How Does Food Affect Gout
If you have gout, certain foods may trigger an attack by raising your uric acid levels.
Trigger foods are commonly high in purines, a substance found naturally in foods. When you digest purines, your body makes uric acid as a waste product .
This is not a concern for healthy people, as they efficiently remove excess uric acid from the body.
However, people with gout cant efficiently remove excess uric acid. Thus, a high-purine diet may let uric acid accumulate and cause a gout attack (
However, there is one exception to this rule. Research shows that high-purine vegetables do not trigger gout attacks .
And interestingly, fructose and sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of gout and gout attacks, even though theyre not purine-rich (
For instance, a study including over 125,000 participants found that people who consumed the most fructose had a 62% higher risk of developing gout .
Summary: Foods can either raise or lower your uric acid levels, depending on their purine content. However, fructose can raise your uric acid levels even though it is not purine-rich.
Health Conditions And Treatments
Certain drugs, health problems, and lifestyle choices can trigger gout, too.
Medications. Aspirin, certain diuretics for high blood pressure , and drugs for people who had organ transplants can trigger gout. After a flare, go over all the medicines you take with your doctor. If needed, they should be able to find another option.
Being overweight. When you slim down, you can protect yourself from another flare.
Fasting or crash diets. If you lose weight too quickly or fast, you could raise your chances of an attack.
High blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease. These health conditions make you more likely to have gout, especially if you donât get treatment. Work with your doctor to keep them under control.
Injuries or surgery. When your body is stressed or sick, youâre more likely to have a flare. Of course, you canât always avoid this trigger. But if you need to have an operation, make sure your doctor knows youâve had gout in the past.
Replace Greasy Foods With Healthier Options
With minimal effort, you can replace fried foods with whole, nutritious options. Here are a few alternatives to common greasy foods:
- Burgers. Instead of heading to the fast food joint, try making your own burgers at home with ground beef, lettuce, and whole grain buns.
- Fries. Oven-baked potatoes are a great alternative to french fries. To vary it up, use other root vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots.
- Pizza. Instead of buying deep-dish varieties, try making Italian thin-crust pizza at home. You can use store-bought or homemade dough with healthy tomatoes, vegetables, and lean meats. Use cheese lightly to minimize the grease.
- Potato chips. When you get a craving for salty fare, try crispy baked kale, lightly salted green beans, or wedges of baked tortillas or pita with hummus or edamame.
- Fish and chips. Fish is incredibly healthy but much less so when battered and fried. Good alternatives are pan-seared or baked fish with mashed potatoes, baked veggies, or salad.
- Chinese takeout. Many Chinese takeaway dishes are greasy and fried. Instead of your regular options, try veggie-heavy stir-fries, steamed dumplings, and soups.
- Fried chicken. Chicken can easily be baked or grilled instead of fried.
- Doughnuts. If youre wanting something sweet, try a smoothie, whole grain muffin with fruit or nuts, baked apple chips, or a piece of fruit.
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May Increase Your Risk Of Heart Disease And Stroke
Greasy foods have several negative effects on heart health.
For example, fried foods have been shown to increase blood pressure, lower HDL cholesterol, and lead to weight gain and obesity, all of which are associated with heart disease (
One study found that women who ate 1 or more servings of fried fish per week had a 48% higher risk of heart failure than those who ate just 13 servings per month .
In another study, people who ate 2 or more servings of fried fish per week had a 63% higher risk of heart attack or stroke than those who ate 1 or fewer servings per month .
Additionally, a large observational study in 6,000 people across 22 countries associated eating fried foods, pizza, and salty snacks with a 16% increased risk of stroke .
Greasy foods may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke due to their effects on weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Consuming fast food, which includes not only greasy foods but also sugary drinks, leads to high calorie intake, weight gain, poor blood sugar control, and increased inflammation .
In turn, these factors boost your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome a group of conditions that includes obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar .
For example, a large observational study found that eating fried foods 13 times per week increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 15% but 7 or more instances per week increased the risk by 55% .
Aspirin And Diuretics Significantly Increase Gout Risk
Not exactly foods to avoid with gout, but the ingestion of some common medications sharply raise the risk of a gout attack.
Specifically, low doses of aspirin, which one in three middle-aged Americans takes regularly to help prevent heart disease .
The emphasis is on low doses because aspirin has a dual effect on uric acid levels. Very high doses above 3,000 mg promotes excretion of uric acid , whereas low doses prevent excretion .
In a study of 49 elderly patients, just 75 mg of aspirin per day increased blood uric acid levels by 6% within one week. A daily dose of 150 mg kept levels high during the second week, before coming down with 300 mg doses in the third week .
