Gout Diet: What’s Allowed What’s Not
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 2, 2020.
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood cause crystals to form and accumulate in and around a joint.
Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down a chemical called purine. Purine occurs naturally in your body, but it’s also found in certain foods. Uric acid is eliminated from the body in urine.
A gout diet may help decrease uric acid levels in the blood. A gout diet isn’t a cure. But it may lower the risk of recurring gout attacks and slow the progression of joint damage.
People with gout who follow a gout diet generally still need medication to manage pain and to lower levels of uric acid.
What To Drink For Gout
Drinking plenty of water every day has been proven to reduce the risk of gout attacks.
What about beverages? Again, eliminating or cutting back on fruit juices and sugary sodas will help reduce gout flare-ups. Instead, stick to the basics:
- Water: As the amount of water in your diet increases, your risk for recurring gout attacks decreases, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The amount of water you should drink on a daily basis will depend on your physical activity level as well as other medical conditions, so speak with your doctor about how much to consume each day.
- Coffee and tea: According to a study conducted by Korean researchers, uric acid levels were significantly lowered when women drank four to six cups of coffee per day and when men drank one to three cups. At the same time, avoid bingeing on caffeine. Black and green teas, meanwhile, contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols, as do white teas.
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.
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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Health Care Tips: 5 Backyard Barbecue Foods For People With Gout
Did you know that having a history of acute gout attacks doesnt mean that you cant enjoy barbecue foods with family and friends? Its true. There are great tasting, low purine meals available that would fit right into an everyday or holiday weekend menu. So to help all of our Highland, New York, friends and neighbors prepare for their upcoming Labor Day parties, we wanted to share our health care practitioners list of five gout-friendly foods:
Alcohol Because Of The Yeast
Alcohol was on the avoid or high-risk list by every major health source referenced. Abstaining from drinking could be a tough ask for many. The point here is there is plenty of scientific evidence confirming drinking alcohol directly increases uric acid levels that induces gout.
Yeast, in general, contains a high amount of purines. The most common gout triggers made with yeast are beer, liquor, wine, cider, marmite, vegemite, processed meats, cured meats, and extracts.
Brewerâs yeast is used to make drinking alcohol. It is the main ingredient that contains purines. Beer gets the bulk of its purine content from brewerâs yeast, which has about three times the purines as bakerâs yeast.
Some sources stated that wine is less of a risk than beer and liquor. However, a 2015 study published by the American Journal of Medicine stated otherwise.
Episodic alcohol consumption, regardless of type of alcoholic beverage, was associated with an increased risk of recurrent gout attacks, including potentially with moderate amounts. Individuals with gout should limit alcohol intake of all types to reduce the risk of recurrent gout attacks.
-Am J Med. Author manuscript available in PMC 2015 Apr 1.
Another point was that drinking alcohol hinders the kidneysâ ability to remove waste products such as uric acid. Drinking alcohol can also cause dehydration, which leads to unnecessary uric acid production.
Also Check: What Not To Eat During Gout Attack
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.
What To Eat For Gout
According to the Arthritis Foundation, foods that are low in purine and that improve the excretion of uric acid from the body are ideal for patients suffering from gout. Fortunately for anyone dealing with gout, foods low in purine are fairly easy to introduce in your diet.
Here are four choices that should play a main role in a gout diet:
Also Check: Colchicine 0.6 Mg Dosage For Gout
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.
The Top 10 Gout Foods To Avoid
Quincy AdamGout Lifestyle
When the body digests purine, uric acid is formed. Too much uric acid in the blood can cause attacks. Eating these gout foods can increase the level of uric acid in your bloodstream, as well as make it more difficult for your body to dispose of the excess through urination.
There is a lot of information available online that you can use to educate yourself on specific foods and purine levels. In the meantime, the top 10 gout foods to avoid include:
Recommended Reading: What Foods Can Cause Gout
Cabbage For Gout: Its Effect On Gout
Cabbage is capable of purifying the blood and get rid of the toxins, thus helping in lowering the uric acid in the blood. To be more specific, the red cabbage has a flavonoid known as the cyanidin, which is also the most abundant flavonoid in raw and sweet cherries and in sour cherries in about 75 milligrams per 100 grams.
This is what actually makes the red cabbage one of the most important part in the gout diet. Additionally, the anthocyanins, which are present in the red cabbage, actually have resilient anti-inflammatory compounds. Moreover, it is high in amino acids and is beneficial to those who suffer from various types of inflammation.
For those who suffer from gout and diabetes, cabbage is tremendously on the glycemic index and is rich in fiber content as well. The fiber in it is the soluble fiber, which is beneficial in lowering the glycemic index.
In addition, some of those who suffer from gout tell that by using the vegetable as a topical treatment for gout by wrapping its leaves around the joints may help in easing the pain. One popular method in treating gout with cabbage is to apply a frozen cabbage leaves on the joints. There is an enzyme in the cabbage that gets rid of the uric acid crystals, which are stays on the joint.
