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 (6,
- 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.
Is High Fructose Corn Syrup A Problem
Yes, absolutely. High-fructose corn syrup is a known factor for gout flare-ups because it raises uric acid levels in your body. Its also used in far more pre-packaged and processed foods than you might think. When youre grocery shopping, always check nutrition labels. If corn syrup is an ingredient in a product, dont buy it.
Food Loaded With Omega 3 Fatty Acids
When you hear omega 3 fatty acids, you think of fish instantly. This is particularly true. Almost every fish contains plenty of this compound. But, you can get the same from walnuts for example. Add the fact some fish can be consumed despite the fact you have gout and you get a more versatile diet.
You can consume salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Start with small amounts and gradually increase portions. Omega 3 fatty acids dont affect uric acid directly. It will decrease inflammation and swelling which is beneficial during the gout attack.
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Weight Management And Exercise
The Arthritis Foundation emphasize how important it is for people with gout to manage their weight.
Obesity is a risk factor for developing gout. If a person with gout has excess weight, losing a few pounds can help them:
- reduce pressure on painful joints
- lower the risk of heart disease
- build up strength and flexibility
- To achieve this, the person should ask their doctor about:
- a suitable diet to help them manage their weight
- an exercise plan
Anyone who smokes should also ask their doctor to help them with a plan to quit.
The Mediterranean diet contains plants, grains, and healthful fats. It may help people manage their weight while eating healthfully.
Avoid Sweets And Sodas
Unlike fruit with its natural sugar, artificial sugars are widely recognized as gout flare dangers. Consuming too many sugary sodas has been found to provoke attacks, but no association has been found with artificially sweetened sodas. Other foods loaded with high-fructose corn syrup can also bring on gout pain.
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Do I Need To Stop Drinking Alcohol With Gout
Yes, its a good idea to cut out alcohol. Alcohol molecules in your body tend to increase uric acid levels, so drinking can push you over the edge and into a flare-up. If youre newly diagnosed and start taking medication, try cutting out alcohol at first. Your doctor may allow you to add a small amount back into your diet over time as your uric acid levels come down. But even then, its best to avoid beer and liquor and stick to safer choices such as red wine, Dr. Burg says.
All myths aside, the best advice for people with gout is to eat fresh, unprocessed foods. Choose complex carbohydrates over refined carbs from packaged or processed foods. And always drink plenty of water because dehydration is a risk factor for an acute attack.
Choose A Diet You Can Live With
If you are overweight, losing weight can protect you from gout flare-ups. However, losing weight fast can do more harm than good for gout, as rapid weight loss can raise uric acid levels in your bloodstream. Avoid fad diets and “crash” diets. Consider consulting a dietician, who can help you choose a diet plan that works for you.
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What Is Gout And What Causes It
Before we can look at foods to avoid with gout, it is necessary to briefly understand what it is.
Gout is a form of joint inflammation, caused by excessive uric acid in circulation .
When the bodys natural uric acid threshold is exceeded, painful crystals can form in and around the joints. These crystals trigger the characteristic symptoms and pain.
Not everybody with high uric acid levels will get gout, but those who do always have high uric acid levels. This indicates there are other factors at play, but from a dietary perspective uric acid is the focus.
Excessive uric acid in the blood stream is typically driven by two factors: genetic predisposition and the ingestion of high-purine foods. Obviously, the dietary factor we can control.
When purines we eat are broken down and metabolised by the body, uric acid is formed as a by-product of this process. Its normal and healthy for uric acid to be formed, but excessive amounts are problematic.
Therefore, consuming less purine-rich foods should lower uric acid levels in your blood, lowering gout risk.
At least, in theory.
Its actually not that clear-cut because other nutrients appear to aggravate gout symptoms too
Heres a list of foods to avoid if you have gout, based on real scientific evidence.
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 Foods To Avoid
Many of the foods you want to avoid are meats and seafood. Meats such as chicken, pork, beef, or lamb are usually okay in moderation however, if you find they cause symptoms you will want to avoid them altogether. Salmon, as part of a gout diet, is also usually tolerated well in moderation.
- Yeast:beer, nutritional yeast, large amounts of bread, others
- Game meats: venison, veal, bison, others
- Organ meats: liver, tongue, tripe, others
- Fish: including sardines and anchovies
- Other seafood: shellfish, roe, others
- Sugary drinks: sodas, fruit juice, others
- Sugar substances: honey, nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, others
The Cause Of Gout Is More Than Just Diet
While diet is critical, dont overlook other important factors that affect gout. These include family history, sleep apnoea, and lack of physical exercise to name a few.
Further discussion of best treatment for gout is outside the scope of this article. But there are foods thought to be protective namely dairy, cherries, and coffee, in decreasing order of evidence.
And as much as I prefer focusing on what you should eat to prevent health scares, there are just so many clear trigger foods for gout.
Its important to deal with these factors first and foremost.
About Joe Leech, Dietitian
Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, followed by a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.
Learn more about him on the About page.
