What Not To Eat
Traditionally, gout was a associated with the social upper-class, as only they could afford to “overindulge” in certain rich food groups such as meats, seafood, and alcohol. Long before modern medicine began studying the causes of the condition, doctors were witnessing many advantages of using a controlled diet on gout patients.
These days, the goal of a gout diet is to address all of the factors that relate to disease risk and management which generally means maintaining a healthy weight and consuming an adequate amount of nutrition standards that apply to the prevention of many diseases.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gout
Gout is a very painful condition and a typical gout attack usually develops over a two to three hour period and often resolves within two weeks. The NHS advises that you always see a doctor if you experience the symptoms of gout, which include sudden, severe pain in any joint or red, hot, swollen skin over any joint.
Using Tart Cherry Juice For Gout
Tart cherry juice may help decrease uric acid levels and inflammation in gout. Research is limited, with often small numbers of study participants and short-term follow-up.
Nevertheless, a 2019 review of six studies that looked at the effect of cherry juice or cherry extract intake on gout concluded that cherry intake was associated with a reduced risk of gout attacks. Researchers did note that larger, more long-term studies are needed to clarify this association.
When choosing tart cherry juice, be sure to look for unsweetened varieties to help reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.
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Lifestyle Changes For Gout
Gout is a condition that can be severely aggravated by being overweight, so maintaining a reasonable level of fitness is an important component in limiting the prevalence of gout attacks. For people who are overweight, production of uric acid often increases and the pain from gout flare-ups can become more intense. If you feel that you might be a little overweight, its important go easy on your joints, avoiding any exercises that may cause a high level of stress on areas of inflammation. Ask your doctor or physical therapist to assist you in creating some simple exercises that will help reduce your risk of gout attacks.
Why Is Gout Known As The Disease Of Kings
You may be more likely to have gout because of your genes, but that’s not how gout earned its royal nickname. Historically, gout has been associated with a lifestyle full of rich foods and plenty of alcohol — the kind of diet that only kings and the wealthy could afford. While diet can trigger a flare, we now know that gout affects people regardless of their social status.
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Foods High In Purines
The body produces purine compounds, and people also ingest them from food.
Purines can increase the risk of urate crystals forming in the joints and tissues, so avoiding them in food can help manage the condition.
Arthritis Foundation advises which foods and drinks contain high or moderate amounts of purines:
- all types of alcoholic drinks
- some fish, including sardines, anchovies, trout, herring, and haddock
- shellfish and seafood, such as mussels, scallops, crab, lobster, oysters, and shrimp
- high purine meats, such as bacon, turkey, veal, sausage, and venison
- moderate purine meats, such as beef, chicken, pork, duck, and ham
- organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads
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A Caution About Vegetables
As good as vegetables are in general, some are high in purines, including asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, peas, and mushrooms. However, high-purine vegetables dont seem to aggravate gout the same way that high-purine animal-based foods do, Sandon says, adding that, as long as its a vegetable source, you can eat it. One further precaution when balancing foods and gout: Some dried beans, particularly fava and garbanzo, are high in purines, and you may find you need to avoid them.
Ten Tips For Beating Gout
If you have gout, use these nutrition tips to lower your risk:
See your GP to check or monitor gout risk factors
Drink up to four cups of regular or decaffeinated coffee a day
Have two to three serves of reduced-fat or skim dairy foods daily
Eat cherries regularly . Add to breakfast cereal and snacks, or mix with yoghurt
Avoid fasting and feasting. Both increase purine turnover and blood uric acid
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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.
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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Orange Juice And Gout Risk
Many sugar-sweetened juices can increase your risk for gout, but naturally-sweetened juices like orange juice may also be a gout risk trigger. “In the last 10 years, there has been some evidence from some studies that high fructose in fruit juices may be associated with a higher risk of gout,” says Dr. Freeman. Fructose is a sugar that is added to soft drinks, but it occurs naturally in orange juice, so drinking too much OJ could be as risky as drinking a sugary soft drink.
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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What Not To Drink When U Have Gout
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Things To Cut Down On
Meat and seafood
High intakes of red meat and seafood are associated with a greater risk of gout because of their high purine content and impact on uric acid production.
Foods that contain yeast, such as Vegemite and Marmite, are also high in purine.
Fructose is a simple sugar found in honey, fruit, some vegetables and sweeteners. Fructose increases purine metabolism, raising blood uric acid levels.
Avoid sweeteners high in fructose such as honey, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, golden syrup and palm sugar. Check your tolerance for fruits, vegetables and other foods high in fructose.
Uric acid levels tend to be higher in people who regularly consume sugar-sweetened drinks. Those drinking one to two sugar-sweetened soft drinks a day are almost twice as likely to have gout as those who drink only one a month.
When it comes to whole fruit, results are not clear. While one study found a higher risk of gout with higher fruit intakes, another found a lower risk. The opposing results are partly confounded by the variation in fructose content of different fruits.
The effect of specific alcoholic beverages on blood uric acid levels varies. Beer is high in purine and increases uric acid more than spirits, while moderate wine intake appears neutral.
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Sodas And Sugary Drinks
Sodas and sugary drinks are considered empty-calorie foods, because they contain no beneficial nutrients while contributing a lot of calories to your diet.
For example, a 12-ounce can of cola contains about 150 calories and 40 grams, or about 9.5 teaspoons, of added sugars. In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and dental caries.
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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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.
Plenty Of Starchy Carbohydrates
These may include rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, couscous, quinoa, barley or oats, and should be included at each meal time. These foods contain only small amounts of purines, so these along with fruit and vegetables should make up the basis of your meals. Wholegrain varieties are better choices as they contain more fibre and nutrients.
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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.
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.
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Weight Management And Exercise
The Arthritis Foundation emphasizes 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 strength and flexibility
To achieve this, the person should ask a doctor about a suitable diet to help them manage their weight and an exercise plan.
Anyone who smokes should also ask a doctor to help them with a plan to quit.
The Mediterranean diet contains plants, grains, and healthy fats. It may help people manage their weight while encouraging them to eat healthily.
There’s More To Gout Than Too Much Uric Acid
Before we dive into the list of foods to avoid with gout, it’s important to get to the root of what causes too much uric acid and who is at a higher risk.
First, no one is exempt from getting gout. Some people are just more sensitive to purine-rich foods and drinks and thus churn out more uric acid. Genes can play a significant role, so if you have a relative with gout, you might be at a higher risk.
Second, putting on weight through adulthood is associated with a higher risk of gout, according to research published in 2021 in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.
In an earlier study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology, overweight people were 85 percent more likely to have higher uric acid levels than people at a healthy weight.
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Health Conditions And Treatments
Certain drugs, health problems, and lifestyle choices can trigger gout, too.
Medications. Aspirin, certain diuretics for high blood pressure , and drugs for people who had organ transplants can trigger gout. After a flare, go over all the medicines you take with your doctor. If needed, they should be able to find another option.
Being overweight. When you slim down, you can protect yourself from another flare.
Fasting or crash diets. If you lose weight too quickly or fast, you could raise your chances of an attack.
High blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease. These health conditions make you more likely to have gout, especially if you donât get treatment. Work with your doctor to keep them under control.
Injuries or surgery. When your body is stressed or sick, youâre more likely to have a flare. Of course, you canât always avoid this trigger. But if you need to have an operation, make sure your doctor knows youâve had gout in the past.