Do Certain Foods Cause Gout
There are many misconceptions about diet and gout. For example it is commonly thought that foods such as citrus foods cause gout. There is no evidence that this is true. However several studies have shown that people with gout are more likely to eat certain foods. These foods tend to contain high levels of purines, a substance that can be made into uric acid in the body. Purine-rich foods include:
- meat particularly red meat and offal, such as liver, kidneys and heart
- seafood particularly shellfish, scallops, mussels, herring, mackerel, sardines and anchovies
- foods containing yeast such as Vegemite and beer.
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What Is The Best Thing To Drink If You Have Gout
With this in mind, you should try to cut out beer and stick to wine since it still does provide some health benefit if drank moderately.
Studies have shown that people who drank less than two wines per day got some protective effect though not statistically significant. This is because people who only drink wine tend to have healthier lifestyles compared to those who drink just beer. They eat healthily, exercise regularly, and smoke less compared to beer and liquor drinkers.
As for beer, you should know that most of the stuff you buy from the store probably contains harmful ingredients not reported on the label. This is because alcohol companies have lobbied the industry for years, giving them the ability to use unsafe ingredients in their formula without including them in the label.
For example, theres Newcastle beer contains coloring made from ammonia which is cancer-causing. Then theres Corona beer which contains GMO corn syrup. Its an evil substance similar to high fructose corn syrup which is metabolically risky for you. The fructose is absorbed immediately and goes directly to your liver. Any gout sufferer who has done his research will know that liver and digestive health are important factors in managing gout symptoms.
If you can, try to stay away from American beers since theyre filled with GMO and go for organic beers instead. Theyre brewed locally using organic ingredients and wont have as bad effects as more popular beers do.
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What Foods Should You Avoid
If youre susceptible to sudden gout attacks, avoid the main culprits high-purine foods.
These are foods that contain more than 200 mg of purines per 3.5 ounces .
You should also avoid high-fructose foods, as well as moderately-high-purine foods, which contain 150200 mg of purines per 3.5 ounces. These may trigger a gout attack.
Here are a few major high-purine foods, moderately-high-purine foods and high-fructose foods to avoid (
- meats: These include liver, kidneys, sweetbreads and brain
- meats: Examples include pheasant, veal and venison
- Fish: Herring, trout, mackerel, tuna, sardines, anchovies, haddock and more
- seafood: Scallops, crab, shrimp and roe
- Sugary beverages: Especially fruit juices and sugary sodas
- Added sugars: Honey, agave nectar and high-fructose corn syrup
- Yeasts: Nutritional yeast, brewers yeast and other yeast supplements
Additionally, refined carbs like white bread, cakes and cookies should be avoided. Although they are not high in purines or fructose, they are low in nutrients and may raise your uric acid levels (
Summary: If you have gout, you should avoid foods like organ meats, game meats, fish and seafood, sugary beverages, refined carbs, added sugars and yeast.
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Why do certain foods cause painful gout symptoms? Our bodies produce uric acid as it digests some types of foods and excess uric acid can accumulate in our joints as crystals. Healthy individuals can usually filter out much of the extra uric acid however, for those who have underlying health conditions or elderly adults whose body processes have slowed down, uric acid builds up.
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What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP may ask about your diet and if you drink alcohol.
They may refer you to see a specialist and arrange a blood test and scan. Sometimes a thin needle is used to take a sample of fluid from inside the affected joint, to test it.
The blood test will find out how much of a chemical called uric acid there is in your blood.
Having too much uric acid in your blood can lead to crystals forming around your joints, which causes pain.
Drinks You Should Avoid On Gout
Its so easy to forget that what we drink is an important part of our diet. Drinks can contribute important hydration and nutrients. However, its easy for calories and additional additives like fructose to slip by and all too quickly add up.
Excessive alcohol use should be avoided, well in everyone. However, people with gout should be even more careful with how much they alcohol they consume.
The American College of Rheumatology recommends no more than 2 drinks daily for men and no more than 1 drink daily for women with the disease. Its also recommended to completely eliminate alcohol during active flares .
Beer and hard alcohol seem to much bigger culprits than wine at aggravating the disease .
Diet Tip: If you are affected by gout and still want to enjoy an adult beverage, a controlled amount of wine is the best choice for minimizing negative health effects.