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Foods You Need To Avoid
The foods that should not be eaten during a gout crisis are:
If you are not having a gout crisis, these foods are not forbidden, but they should be limited. Therefore, please eat these in moderation, preferably according to a nutritionist guidelines.
Foods Contributing To Chronic Disease
Remember, the development of gout is also influenced by other chronic diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart failure and obesity. Studies have shown that losing weight lowers the risk of the disease.
Therefore preventing and treating gout means preventing and treating these other chronic diseases as well as effective weight management. While there are certainly some exceptions, the development and treatment of these chronic diseases is also strongly rooted in diet.
High salt diets are strongly associated with hypertension and congestive heart failure. A diet low in salt is a well described treatment for people with these conditions and is literally prescribed for this purpose.
The DASH diet is the most popular of these to date, and people who follow the DASH diet have been shown to have lower rates of gout .
Saturated fats such as fried foods are generally unhealthy choices. They contribute a significant amount of cholesterol and calories while providing very little positive nutritional value. They are a large culprit in the obesity epidemic and the associated comorbid disease.
Its recommended to use caution with processed foods because they so frequently contain either high levels of salt, sugar, saturated fat, empty calories or a combination of some or all of the above.
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Instead Of Beer Try Other Alcohol In Moderation
All alcohol is high in purine, but drinking beer is especially risky if you have gout because it contains both purine and yeast, which can cause uric acid levels in the blood to rise. The dehydrating effect of alcohol also makes gout worse. If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, try sipping on a glass of wine or a wine cooler. Drink plenty of water when drinking alcohol to avoid dehydration.
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
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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.
Instead Of Gravies And Sauces Use Vegetable Broth Or Dairy
Since they are made with the fat and drippings from meat and poultry, gravies and sauces made from beef, pork, and poultry should be avoided because they contain high amounts of purine. Try making sauces with vegetable broth or tomato sauce. Dairy-based sauces, such as a low-fat cream sauce, are also safe alternatives.
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Some Meat Fish Eggs Beans And Pulses
Eat these foods in moderation. Having vitamin C with meals can help to improve the absorption of iron, so drink a small glass of orange juice, have a piece of fruit for dessert, or serve up meals with plenty of vegetables. Keep your portions of meat controlled by using your hands as a serving size guide. A serving is about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.
Foods To Eat When You Have Gout
Gout is a metabolic disorder that manifests as a type of extreme inflammatory arthritis. Often beginning with a sharp pain in the big toe, gout occurs when the body cannot properly process uric acid, leading to painful uric crystals accumulating in the joints.
When you have a condition as strongly influenced by diet as gout is, it becomes easy to get caught up in what you cant eat, instead of focusing on the things you can. Purines are an organic compound associated with gout flare-ups because they cause the body to produce higher amounts of uric acid. Foods that contain purines tend to be high-fat or yeasty products. While managing your diet can help control your gout, your food choices should not be centered only around avoiding purines. You should be trying to eat proactively at the same timefinding foods that will help keep your gout in check.
These 15 foods could help fight off gout attacks to live a happier life.
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Foods That Cause Gout
Its thought that foods and drinks high in purines can directly increase the uric acid and increase the risk of gout attacks. Part of the recommended treatment and prevention of future flairs is to consume a low purine diet.
And its just as important to avoid foods that contribute to the many other risk factors of the disease in daily meal planning.
Purine Rich Foods
While some of these foods can be healthy in people who do not have gout, it is recommended that they are in general minimized in people who suffer from the disease. For example, fish can be a very healthy part of a balanced diet. Gout diets may include fish lower in purines or small amounts of purine rich fish mentioned above.
Vegetables Like Beetroot And Gout
Most vegetables fall into the low-purine category, so vegetables are not usually on the list of foods to avoid with gout. However, there are a few vegetables containing a moderate amount of purines that people with gout should be aware of.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, moderate-purine vegetables include:
Simply because these vegetables contain moderate amounts of purines does not mean that people with gout should avoid them altogether. According to Mayo Clinic, the purines in vegetables do not increase the risk of gout or recurring gout attacks.
Similar to purines, oxalates are another type of natural substance that increases the uric acid content in the body. Vegetable sources of oxalates include rhubarb, turnips, beets and okra. This is why there is speculation of a negative association between beetroot and gout. Since beets contain oxalates, beetroot and gout may not not be a good combination. The same is true of okra. Though it has many health benefits, it is not true that okra is good for gout.
If you have gout, you may choose to consume or avoid vegetables that contain purines and oxalates.
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List Of Foods To Avoid With Gout And High Uric Acid
The first line of treatment of gout is removing the causes and correcting the diet. So, here we will discuss the foods to avoid gout.
Gout is a disease ofjoints that results in arthritis or inflammation in the joints. It causessevere pain, tenderness, and jointswelling. Generally, it affects the baseof the toe. Some experience hotness orburning sensation in joints.
The basic principle toavoid foods in gout or high uric acid is to stop eating salty, sour, spicy and friedfoodstuff in excess. These food itemsaggravate the gout attack. These may also become a great hindrance to prevent areduction in uric acid in the blood.