoiding or limiting foods such as red meat, which includes beef, pork, and lamb. Organ meats such as brain and liver are also high in purine.
• Fatty fish and seafood such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna, shrimp, lobster, and scallops should be reduced or avoided.
• Varieties of mushrooms also contain significant amounts of purine.
• Oatmeal is recommended to many individuals on a weight loss diet, individuals suffering from cholesterol and other cardiovascular conditions, and as an overall health food. However, oatmeal does contain purine content in high to moderately high levels. Therefore, there is a constant debate on whether oatmeal should feature on the uric acid diet plan.

Unless you suffer from purine metabolism problems and conditions related to high uric acid, there is no reason to avoid the above-mentioned foods. Instead of eliminating them from your diet, you can talk to your doctor about consuming smaller portions. While reducing the amount of high protein meats maybe a heart healthy solution, ensure that your daily diet includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and diary products. Before trying any uric acid diet plan, consult your doctor or dietician about your condition, and talk to them about your diet and other ways to reduce high levels of uric acid.

Oatmeal and uric acid. On average, a healthy individual consumes anywhere between 600 to 1000 milligrams of purines through their daily diet. If you are suffering from high uric acid levels, your doctor may recommend reducing the purines in your daily diet to 100 or 150 milligrams. Oatmeal falls under the category of high to moderately high purine content, and while highly recommended for individuals suffering from cholesterol, people suffering from high uric acid should consume oatmeal in moderation. Despite the healthy dietary fiber, oatmeal purine maybe significant enough to cause purine related conditions such as kidney stones, kidney failure, and gout. This, it may be unadvisable to consume oatmeal, if you are suffering from elevated uric acid levels. Oatmeal may not help individuals suffering from uric acid disorders, but this does not eliminate it as a health food. Many medical experts still recommend that you start your day with a bowl of freshly prepared oatmeal. Oatmeal bars, cereals, and oatmeal flour in bread or desserts are some of the ways you can use oats and oatmeal in your daily diet. 

Is oatmeal acidic? Most grains such as wheat, rice, corn, millet, rye, and so on fall under the highly acid category. Oatmeal is a product derived from oat grains and oat bran and consists of similar acid properties. However, this does not mean that oatmeal is an acid forming food. In fact, for many patients suffering from acidity and digestion problems, the soluble dietary fiber in oats can be beneficial. One and half cups of oatmeal for breakfast can provide an individual with close to six grams of dietary fiber. Natural oatmeal contains essential acids, while store bought instant oatmeal with additives and flavors may result in additional acids from sugars, flavorings, and so on.

Is oatmeal acidic or alkaline? To understand whether oatmeal is acid or alkaline, you have to first understand that all foods contain an acid-alkaline balance. However, you can determine if foods contain acid or alkaline or if they are acid or alkaline forming foods. In the case of oatmeal, it is an acidic food, which is helpful to neutralize the acids in the stomach, thus maintaining the body’s pH balance.

Oatmeal for acid reflux disease: side effects. In the case of acid reflux disease, many individuals find that consuming oatmeal helps to aid their digestion process and provides dietary fiber to regulate bowel movement.  On the other hand, oatmeal may cause problems for individuals suffering from acid reflux disease. Individuals who are already suffering from acid reflux disease may complain of symptoms such as chest pain and heartburn, constipation, and dry mouth after consuming oatmeal. Many patients claim instant oatmeal causes the problems more frequently than organic oatmeal or rolled oats. One reason could be that breakfast oatmeal is often consumed with other acidic foods such as citrus fruits, sugar or syrup and caffeinated beverage.

Since oatmeal is a water-soluble fiber, it may slow down the digestion process, which leads to acid reflux. While studies into the side effects of oatmeal on acid reflux disease continue, the best way to avoid the heartburn is to observe and eliminate foods that cause discomfort.

Submitted on January 16, 2014