Which Foods Are Safe For Gout
Find out which foods to eat and which to avoid if you have gout.
Question: I havegout. Can you tell me which fruits, vegetables, meats or seafoods I should eat or avoid? Is there any type of alcohol wine, beer, spirits that is better or worse for me than others?
Answer: Dietary management of gout is very restrictive and doesnt always work to control gout, so a combination of medication and diet may be the best way to treat your gout. In addition to medications that treat the inflammation and other symptoms that occur during a gout attack, medications exist that can treat the underlying metabolic condition of hyperuricemia too much uric acid in the blood.Hyperuricemia can occur either when the body produces too much uric acid or when the body does not excrete enough uric acid. Drugs exist to treat both causes.
Purine compounds, whether produced in the body or from eating high-purine foods, can raise uric acid levels. Excess uric acid can produce uric acid crystals, which then build up in soft tissues and joints, causing the painful symptoms of gout. Dietary management focuses on reducing the amount of uric acid in the system and attaining and maintaining a healthy bodyweight.
The primary dietary modification traditionally recommended is a low-purine diet. Avoiding purines completely is impossible, but strive to limit them. You can learn by trial and error what your personal limit is and which foods cause you problems.
High-Purine Foods Include:
What Food To Eat
Now that you know what foods to avoid, how do you know what foods are safe to eat? Your gout diet should include plenty of the foods on this list as they produce no or very little uric acid when digested.
- Fruits and vegetables: all fruits and vegetables are fine and cherries could even help prevent attacks of gout as it lowers uric acid levels
- Whole grains: oats, barley, brown rice, others
- Dairy: low-fat dairy products provide many benefits as part of a gout diet
- Legumes: beans and lentils are great proteins as are soybeans and tofu
- Nuts: nuts and seeds like almonds and sunflower seeds
- Drinks: coffee and tea
- Oils: when cooking, stick to plant-based oils like olive oil or canola oil
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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The Dash Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension Diet
The DASH diet is designed for lowering high blood pressure and can also help with maintaining overall health. On top of managing blood pressure, weight and the risk of some diseases, the DASH diet is also great for those with gout.
The DASH diet prioritises whole grains, vegetables and fruit as the main part of a healthy diet, with importance also placed on low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, and plant-based proteins like nuts, seeds, and legumes in smaller portions. Those on a DASH diet are recommended to stick to small amounts of plant oils and minimise animal-based fats.
Following a healthy diet is just about the best thing you can do for your health, but it is also true that highly restrictive diets can be hard to stick to. Unhealthy foods like sweets, puddings, alcohol and sugary drinks are discouraged, but having small amounts of them purely for pleasure rather than health is usually okay.
Some people with gout find it helpful to keep a food diary to work out if there are particular triggers for flare-ups and help manage their condition naturally.
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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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
Gout Foods Avoid List: Stimulant
People with gout also receive advice to limit alcohol, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, strong coffee, tea, and cigarettes. Because they not only make osteoarthritis more serious but also lead to many other diseases. This group of foods also has the ability to stimulate more severe osteoarthritis pain, thereby negatively affecting the patients condition.
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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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High Purine Vegetables Are Ok
Some vegetables and plant foods, such as peas, beans, lentils, spinach, mushrooms, oats, and cauliflower, are high in purines. However, several studies have shown that they do not increase the risk of gout.
In fact, the opposite seems to be true, with a vegetable-rich diet being associated with a lower risk of gout compared with the lower consumption of vegetables. Therefore, you do not need to limit or avoid any vegetables on a gout-friendly diet.
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Food Items You Can Easily Consume
Bad Foods For Gout Seafood
If people are seafood lovers, they will be disappointed at information revealing that fishes need to be cut off in a gout treatment process. Herring, sardines, tuna, anchovies, and many oily fishes need to be cut off because these fishes can exacerbate all symptoms in a gout treatment process. However, during this long period, when the gout problem is under control, people can freely enjoy salmon, lobster, scallops, crab, eel and shrimp. Though, they need to ensure that they never eat more than four to six ounces per day of any type of simple sea foods they want to eat.
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What Can I Do On My Own To Prevent Gout Attacks
Gout is caused by high uric acid levels. If theres too much uric acid in our bodies, it can build up in joints and cause an acute gout attack. Some people manage to keep their levels of uric acid down by eating less meat, fish and seafood and drinking less alcohol.
Uric acid is released when substances called purines are broken down. Purines are mainly produced inside the body, but they are also found in many different types of foods that we eat. Fish, meat and seafood are especially rich in purines. People with gout are sometimes advised to stick to a strict low-purine diet. But its not clear exactly how effective that kind of diet is.
You Can’t Avoid All Purines
There are too many sources of purines to eliminate them all from your diet. You will stay healthier overall if you eat some foods with purines. Remember that vegetable purines have never been shown to promote gout attacks, and that low-fat dairy products are protein sources that lower your risk of gout pain. People with gout can still enjoy meat in moderation, but should limit meat, fish, and poultry to 4 to 6 ounces a day.