Almost any non-diet drink contains a significant amount of added sugar, often in the form of fructose. Not only does added fructose contribute to uric acid build up, it also contributes negatively to making the other chronic diseases worse. Added sugar is one of the biggest enemies of the obesity epidemic, and comorbid conditions that go along with it.
This includes any soda thats not diet along with most fruit juices and energy drinks.
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What Foods Are Good For Gout
Dietary management of gout focuses on reducing the amount of uric acid in the system and attaining and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Foods that may help keep gout in check are
- Fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries, oranges, bell pepper and pineapple
- Low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and skimmed milk
- Nuts including nut butters such as almond butter and peanut butter
- Whole grains
- Potatoes, rice, whole-grain bread and pasta
- Oils such as olive oil
- Flax and other seeds
Drink Plenty Of Water To Stay Hydrated
Whether youre catching up with old friends or having a mixed drink at a holiday party, make sure you drink plenty of water. Its easy to get dehydrated even when the weather turns cold outside if you dont drink enough water.
Dehydration makes it harder for your kidneys to filter extra uric acid from your blood, which causes uric acid levels to rise. You may be more likely to suffer a gout attack if youre dehydrated.
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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.
Caffeine And Gout Risk
Studies show that caffeine may protect you from gout because caffeine is similar in chemical structure to a common gout medication. But other research shows that increasing your caffeine intake can actually trigger gout pain in fact, one study found that suddenly doubling your caffeine intake could increase the risk of gout symptoms by up to 80 percent. So if you are a coffee or tea drinker, caffeine could be helping protect you just remember that a sudden binge could bring on a gout attack.
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Gout Foods Avoid List: Green Vegetables
Green vegetables are considered good food for the body with high nutritional content and adequate water supply. However, there are several vegetables such as asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, vegetables that contain quite high purine content. Therefore, they can be the cause of gout-related symptoms.
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Foods To Avoid With Gout
When a patient asks Bernadette Siaton MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center who treats gout, what foods they should avoid, she doesn’t recommend specific foods.
Instead, she encourages her patients to eat a low-fat, low-sugar, healthy and balanced diet.
“That type of diet is beneficial for most people, even in the absence of gout,” Dr. Siaton says.
Weight loss is recommended for people with gout who are overweight or obese, even if gout flares are rare or nonexistent, according to the 2020 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines for the Management of Gout.
Still, gout is a disease that results from excess uric acid burden in the body.
“Some foods have high purine content, and when the body breaks down purines, uric acid is the end result,” Dr. Siaton says. “I tell patients to stay away from foods high in purines.”
With that said, here are some foods and drinks you generally should avoid to keep gout at bay.
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What Other Guidelines Should I Follow
- Increase liquid intake. Drink 8 to 16 cups of liquid each day. At least half of the liquid you drink should be water. Liquid can help your body get rid of extra uric acid.
- Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol increases your risk of a gout attack. Beer contains a high amount of purine.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, you should lose weight slowly. Weight loss can help decrease the amount of stress on your joints. Regular exercise can help you lose weight if you are overweight, or maintain your weight if you are at a normal weight. Talk to your healthcare provider before you begin an exercise program.
Why Do People Get Gout
Gout is a type of arthritis causing pain and swelling in the joints. The symptoms usually occur as flares lasting for a week or two and then go away. Gout flares usually start in the big toe or a lower limb.
The disease happens when the body has high levels of a substance called uric acid or urate. When high levels of uric acid build up, the needle-shaped urate crystals form in and around the joints. This causes inflammation and arthritis of the affected joint. Many people with high serum uric acid, however, may not develop gout.
Some factors may increase a persons risk for gout, including
- Male gender
Gout is a lifelong disease and cannot be cured. The disease, however, is one of the most controllable forms of arthritis. It can be effectively managed with early diagnosis, medications and lifestyle changes.
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What Exactly Is Inflammation And Why Is It A Problem
Inflammation: Its a well talked about topic right now, but do you know the real effects it can have on your health?
Yes, there is a such thing as a positive inflammatory response and it acts as part of the healing process and it helps the body to battle foreign invaders. However, when it gets out of hand, a number of symptoms and ailments can occur.
