Contrary to popular belief, the Keto diet is not protein focused. Rather, this diet focuses on a high fat and low carb diet to shock the body into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process where the body is able to focus on burning fat with carbs mostly out of the picture. The body doesn’t have to work hard trying to burn the carbohydrates for energy, therefore, blood sugar is lowered and fat burning becomes the main focus.
Is this good for the Gout sufferer?
In theory, it could be. Studies have shown a high fat and low carb diet to reduce Gouty symptoms. As we know, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, allowing for a glucose spike in the blood. Continued and consistent consumption paves the way for buildup in the blood, further sparking inflammation. Excess build up also causes the body to store these sugars as fat. This dangerous pattern can quickly become chronic and lead to serious health problems, including Type 2 Diabetes. This diet can easily remove this factor all together.
The ketogenic diet also has the ability to raise the levels of BHB, an effective molecule that your body can use for energy. BHB can inhibit the pro-inflammatory cytokine known as NLRP3 inflammasome, further assisting to help quell the symptoms of urate crystal induced Gout. If done correctly, this diet can provide an array of anti-inflammatory whole-food options with the ability to supply the body with essential inflammation fighting omega-3 fatty acids and metabolism boosting nutrients.
Sounds pretty good, right? So, what’s the catch?…..
This diet, and any other fad diet, is simply unsustainable for the long-term – and can even be downright dangerous. Diets like Keto, Paleo, the Atkins diet etc. are popular weight loss strategies that can bring you quick results. But, are they healthy? Are they anything, anyone can actually stick to?
Firstly, with regards to the Gout sufferer, fast weight loss can spell serious trouble and cause Gout attacks to kick into high gear. Purines are stored in fat. As a result, fast weight loss releases this storage at a pace the body simply can’t process, control, and excrete quickly enough. With most Gout sufferers almost always teetering on the edge of an attack, this can prove to be more than the body can handle, and so begins the attack.
Secondly, ketosis can become very dangerous as ketones are allowed to buildup. High levels of ketones can literally alter the chemical balance of the blood and lead to severe dehydration. Neither of these is something the Gout sufferer, or anyone that values their health, can afford to risk. Ketoacidosis takes place when the buildup is such that the blood becomes completely acidic. Coma or even death can occur under these conditions.
Realistically, fad diets are anything but realistic. There are natural ways to boost ketones in the body without heading in a direction so extreme that you wind up doing more harm than good. Reducing carbs, eating healthy fats, and balancing the pH of your meals remains key – just don’t go too far in any one direction. Exercise can naturally boost ketones and burn fat. Moderate exercise is great for Gout. By increasing circulation and reducing the acidity in the body, you can help control the likelihood of crystal depositing that would otherwise take place in a stagnant state.