What Increases Your Chances For Gout
The following make it more likely that you will develop hyperuricemia, which causes gout:
- Being male
Achieve A Healthy Weight
Obesity may be a primary consideration to reduce levels of uric acid in the blood. Insulin resistance is commonly seen in those who are obese and it may be involved in the development of gout. Insulin resistance has been shown to decrease the amount of uric acid that is cleared in the urine. A condition known as the ‘metabolic syndrome’ is a cluster of symptoms which includes insulin resistance, along with tummy obesity, high blood pressure and abnormal blood fats – for example, high cholesterol. This condition is strongly associated with high uric acid levels, which can be improved with slow, gradual weight loss.
Weight loss has been shown to improve insulin resistance and therefore reduce uric acid levels in the blood. However, it is important to avoid strict diets such as low-carbohydrate and high-protein diets. These may increase consumption of purines, a compound that breaks down into uric acid. Additionally, rapid weight loss through strict dieting can result in breakdown of tissue. This can temporarily cause a rise in uric acid levels. A gradual, safe weight loss of 1-2 lbs a week can help to achieve an optimal body weight.
What Can You Drink If You Have Gout
Foods arenât the only thing that can affect uric acid. What you drink matters, too.
Itâs a good idea to drink lots of fluids — 8 to 16 cups a day. At least half of what you drink should be water. Vitamin C also can help lower uric acid, but studies also show that the high fructose in OJ may boost uric acid levels, so drink it in moderation. Caffeinated coffee can cut uric acid, too, as long as you donât overdo it.
Stay away from sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. You also may need to limit or avoid alcohol as well. Talk with your doctor to find out whatâs right for you.
While a healthy diet can help control how much uric acid is in your system, you may still need medicine to prevent future attacks. Talk with your doctor about all your treatment options.
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Can I Drink Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of a gout attack as it can raise the level of uric acid in your blood. While it is possible to control gout attacks without completely cutting out alcohol, try to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink and avoid binge drinking . Talk to your doctor or read the Australian government guidelines on recommended alcohol intake.
Best Diet For Gout: What To Eat What To Avoid
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Gout is a type of arthritis, an inflammatory condition of the joints. It affects an estimated 8.3 million people in the US alone (
Fortunately, gout can be controlled with medications, a gout-friendly diet and lifestyle changes.
This article reviews the best diet for gout and what foods to avoid, backed by research.
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How Does Diet Impact Gout
Though diet isnt the only factor that leads to gout, it can play a role. To know why, its important to understand what causes gout in the body .
Gout occurs when an excess of uric acid in the body crystallizes in the joints, most commonly in the big toes, fingers, wrists and knees. These sharp crystals cause sudden swelling and are the source of the pain associated with a gout attack.
Uric acid is produced naturally when the body breaks down purines. Most purine is produced inside the body, though purines are also contained in some foods. Normally, uric acid doesnt cause problems because the body is able to secrete it easily through urine. However, some people produce too much uric acid or are unable to secrete enough of it. In these cases, the result is gout.
Though the body produces uric acid naturally, making gout largely unavoidable, consumption of foods rich in purines can exacerbate the problem. In fact, one study found that high purine intake was associated with five times greater risk of recurrent gout attacks .
In addition to foods rich in purine, those with gout should also avoid foods with lots of added sugars and refined carbs. Though more research needs to be done, reducing glycemic index seems to correlate with lower uric acid levels .
Foods That May Help Prevent A Gout Attack
A gout prevention diet includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, and complex carbohydrates, including whole grains and beans. Such a diet may also include low-fat dairy products and cherries:
- Low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk and yogurt, may decrease the levels of uric acid in the blood and thereby decrease their risk of gout attacks.18 High-fat dairy products do not have the same protective effect.
- Cherries have long been thought to prevent gout flare-ups, and there is some scientific evidence to support this.19–23 Fresh or frozen tart cherries, 100% unsweetened tart cherry juice, or cherry extract may be beneficial. Avoid sweetened cherries, such as cherry pie filling.
Eating a healthy, plant-based diet and taking other preventative steps, such as drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight, can go a long way towards preventing gout, other types of arthritis, and heart disease.
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Be Choosy About Carbs
Carbs can be helpful or harmful to your gout health. The most helpful carbs are found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Sweet potatoes, beans, apples, and popcorn can all be served in wholesome and delicious ways as part of a healthy gout diet.
Other carbs come as natural and refined sugars. Candy, sports drinks, some breakfast cereal, and some pasta sauces all contribute to dietary sugar from unhealthy carbs.
What Is The Recommended Diet For Gout Sufferers
There are no foods that can completely prevent the symptoms of gout, but a diet low in purines may help to reduce the frequency of attacks. Following a nutritionally balanced, healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and rich in unprocessed foods can help to reduce the risk of gout attacks. Care needs to be taken with certain vegetables such as asparagus, beans, cauliflower, lentils, mushrooms and spinach as these contain medium levels of purines.