Considering the typical dose for heart disease prevention is 81-325 mg per day, it is no real surprise this dosage is associated with a doubling in gout risk. In fact, even the use of a low-dose aspirin for two consecutive days increases risk of recurrent gout attacks .
Im by no means recommending you cease your medications if you have gout, but its important to understand the pharmaceutical triggers. First speak with your doctor and closely monitor uric acid levels before making any changes.
And if you need a temporary painkiller, choose paracetamol or ibuprofen. No aspirin.
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Why Do I Want To Eat High Alkaline Foods
Blood tests are used as a basic diagnostic test to measure overall health. One of the levels that can be measured in our blood, is PH level. PH level essentially tells us how acidic our blood is. This level is an indicator of health status–high acid equates to potential health risks, and high alkaline is considered healthier. In addition to ph levels, I just feel so much better when I eat high alkaline, colorful foods. I don’t need a test to know that.
If you are new to studying the concept of an alkaline diet, and want to test yourself, you can find strips for that here. It is helpful to know where you stand, and if any changes that you have made in your diet have impacted your results.
Does Seafood Cause Gout
Whether youre an avid seafood eater or you just enjoy the occasional tuna salad, youre undoubtedly aware of the health benefits of eating these dishes. When prepared correctly, many types of seafood are excellent sources of lean protein as well as antioxidants in vitamins B12 and B2.
Above all else, theyre rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for heart health. Despite these beneficial traits, there is a drawback to consuming too much of certain types of seafood. This is a result of the increased uric acid levels found in seafood, which can increase your susceptibility to suffering from gout.
Whats the connection between your favorite seafood dish and that stabbing pain in your feet? Keep reading as we delve into a breakdown of how seafood can cause or aggravate a gout attack.
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May Lead To Weight Gain And Obesity
Greasy foods, which are cooked in large amounts of fat, may cause weight gain due to their high calorie count.
For example, a small baked potato contains 93 calories and 0.1 grams of fat, while the same amount of french fries packs 312 calories and 15 grams of fat (
Additionally, an 8-year study in 41,518 women determined that those were overweight gained an additional 2.3 pounds for every 1% increase in their trans fat intake .
Although other studies havent backed up this finding, regularly eating greasy foods is likely to interfere with weight control .
Greasy foods are high in calories, excess fats, and trans fats, all of which can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Alcohol Is The Biggest Risk Factor For Gout
It is well-established that frequent alcohol intake dramatically increases risk of gout .
The Framingham Heart Study of over 4,500 participants provides some perspective.
Researchers found that regular alcohol use was associated with three times greater risk of gout in women compared to those who have less than 2 standard drinks per week. For men, regular drinkers had double the risk of non-drinkers .
Beer seems to be the worst, followed by hard liquors such as spirits. Interestingly, moderate wine consumption is not linked with any risk .
The reason why alcohol increases uric acid levels is still not well-understood. Some forms, particularly beer, can be high in purines but they are certainly not the richest source of purines in our diet.
Additional theories propose that excessive alcohol may also reduce the bodys ability to excrete uric acid. Others state that alcohol especially beer increases the chemical breakdown of purine-containing ATP nucleotides, which is a precursor of uric acid production .
Summary: Regular alcohol intake severely raises uric acid levels in the blood. It doubles, if not triples your risk of gout.
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What Foods Should You Eat
Although a gout-friendly diet eliminates many foods, there are still plenty of low-purine foods you can enjoy.
Foods are considered low-purine when they have less than 100 mg of purines per 3.5 ounces .
Here are some low-purine foods that are generally safe for people with gout (20,
- Fruits: All fruits are generally fine for gout. Cherries may even help prevent attacks by lowering uric acid levels and reducing inflammation (
- Vegetables: All vegetables are fine, including potatoes, peas, mushrooms, eggplants and dark green leafy vegetables.
- Legumes: All legumes are fine, including lentils, beans, soybeans and tofu.
- Nuts: All nuts and seeds.
- Whole grains: These include oats, brown rice and barley.
- Dairy products: All dairy is safe, but low-fat dairy appears to be especially beneficial (
- Beverages:Coffee, tea and green tea.
- Herbs and spices: All herbs and spices.
- Plant-based oils: Including canola, coconut, olive and flax oils.
Which Foods Are Safe For Gout
Find out which foods to eat and which to avoid if you have gout.
Question: I havegout. Can you tell me which fruits, vegetables, meats or seafoods I should eat or avoid? Is there any type of alcohol wine, beer, spirits that is better or worse for me than others?
