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.
Gout Diet: What To Eat And To Avoid To Prevent Flare
Do you have a bout with gout? You arent alone. Gout is a painful form of arthritis that affects millions of people. It causes flare-ups of joint pain when high levels of uric acid in the blood cause crystals to form around joints.
Its not all doom and gloom though. Most cases of gout can be prevented or managed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as a gout-friendly diet.
A proper diet can affect gout either positively and help control the disease, while it can be detrimental and contribute to flare-ups if a proper diet isnt followed, said Melissa Fowler, a rheumatology physician assistant at Banner Health in Tucson, AZ. Obesity and other common medical conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, are also important in terms of a proper diet and managing these health conditions is extremely important to also controlling gout.
Risky Foods To Avoid With Gout
A gout attack is not pleasant.
The pain is so bad that sufferers are often hospitalised for days, if not weeks.
More importantly, gout is typically indicative of other more serious health issues behind the scenes Like a window into the state of an individuals metabolic health.
Unfortunately the occurrence, or recurrence of gout is only getting worse.
Rates are on the rise from China to the UK, and it is now the most common inflammatory arthritis in the US .
Information online about gout treatment can be particularly confusing, and even contradictory at times.
This is because we dont yet completely understand the mechanism behind gout But we do have a lot of big clues.
The following is a list of the top 6 foods to avoid with gout, explaining what we know and how it applies to you.
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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.
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.
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What Is Uric Acid
Uric acid is a waste byproduct of purine breakdown in the body. Purines are naturally produced in the body, as well as found in some foods. As purines are broken down, uric acid is created. Normally uric acid is either reabsorbed in the body or excreted via the urine and feces.
When there are more purines in the body than it can process, uric acid builds up in the bloodstream. This is called hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia can cause gout and/or kidney stones in some people, while others have no signs or symptoms at all.
Verywell / Alexandra Gordon
Treatment for gout often includes medications, diet modification, and lifestyle changes, such as managing weight and quitting smoking. The foods you eat can have a direct impact on gout flares.
During a gout attack, modifying your diet may help decrease the length of the flare. Continuing to follow a gout-friendly diet, specifically a low-purine diet, may help prevent the risk of future gout attacks up to five fold.
What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Gout
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs : These can quickly relieve the pain and swelling of an acute gout episode. They can shorten the attack, especially if taken in the first 24 hours.
- Corticosteroids: These drugs can be taken by mouth or injected into an inflamed joint to quickly relieve the pain and swelling of an acute attack. Corticosteroids usually start working within 24 hours after they are taken.
- Colchicine: An anti-inflammatory medicine that works best if taken within the first 24 hours of a gout attack.
Medications for reducing uric acid levels: These are usually prescribed after an acute attack ends to reduce uric acid levels in the body to prevent future attacks.
- Colchicine: Regular and low doses of colchicine may be given along with other medications below to prevent flare-ups.
- Allopurinol: It reduces uric acid production in the body.
- : It reduces uric acid production in the body.
- Probenecid: It acts on the kidneys to help eliminate uric acid.
- Pegloticase: This is a medication that is injected every 2 weeks. It reduces uric acid quickly and used when other medications fail.
Lifestyle and home remedies to treat acute gout and can prevent recurrent attacks:
- Limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption and drinks sweetened with fructose
- Limiting intake of foods high in purines, such as red meat, organ meats, and seafood
- Drinking plenty of fluids
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Foods To Avoid If You Have Gout
Many of the foods rich in purines sound like dishes for a feast one of the reasons gout was such a problem for wealthy people in the past.
In order to lower your risk of gout flare-ups, avoid such foods and beverages as:
- Red meat, pork, and lamb
- Organ meats like kidneys and liver, as well as glandular meats like the pancreas
- Seafood, particularly shellfish
- Beer and grain liquors like whiskey and vodka
Also watch out for high-fructose foods and beverages like soft drinks and sugary juices, fast foods, candies, and sugary snacks.
Most Soy Should Be Fine
Soy foods like tofu, soy milk, and edamame have moderate amounts of purines. Traditionally doctors have cautioned against eating too much soy for people with gout. One study found that soybeans, soymilk, and soy powder increased uric acid in the blood significantly. However, larger population studies have recently told a different story. Several have reported that not only are soy products harmless for gout patients, but also people who eat more soy tend to have a reduced gout risk.
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How To Decrease Uric Acid
To help decrease uric acid, there are some tips you can incorporate into your daily routine, such as:
- Drink 1.5 to 2 L of water per day
- Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Opt for more diuretic foods, like watermelon, cucumber and parsley. Check out a list of naturally diuretic teas.
- Avoid eating foods that are rich in purines, like livers, kidneys and gizzards
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Reduce your intake of processed foods that are high in sugar, like sodas, cookies, ice cream or pre-made food
- Increase your intake of vitamin C foods, like oranges, pineapple and cherries.