While these dont need to be avoided completely, portion size is important a moderate intake should not increase the risks of gout. All other vegetables should be eaten freely. There is also evidence to suggest that a high consumption of low-fat dairy products , limiting sugary drinks and having a daily vitamin C supplement of 500mg may reduce the risk of gout. Speak to your GP before starting new supplements or altering your diet to manage gout.
It is important to note that it is the quantity of purine-rich food consumed that is more important than the purine content in each food. However, if a patient is keen to measure quantities of food, a maximum total daily purine intake of around 200mg is recommended.
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Which Foods Should You Avoid When You Have Gout
Purines are compounds that are found in specific food and drink and they change to uric acid in the body. Most meat and seafood are high in purine and can increase uric acid levels in the body. These therefore should be limited during episodes of a gout attack and portion size should be reduced. Common examples of foods high in purine include anchovies, sardines, offal foods such as liver, kidney, sweetbreads, game, goose, minced meat, mussels, partridge, roe, scallops, herring, gravies, stock cubes and meat and yeast extracts.
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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Foods That May Trigger A Gout Attack
Physicians recommend avoiding or limiting consumption of14:
- Alcoholic beverages, especially beer
- Sugary foods and beverages, particularly those made with high fructose corn syrup, such as sodas15
- Meat, particularly organ meat or sweetmeats, such as liver, and game meats6
- Seafood, particularly scallops, anchovies, and herring16
Alcohol increases the amount of uric acid in the blood and limits the bodys ability to process and eliminate uric acid.17
How To Eat To Help Control Your Gout
There are several things you can do as part of an eating plan for gout.
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Foods You Can Eat In Moderation
Aside from organ meats, game meats and certain fish, most meats can be consumed in moderation. You should limit yourself to 46 ounces of these a few times per week .
They contain a moderate amount of purines, which is considered to be 100200 mg per 100 grams. Thus, eating too much of them may trigger a gout attack.
- Meats: These include chicken, beef, pork and lamb.
- Other fish: Fresh or canned salmon generally contains lower levels of purines than most other fish.
Summary: Foods you should eat with gout include all fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, eggs and most beverages. Limit your consumption of non-organ meats and fish like salmon to servings of 46 ounces a few times weekly.
Processed Foods And Refined Carbs
The modern Western diet is often high in processed foods and refined carbohydrates. In addition, processed foods and refined carbohydrates have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.
A 2017 study looked at gout incidence in people who followed either a Western diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. The researcher found the DASH diet was associated with a lower risk of gout, whereas the Western diet was associated with a higher risk of gout.
To help prevent gout symptoms, its best to limit highly processed foods and beverages and foods high in refined carbohydrates, such as sweets, baked goods and pastries, chips, crackers, cookies, candies, soda, ice cream, white breads, and some pre-made frozen meals.
Eating highly processed foods and refined carbohydrates in moderation will not only help with your gout, but your overall health as well.
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What You Should Avoid
Unfortunately, some food and drinks inevitably increase the risks of having gout. According to information from multiple trusted sources, including a Philippine medical resource, here are the types of food you should avoid to help prevent gout:
- Meat innards. These are the parts of meat that come from an animals liver, kidneys, and other organs.
- Carbonated and sweet drinks. This includes many canned and bottled drinks and is especially applicable for drinks that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.
- Alcoholic beverages. If possible, its best to cut out the consumption of alcohol in its entirety. In particular, beers high purine content can greatly increase the possibility of experiencing a gout attack.
Though it may be difficult at first, cutting out the above types of food and beverages from your diet can greatly decrease the chances of having gout. Avoiding them can be especially effective if you experience chronic gout due to long-term hyperuricemia.
Preventing Gout: Types Of Food To Avoid Lessen And Increase
In many ways, gout continues to live up to its reputation as a lifestyle disease. Though some people may be more naturally predisposed to experiencing a gout attack, it is still a condition that can be prevented or minimized through a healthier lifestyle and smarter dietary choices.
At its core, cases of gout are triggered by high levels of uric acid in a persons bloodstream. A condition called hyperuricemia, this can then lead to the formation of urate crystals in your joints-resulting in inflammation and pain. This process of developing gout also illustrates that it can be prevented by lowering the amount of excess uric acid in our body. And indeed, there are proven and effective means to lessen the likelihood of experiencing gout attacks. All you need to do is know the types of food you should avoid, what you can afford to simply lessen, and what you can eat more of.
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Plenty Of Fruit And Vegetables
The recommendation is five portions per day, but try to include as many as possible. Bulking out meals, such as Bolognese, casseroles and stews with vegetables can help to reduce the meat content. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamin C. Although evidence is unclear, high intakes of vitamin C may help to reduce uric acid levels in the blood. Cherries may be particularly useful to include in the diet, as they have also been found to reduce levels of uric acid in the blood.
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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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.
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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