Diet for Gout

A gout is a form of arthritis in which the joints are inflamed due to the deposition of uric acid in the joints as well as the surrounding tissues and tendons. The uric acid levels may increase in the body due to its excess production, excess consumption, or less excretion. In recent years we see an increase in the number of gout cases. 

The Close Link Between Gout & Your Diet

Did you know poor dietary habits account for a significant percentage of gout cases Dietary reasons which cause gout include excess consumption of meat, seafood, alcoholic beverages, and fructose drinks? 

You must be wondering what causes gout if we heavily consume the foods mentioned above and beverages in our diets? Well, as aforementioned, gout occurs when there is a dense deposition of uric acid on the area near our joints. This excess uric acid is produced in our body because of the chemicals called purines. Purines are inherently found in all body’s cells and in most of the foods that we consume in our daily lives. They’re necessary chemicals and are a part of the chemical structure of our genes. Purine content in our body increases when we consume foods very high in purine like organ meat. Also, purines metabolize or break down into uric acid. If their content is high, more uric acid is produced, leading to gout.

Change Your Diet and Control Gout

As we’ve seen, a diet high in purine causes gout. So, it means that control on a diet can go a long way in the prevention and maintenance of gout. 

Let us take a look at the foods that can be consumed and foods that should be avoided when you are suffering from gout.

Foods You Can Eat in Plenty.

The diet for gout is aimed at reducing the intake of purines. The food items that are low in purines (0-50mg/ 100g) are eggs, nuts, peanut butter, low-fat and fat-free cheeses, ice cream, bread and cerealspasta, macaroni, rice, soda, coffee and tea, gelatin, skim milk, soups made without meat extract or broth, fruits, cake and cookies, fats and oils in small amounts. These items can be consumed without raising any health-alarms.

Apart from these, you can also eat pineapple, carrots, potato (cooked with skin), lettuce, onion, radishes, apple, pear, rhubarb, tomato, cottage cheese, yogurt, cucumber, brie and Edam cheese, and cherries.

Foods You Can Eat in Moderation.

Some food items have moderate amounts of purines (50-150mg/ 100g). They can be consumed to an extent, but consult a dietician for your specific case. These include small portions of meat, poultry, and fishes like beef, lamb, pork, veal, eel, crab, shrimps, rabbit, venison, pheasant, chicken, turkey, trout, and whitebait. Dried beans, legumes, soy, peas, lentils, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower, green peas, oats, and bran, whole-grain bread, and cereals can also be consumed within limits.

Foods You Must Avoid

The foods mentioned below have very high purine content (150-1,000mg/ 100g). Hence, these should be abstained from at all costs. These include anchovies, roe (fish eggs), fish such as herring and mackerel, sardines, scallops and mussels, game meats like goose, duck, and partridge, organ meats like brains, heart, kidney, liver, sweetbreads, meat extracts like oxo, broth, bouillon and consommé, gravy, baker’s and brewer’s yeast supplements and yeast extract like marmite.

You can’t Afford to Forget these Tips:

Alcohol, especially beer and spirits, should not be consumed because they not only accelerate the uric acid build-up but also prevent its removal through the kidney. 

Drink plenty of water and liquids (3-4 liters) as it helps to flush out excess purines from the system.

Decrease the amount of proteins, meat, poultry, and fish in your diet (4-6 ounces per day). Try to include tofu and other low-fat milk products. 

Limit the intake of fats in all forms. Do not eat deep-fried foods and high-calorie desserts.

Maintain your weight. The extra weight puts pressure on the body’s weight-bearing joints, like hips, knees, ankles, and feet. If you are overweight, a balanced diet and regular exercise for a gradual decrease in weight is the best option. Please do not go on crash diets or low-carb diets as they trigger uric acid production and gout-pain. Please consult your physician before making any changes to your diet.

If you follow the dietary regulations religiously, you will notice a marked decrease in the severity of pain and sudden flare-ups. A balanced diet helps to maintain the purine levels in the blood and decrease it. Also, since it is a healthy diet with no severe restrictions, there are no side effects.