02 March, 2012
Buttermilk & Gout
Gout, a painful form of arthritis, results from excess uric acid levels in the body. Uric acid crystal deposits develop in the joints, leading to pain, swelling, redness and joint stiffness. Kidney problems may occur because of kidney stones formed from uric acid crystals in the kidneys. A diet for gout prevention or alleviation may help control the development of and eliminate uric acid to relieve or prevent gout attacks. Dairy products, including buttermilk, play a part in the diet to reduce the risk of gout. Check with your doctor for dietary advice related to gout.
Uric Acid Overproduction
Substances called purines are found in your body’s tissues and also come from many foods. Purines break down into uric acid in your body and usually dissolve in the blood, passing through the kidneys and out of your body through urine. Gout may occur when your body produces too much uric acid, your kidneys don't get rid of enough uric acid or you eat too many foods high in purines, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
Avoidance of Purines
Medication helps relieve and reduce gout symptoms, and a diet consisting of foods low in purines may control gout attacks. Low purine intake includes limiting meat, poultry and fish, which contain high amounts of purine, MayoClinic.com explains. Foods particularly high in purines include organ meats, asparagus, mushrooms, anchovies and herring. Gout patients also need to avoid alcohol, which can interfere with the body’s ability to eliminate uric acid.
Foods Low in Purines
Foods low in purines include buttermilk, milk and milk products, breads, pasta, flour, lettuce, tomatoes, green vegetables, fruit juice, carbonated drinks, water, peanut butter, fruits and nuts. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, helps remove uric acid from your body.
Buttermilk Reduces Risk
Buttermilk has a lower fat content than regular milk. The process of making buttermilk removes the fat to make butter. Low-fat and nonfat milk and dairy products, including buttermilk and low-fat yogurt, may help reduce the risk of gout. MayoClinic.com recommends 16 to 24 fluid ounces of dairy intake daily for gout. Buttermilk is also a probiotic food. Probiotics contain healthy bacteria that fight harmful bacteria in your body. The probiotics in buttermilk help improve digestion.
More Buttermilk Benefits
Because buttermilk has low-fat content, it helps you maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese may increase your risk of gout. Moderate daily exercise, such as brisk walking, along with a low-fat diet, works to reduce weight. Buttermilk contains healthy nutrients, including vitamin B12, potassium, calcium, riboflavin and phosphorus. Maintaining a healthy weight through a diet that includes buttermilk, and avoiding alcohol, also helps you deal more effectively with stress. Stressful events may trigger gout attacks.
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