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.
Also Check: What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Gout
What Kind Of Beans Are Good For A Low Purine Diet
A low-purine diet can help limit incidences of gout for those who are prone to this condition. Many protein sources tend to be high in purines, however, making it potentially difficult for people to get the protein they need while limiting purines. Beans tend to be a better choice than meats — although they are still moderately high in purines — since they have a lower fat content.
Are Potatoes Safe In A Gout Diet
Love potatoes, but not sure if you can eat them with gout? Lets take a closer look then
First, whats the potatos purine content? And why is this important?
Well, gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by uric acid crystals deposited in the joints and surrounding tissue. These crystals are formed when too much uric acid is circulating in the bloodstream. But uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of natural compounds called purines which exist in our bodies cells and in the cells of the food we eat.
Thats why we need to know the purine content of the humble potato.
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Is Lettuce High In Purines
Besides, what vegetables are bad for gout?
Eat plenty of vegetables such as kailan, cabbage, squash, red bell pepper, beetroot, but limit the intake of vegetables with moderate purine content such as asparagus, spinach, cauliflower and mushrooms. Eat fruits high in vitamin C such as oranges, tangerines, papaya and cherries.
Subsequently, question is, is asparagus high in purine? Asparagus. Asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, and mushrooms are higher in purines than other vegetables. Veggie-rich diets actually help you clear purines from the body, according to Sandon, while the body seems to have an easier time excreting purines from vegetable sources.
Beside this, what are high purine foods?
Foods that contain high levels of purines include:
- wild game, such as veal, venison, and duck.
- red meat.
- some seafood, including tuna, sardines, anchovies, herring, mussels, codfish, scallops, trout, and haddock.
- organ meat, such as liver, kidneys, and thymus glands, which are known as sweetbreads.
What fruits are high in uric acid?
Tomatoes, which are also counted as a fruit rather than a vegetable, are good for your body and their high vitamin C content can help in reducing the uric acid levels. Carrots and cucumber are great for health if you have high uric acid content in the body.
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.
Read Also: Can You Have Gout Without Pain
Foods High In Fructose To Avoid:
There is a correlation between consuming a diet high in fructose and gout. Fructose is a simple sugar found naturally in fruit, honey and vegetables. Natural fructose is not the problem it is the high-fructose corn syrup that is added to many foods in the American diet. Read the ingredient list looking for the words high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose containing foods to avoid are:
- Soft drinks and artificially sweetened juices
- Store bought cookies, donuts, cakes, pies, pastries and breakfast cereals
- Candy bars and ice cream
- Ketchup and sweet pickle relish
- Salad dressings, BBQ sauces
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.
Read more:List of Foods That Raise Uric Acid
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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.
Salad Dressing And Gout
Before we continue you should ask yourself if you are one of the few people who overeat salad dressing.Because healthy eating patterns should only include small amounts of fats and oils. So they dont play a large part in your diet. But if you are the type of person who loads more dressing than salad on your plate, you are in trouble. Because too many fatty foods increase your bodyweight. Then your excess calories increases your gout risk.
Also, there is a hidden danger amongst fats a type of fat called trans-fats. On the food packaging label, these are often referred to as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. Whilst I cannot find any evidence to suggest a link to gout, these fats are known to be bad for general health, especially heart disease. So you should avoid them by always reading the labels. Especially for snack foods, and processed foods with long shelf life.
One further warning. Most nutritionists agree that a diet that is too rich in fat can be bad for your health. You also need to be aware of balancing fatty acids in your diet. Ive discussed this on my flax seed oil page.
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Replies To Gout And Tomatoes
- James DemelloApril 21, 2021
What about adding baking soda to the tomatoes soup to raise the PH level and make it less acidic?
Thank you for your article! I love tomatoes, my Italian heritage includes lots of tomato dishes. I really like tomato soup and wonder if in your opinion that is not a good thing to keep in ones diet. I have just been discovered to have gout. This is the first time, in my 80 years of life, for it to have shown up! Currently I am on on the Colchicine medication!
I cant believe that this link between gout and tomatoes has been known for so long and we just found out about it. My husband got hit very young at only 30 and has suffered from frequent and severe attacks for 14 years. They always get worse in the Summer. Last month I was watching a video on a health supplement and the dr. mentioned tomatoes causing gout flares. In 14 years weve never been warned about tomatoes or seen them on any list. It was the height of tomato season in our garden and my husband had been eating them on everything and limping around in pain. I told him about the tomatoes and he stopped eating all tomato products. Hes walking better than he has in avery long time!
Absolutely untrue! Tomatoes cause a severe flare in gout. My father ODd on tomatoes from his garden and the response was quick and severe. If you have gout, I highly recommend staying away completely or eating low amounts.