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Path To Improved Health
Your family doctor may recommend that you follow a low-purine diet. This applies if you have gout or kidney stones. It also can help people who have hyperuricemia. This is a condition caused by high levels of uric acid. You also can choose to keep a low-purine diet as part of living healthy.
To get started, increase your liquid intake. Each day, drink 8 to 16 eight-ounce cups of liquid. At least half of the liquid you drink should be water. Water and other liquids help your body get rid of uric acid.
Next, learn what foods and drinks contain purine. You should avoid eating high-purine foods. Try to limit the amount of moderate-purine foods you eat. See the chart below for some suggestions.
|Avoid high-purine foods|
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Gout Diet: 7 Foods To Eat 7 Foods To Avoid
Why do certain foods cause painful gout symptoms? Our bodies produce uric acid as it digests some types of foods and excess uric acid can accumulate in our joints as crystals. Healthy individuals can usually filter out much of the extra uric acid however, for those who have underlying health conditions or elderly adults whose body processes have slowed down, uric acid builds up.
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Red Meat And Organ Meat
Red meat and organ meats are high in purines. Eating these foods increases the uric acid levels in the blood and the risk of gout and gout attacks.
Keep your red meat and organ meats intake low. Chicken has moderate amounts of purines, and therefore should be eaten in moderation.
Protein is important for the body, and though you may need to limit protein from some animal sources, you can still get protein from other sources. Low-fat dairy seems to decrease the risk of gout and is a good source of protein in the diet. Other protein foods you can eat include eggs, nuts and nut butters, beans, and tofu.
Meats to avoid:
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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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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.
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What Role Do Purines Play
An estimated 70% of uric acid in the blood is made inside the body. This means that even by following a strict low-purine diet, it will only be possible to lower uric acid levels by 30% at the most. But not all foods are the same: Our bodies absorb purines differently from different foods, so it might not make sense to avoid all foods that contain purines especially if you already eat a balanced diet. There are no high-quality studies on the effectiveness of strict low-purine diets. Besides, they can be quite difficult to stick to.
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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.
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.
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What Foods Are Allowed
If you have gout, it’s essential that you drink a lot of water, about 2 to 3 liters a day, so that the uric acid accumulated in the blood can be eliminated through urine producion. In addition, it’s important to include diuretic foods in your daily diet, such as:
- Watercress, beetroot, celery, peppers, pumpkin, onion, cucumber, parsley, garlic
- Apple, orange, watermelon, passion fruit, strawberry, melon
- Skimmed milk and milk products.
In addition, you can also add some anti-inflammatory foods such as olive oil, which can be used in salads, citrus fruits, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and chia seeds, that can be added to fruit juices or yogurts. These types of food can help decrease pain and joint inflammation.
Gout Foods Table For Vegetables
The gout foods table for vegetables covers key foods in the Vegetables and Vegetable Products group from the USDA food database.
My gout foods tables are based on a serving size that provides 100 calories of energy. This is different from most earlier food tables on GoutPal. I explain why in my , where you can learn all about these tables. If you are new to my gout foods tables, it is very important that you read that introduction, and understand what these tables are about.
Generally speaking, vegetables should form about one-third of your daily diet. For most people, that is enough vegetables are good for you, so make sure fruit and vegetables are half of everything you eat. The easiest way to plan what you eat is to follow that simple rule, along with other good general nutrition advice. If you want to plan your diet in more detail, then you can use the gout foods table below to choose the best vegetables to help you meet your nutritional goals.
My overall approach to gout diet is to first make sure you are eating a healthy balanced diet. Then you might want to tweak that diet to help support your gout treatment plan. That is why I produced these gout foods tables. You can use them to check if your diet is healthy. If you want to go further, you can set yourself precise nutritional goals, and use the tables to find foods that best meet those goals.
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If You Have Gout A Painful Type Of Arthritis You May Be Trying To Limit Purines In Your Diet Heres What You Need To Know To Get Started
Has your doctor suggested that you or someone you love go on a low-purine diet to help with the painful symptoms of gout? If so, its important to understand what a low-purine diet is, and how it may help manage gout as part of your overall gout treatment plan.
Gout is a type of arthritis that develops when high levels of a chemical called uric acid in the blood cause uric acid crystals to build up in a joint. This can lead to inflammation and pain, often in the big toe, as well as other joints. Gout attacks, or flares, are often extremely and suddenly painful and debilitating.
In most people, the body produces a manageable amount of uric acid, and the kidneys eliminate any excess through the urine. In a person with gout, however, the body doesnt have good control over the amount of uric acid in the blood. The goal of gout treatment is to lower the level of uric acid back to normal so it wont cause problems, says Calvin R. Brown, Jr., MD, professor of medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in Chicago. Depending on your specific needs, a combination of medication to manage gout and lifestyle changes, including a low-purine diet, can help you reach that target.
Its very important to get uric acid levels to a healthy level and keep them there. Without proper treatment, gout flares can become more frequent, affect more joints, and lead to bone and joint damage as well as these other significant gout complications.