- Lose weight or maintain an ideal weight, as obesity and being overweight are one of the causes of elevated uric acid levels
- Exercise regularly, as this is essential for maintaining an ideal weight and keep uric acid levels normal
To treat gout, it is important to consult a registered dietitian and a personal trainer, to help incorporate diet and physical activity into your treatment.
What Is The Gout Diet
Gout is caused by high uric acid levels in your blood. Extra uric acid forms sharp crystals that settle in your joints, causing swelling and pain. But you can help reduce the amount of uric acid in your body by maintaining a low-purine diet. Reducing uric acid levels can help prevent new crystals from forming, reducing gout attacks.
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Gout And Fruits To Avoid
If you are diagnosed with gout, what you eat can affect the outcome and prognosis of this joint disorder. Foods very high in purines are commonly the bad choice since they can increase the uric acid in the blood. How about fruits? They are healthy, but are they bad for gouty arthritis, too? Should you avoid them?
Purines and uric acid
To clearly understand the link between diet and your gout, lets explore first about dietary purines!
What actually is purine? Its a kind of protein. Your body needs it to supports some bodys functions. Mostly, you can get it from diet. Yap, it can be found naturally in certain foods even there are some foods very high in purines.
In the body, purine breaks down to become a substance what we call as uric acid. Most of this acid can go directly into the bloodstream.
The body has its own mechanism to control the normal level of uric acid. Excess uric acids are filtered by kidneys and then will go away from the body with urine when you pee. Some may go away in a bowel movement, too.
In gout, the failure of the body in controlling uric acid level is the starting point for the disease to occur. Too high uric acid in the blood can move and stay in certain parts of the body, such as in the joint. Over time, they become deposits of urate crystals that can act as needle-like crystals and cause inflammation in the joint.
In other words, its important for people with gout to restrict and avoid foods containing very high purines.
Should I Cut Out Purine
There is very little scientific proof that avoiding the purine-rich foods listed above can successfully reduce gout attacks. You may miss out on important nutrients and vitamins by completely cutting these foods from your diet.
If you notice certain foods trigger your gout attacks, you may benefit from cutting down the amounts of those foods in your diet. However not all purine-rich foods are thought to cause gout. For example, a number of vegetables are also rich in purines but appear less likely to cause gout than diets containing meat and shellfish.
Dairy foods, which can contain purines, actually appear to lower the risk of gout. For most people with gout, a healthy balanced diet is all that is needed, alongside medicines to reduce uric acid levels. Most people taking medicines to reduce uric acid levels find they can still eat purine-rich foods without attacks of gout by being careful with the quantity they eat.
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What Are The Best Foods To Eat When You Have Gout
While eating particular foods wont be enough to make gout go away, studies suggest that certain foods and drinks may help reduce uric acid in your body. For example:
- Milk. Some early research suggests that drinking skim milk may help reduce uric acid and gout flare-ups. It speeds up the excretion of uric acid in your urine and also reduces your bodys inflammatory response to uric acid crystals in your joints.
- Cherries. Scientists are currently researching the benefits of cherries and cherry juice for managing gout symptoms, and early results are promising. Cherries have known anti-inflammatory properties, and they may also help reduce uric acid in your body.
- Coffee. You may have heard that coffee is acidic, but the type of acid in coffee is very different from uric acid. In fact, drinking coffee daily can reduce your uric acid levels by several means. It slows the breakdown of purine into uric acid and speeds the rate of excretion.
- Water. People who drink five to eight glasses of water a day are less likely to experience gout symptoms. This makes sense since your kidneys use water to excrete uric acid in your urine. Water is also good for kidney health. Impaired kidney function is one factor that can contribute to gout.
However, many healthcare providers prefer to focus on general dietary guidelines rather than particular foods. They suggest that you:
Which Other Lifestyle Factors Can Affect Gout
While there are no controlled studies or evidence on the effect of lifestyle changes on the incidence of gout, expert opinion is that positive changes in lifestyle can be beneficial to the management of gout. Being overweight is not recommended for gout suffers and the available evidence indicates that losing weight may helpful. Dietary modifications to achieve a healthy body weight are recommended, however the use of crash, high-protein and low-carbohydrate diets should be avoided. Slow and steady weight loss is ideal and support from a dietitian should be sought to help develop a sustainable and balanced weight loss plan. Rapid weight loss is not recommended as it can increase the amount of uric acid in the body leading to an increased chance of a gout attack.
Regular exercise such as swimming or walking is also recommended as it may help reduce the frequency of gout attacks. In addition, it may have a beneficial effect on associated co-morbidities such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and insulin resistance.
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Who Can Benefit From A Low Purine Diet
Anyone with high uric acid levels in their blood can benefit from reducing high-purine foods. This may help to prevent gout in people with hyperuricemia who havent yet developed the disease. It may also help prevent existing gout from progressing and prevent other complications of hyperuricemia, such as kidney stones.
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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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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