One of the biggest consequences is arthritis which means the joints are inflamed. It is estimated that in the United States approximately 54.4 million adults have some form of arthritis, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When arthritis is severe, it can be hard to walk or complete daily tasks. The Mayo Clinic says that some people develop deformed and twisted joints.
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Red Meat And Organ Meat
Red meat and organ meats are high in purines. Eating these foods increases the uric acid levels in the blood and the risk of gout and gout attacks.
Keep your red meat and organ meats intake low. Chicken has moderate amounts of purines, and therefore should be eaten in moderation.
Protein is important for the body, and though you may need to limit protein from some animal sources, you can still get protein from other sources. Low-fat dairy seems to decrease the risk of gout and is a good source of protein in the diet. Other protein foods you can eat include eggs, nuts and nut butters, beans, and tofu.
Meats to avoid:
- Beef, pork, and chicken livers
- Other organ meats, such as kidney or heart
- Wild game
- Red meat
- Processed meats, such as salami and prosciutto
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Worst Foods & Beverages For Gout
- At the top of the list of what to avoid is booze. Beer and liquor readily convert to uric acid and they slow down its elimination. Studies have shown mixed results about whether wine is OK in moderation.
- Drinking sugary beverages, such as sodas sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, fruit juices or other sugar-containing drinks, is associated with gout. Notable exception: cherries, especially tart cherries, may be beneficial for gout.
- Go light on red meats, particularly organ meats like liver, tongue and sweetbreads, which are all high in purines. Also avoid or minimize the amount of bacon, venison and veal you eat.
- Maybe surprising: Turkey and goose are very high in purines. Chicken and duck are better bets.
- Some seafoods also are high in purines, including anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, crabs, lobsters, oysters and shrimp.
- Some vegetables are on the watch list, too: Consider cutting back on mushrooms, asparagus and spinach but veggies of any kind are much less likely to trigger a gout flare than alcohol or organ meats.
Certain Meats And Seafood
Not all sources of purine are equal when managing gout, and research suggests certain purines can make gout worse.
“Studies show that hypoxanthine purines, found in meat and fish, have a stronger effect on on purine production compared to other types of purine,” says Nichole Dandrea MS, RDN, and author of The Fiber Effect: Stop Counting Calories and Start Counting Fiber For Better Health, referencing research in the BMJ.
Dr. Siaton recommends people with gout pass on red meats such as lamb, beef, and pork. Organ and glandular meats such as liver, tripe, and sweetbread have high purine content, too.
As for seafood, trout, haddock, codfish, anchovies, sardines, herring, mussels, and scallops are higher-purine options to avoid.
You might be able to tolerate moderately high-purine seafood such as crab, lobster, oysters, and shrimp. But make sure to limit consumption.
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Water As Remedy For Gout Faqs
Some common questions about gout and water include: what drinks can I drink and not drink with gout? Is coffee or tea better for gout? And how much water should one drink per day?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Are There Other Fluids I Should Be Avoided?
Alcohol and sugary drinks are the top things to avoid if you have gout.
Alcohol, especially beer, is a huge dehydrator and contains lots of purines which the body converts into uric acid. Uric acid builds up and turns into crystals deposits in your joints, causing immense pain during attacks.
Certain sugars, too, like fructose and high fructose corn syrup break down into purines contributing to high uric acid levels. Also, sugar has been associated with obesity which is another risk factor for gout. Being overweight means, the body produces more uric acid, but the kidney is not able to excrete as efficiently.
Avoid these drinks as much as you can if you do, only take it in moderate amounts.
What About Coffee or Tea?
Many believe coffee and tea are dehydrating due to their diuretic effects. However, that is not the case at all.
Recent studies have found caffeine to be beneficial for gout. This is because the caffeine found in coffee and tea has a similar structure to allopurinol, a medication used for managing gout.
How Many Glasses of Water Should I Drink in a Day?
The standard recommended amount is 8 to 12-ounce glasses of water daily. For some people, this can sound intimidating.
Soft Drinks And Gout Risk
Several studies have found an increased gout risk from sugar-sweetened drinks. This link has been found in both men and women. One large study found that just one sugar-sweetened drink per day doubled a woman’s risk of developing gout compared with women who had less than one sugar-sweetened drink per month. “Studies show that sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices are associated with an increased incidence of gout attacks. Interestingly, these studies show that diet soda intake is not related to increased frequency of gout attacks,” says Sloane.
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