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Gout and What Foods to Avoid
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Gout is a type of arthritis which is particularly painful, caused by raised amounts of uric acid in the blood. Eventually the uric acid causes crystals to build up around body joints, which is what makes it such a painful disease.
There are, fortunately, several different medications, that after being prescribed, can help ease the symptoms and prevent any more crystals forming. The medications, however, are usually prescribed along with dietary restrictions. For if there is no change in diet, the medications may not be enough to effectively treat the disease. So people suffering from gout need to be careful of what they eat. Below I will be discussing gout and what foods to avoid and those you can have in your diet.
Because uric acid is produced as the body breaks down purines, it’s important to stay away from foods which contain high levels of this compound. Some of the foods included are meat, alcohol and seafood. Avoiding foods that are high in purines is a really good way to help in the treatment of the condition, as it keeps uric acid at a normal, therefore safe level. Below are foods that should be avoided due to their high purine content.
Seafood – Almost all types of seafood carry raised levels of purine, so whenever possible, it’s best to avoid these foods. Most doctors suggest that you limit your intake of seafood to about four to six ounces per day. That being said, if your gout flares up it’s best to avoid seafood until the symptoms pass.
There are some good choices if you do want some seafood. They are:- small portions of salmon, shrimp, scallops, lobster, eel and crab. However, it’s wise to avoid tuna, anchovies and herring entirely as they contain a lot of purine; even small serves of these types of seafood can result in gout attacks.
Meat – Finding the right meats to eat can be tricky when you’re on a limited gout diet. Generally speaking, white meat is a better option than red meat. There are, however, some exceptions. Pork and beef are slightly less harmful than lamb, turkey or goose, for instance, while duck and chicken tend to be the best choices when it comes to meat. Be sure, however, to restrict your intake of meat to no more than six ounces per day, and limit even further if you are having problems with your gout flaring up.
Alcohol – Especially bad for people with gout is beer as it significantly raises uric acid levels. Just like with seafood, only very small portions can be tolerated. It’s wise to keep track of whether drinking worsens the symptoms of the disease. Generally speaking, a small serve of wine is better than a whole bottle of beer. However, avoid all alcohol if a flare-up occurs, and avoid until it passes.
Sugary drinks – Any sugary drink with high fructose corn syrup, such as fruit drinks and sodas, can potentially worsen gout. That’s because these sweeteners cause the body to increase uric acid production. So, It’s safer to stick with water and unsweetened drinks.
Certain veggies – Not all vegetables are harmful for someone who has gout, but it’s best to eat a few sparingly. Those veggies are cauliflower, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms, all of which have high levels of purine. Though not as harmful as meats or seafood, it’s still important to watch your intake of these particular vegetables.
There are some good foods that have lower levels of purine that are really good for people with gout. In addition, some practices help get rid of any extra purines from the body. Some of these foods, It’s important to be aware of, are just healthy foods that are also prevent obesity – which is a common cause of gout. So here are foods which are optimal choices for gout sufferers:
Vegetables – It’s interesting to know that it’s starchy veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut squash that are the best vegetable choices for people with gout. Boiling, grilling, baking and mashing are all healthy ways to prepare these delicious veggies as an addition to any meal.
Low-Fat Dairy – Prevent symptoms from recurring, or lower your risk of gout, by choosing fat-free or low-fat dairy products which are two great alternatives.
Fruits – Fruits are high in antioxidants, that may help lower the appearance of gout related symptoms. Even though citrus fruits like apples and berries all have a significant level of antioxidants, the best options seems to be cherries.
If you suffer from gout, make sure you speak to your doctor regarding the best choices for you, nutritionally. Though this is a general guideline for a gout diet, itt would be of benefit to you to personalize the approach for your own symptoms and experiences.
This is not meant to take the place of medical advice. Any change in diet should be discussed with your doctor.
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