Answer: Dietary management of gout is very restrictive and doesnt always work to control gout, so a combination of medication and diet may be the best way to treat your gout. In addition to medications that treat the inflammation and other symptoms that occur during a gout attack, medications exist that can treat the underlying metabolic condition of hyperuricemia too much uric acid in the blood.Hyperuricemia can occur either when the body produces too much uric acid or when the body does not excrete enough uric acid. Drugs exist to treat both causes.
Purine compounds, whether produced in the body or from eating high-purine foods, can raise uric acid levels. Excess uric acid can produce uric acid crystals, which then build up in soft tissues and joints, causing the painful symptoms of gout. Dietary management focuses on reducing the amount of uric acid in the system and attaining and maintaining a healthy bodyweight.
The primary dietary modification traditionally recommended is a low-purine diet. Avoiding purines completely is impossible, but strive to limit them. You can learn by trial and error what your personal limit is and which foods cause you problems.
High-Purine Foods Include:
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Is Spicy Food Bad For Gout
In a nutshell, spicy food isnt bad for gout. Yes, there are a few exceptions, but there are far more benefits. Spicy food and gout have a weak connection. In other words, most of the spicy food wont affect gout in any way. You can consume as much as you like and there wont be any pain after that.
Hot peppers, turmeric, ginger, and curry can all be consumed. These do not contribute to the gout attack and some can even decrease the uric acid in the body which is interesting. Sadly, there is no a lot of research regarding the topic. There are countless variations as well. Some people react well with all of the aforementioned foods while others dont get any benefits.
The truth is simple. Spicy food will either be neutral to your gout or it will decrease uric acid. This refers to over 90% of the spicy foods you can consume these days. The bottom line here is that you can consume spicy food and you can enjoy it on a regular basis with a few exceptions.
Chirachi sauce is known to cause gout attacks in some people. Although rare it is something worthy of your attention. Also, keep in mind that if you are allergic to paprika, cayenne pepper, or nitrates, these can contribute to the gout attack as well. Try them in small portions and see what happens.
First Foods That Can Help
- There are actually several types of foods that may help protect against gout attacks. These include low-fat dairy foods, complex carbohydrates, coffee, and fruits, especially citrus fruits. You should also be sure to get 12 to 16 cups of fluid daily.
- You don’t necessarily have to drink only wateryou can choose non-sweetened juice, tea, and coffee too.
- Any kind of fluid that keeps that blood flowing and urine flowing is a good choice, says Lona Sandon, PhD, RDN, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Next up: The foods to avoid. Read on for a list of potentially problematic eats.
Scallops are okay for an occasional indulgence, but you should cut back on themand all types of meat and seafoodduring a flare-up, says Sandon. These animal foods are rich in purines, which your body breaks down into uric acid.
You have a little more freedom in your food choices when your gout is at bay, but its still a good idea to keep meat and seafood intake to a minimum4 to 6 ounces daily at most.
All meat is not created equal when it comes to purine content: White meat is generally better than red.
But it is okay to eat some types of red meat once in a while. Youre a bit better off if your occasional indulgence is beef or pork rather than lamb, says Dr. Zashin.
And lamb chops are a better choice than leg meat.
Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads, are a major no-no.
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A Good Diet For Gout Should Not Include Soft Drinks Or Fruit Juice
Added sugar is a big problem in the modern diet.
Generally speaking, the sugar that is added to our food and drink products are 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
While glucose molecules are metabolised in the cell, fructose is metabolised in the liver. Further explanation is out of the scope of this article, but they behave very differently in the body.
Fructose intake, and not glucose intake, is strongly linked with gout.
Soft drinks and fruit juices tend to have the greatest amount of added sugar, and therefore the greatest amount of added fructose.
In fact, gout occurrence in the US has risen in line with fructose consumption since 1970 .
In a large study of over 46,000 men, researches found that two or more sugar-sweetened soft drinks a day was associated with an 85% increased risk of gout .
The largest consumers of sugar-sweetened soft drinks actually had a risk of gout comparable to the risk seen with three to five servings of alcohol.
Unfortunately the researchers did not account for family history of gout, which may or may not have changed their findings somewhat.
The strange thing out of all this, however, is that soft drinks dont typically contain purines.
Fructose is thought to be the culprit linking added sugars with gout. It appears to share the same mechanism as alcohol: fructose accelerates the breakdown of purine-containing nucleotides like ATP. This in turn drives up uric acid levels 90120-5/abstract” rel=”nofollow”> 13, 14, 15).