Gout is a form of arthritis characterized by extreme pain due to the formation and accumulation of crystals in and around the joints. These crystals are a result of high levels of uric acid in the blood. The body breaks down a chemical – purine – of which uric acid is a result. Purine is naturally found in the body but it is also found in some foods.
Although gout diet isn’t a definitive cure, it certainly helps decrease the uric acid levels in the blood, which may lower the risk of gout attacks and related joint damage. A combination of gout medication and gout diet is essential to manage pain and reduce the uric acid levels in your body.
Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight are unavoidable for gout treatment. Losing weight lowers the risk of further gout attacks in addition to reducing the odds of developing heart problems. You might need to try a few workout routines before you find out the one that suits your lifestyle. Arthritis patients can indulge in several types of workouts like Yoga, water aerobics, weight training, etc. You can go for Zumba classes as well and ask the trainer to devise suitable moves for you. Try all the workout routines any number of times with FITPASS. Workout at 3,500+ gyms and fitness centers across India to work out as you please.
Certain foods raise uric acid levels and therefore, might trigger an attack. These trigger foods contain high amounts of purines, the waste of which is uric acid. The bodies of healthy people can effectively remove excess uric acid from the body, whereas the bodies of gout patients obviously cannot. This is why gout patients should avoid a high-purine diet.
Research suggests that avoiding purine-rich foods and taking the prescribed medicine can prevent gout attacks. Red and organ meats, seafood, alcohol, and beer are foods that contain moderate to high amounts of purines. Certain vegetables are high in purines but research has shown that they do not trigger gout attacks. Fructose and beverages sweetened with sugar increase the risk of attacks even though they do not contain high amounts of purines; they activate many cellular processes that may lead to the rise in uric acid levels.
Vitamin C supplements, low-fat dairy products, and soy products might prevent gout attacks according to research. Moreover, high-fat dairy products haven’t been found to affect the level of uric acid in the body.
Foods to Avoid for Gout Management
Avoid foods that contain more than 200 mg of purines per 100 grams in addition to high-fructose foods; they can trigger a gout attack.
- Organ Meats – liver, kidneys, brain, and sweetbreads
- Other Meats – pheasant, venison, veal, pork, lamb, and beef
- Beverages – fruit juices and sweetened sodas
- Sweeteners – honey, corn syrup, and agave nectar
- Seafood – mackerel, anchovies, haddock, herring, sardines, trout, tuna, roe, scallops, crab, and shrimp. Some fish like anchovies, sardines, and tuna among others contain higher amounts of purines than others. Although seafood has many benefits, people suffering from gout must avoid it. A moderate quantity of seafood is however alright
- Yeasts – nutritional and brewer’s yeast and yeast supplements
- Refined carbs – white bread, cookies, cakes, etc. These refined carbs must be avoided due to their low nutritional value even though their fructose and purine content is low
- Alcohol – distilled liquors and beer are known to increase the risk of gout attacks. Drinking wine in moderate quantities does not appear to increase the risk. Do not drink alcohol during a gout attack and limit your intake. Avoid beer altogether
Foods to Eat for Gout Management
You might be feeling that your diet has been restricted too much due to gout. While that’s partially true, there are plenty of options to choose from. Low-purine foods are those that have less than 100 mg of purines in 100 grams.
Consuming complex carbs, which you can get from fruits, whole grains, and veggies, is good for your health. Drink enough water to stay hydrated. When it comes to protein, consume lean meat and poultry, lentils, and low-fat dairy.
- Fruits – all fruits are considered to be good for gout management. Complex carbs found in fruits are good for your gout. There are studies that suggest that eating cherries might reduce inflammation and lower uric acid levels
- Vegetables – consuming most vegetables is advisable including peas, mushrooms, eggplant, potatoes, and dark leafy greens
- Legumes – legumes contain protein and are good for gout management. Lentils, soybeans, tofu, and beans are also good
- Nuts – all nuts and seeds are advisable
- Whole grains – oats, barley, and brown rice
- Dairy products – low-fat dairy is considered to be beneficial although all dairy products are safe
- Beverages – according to research, moderate consumption of caffeinated coffee on a regular basis might lower the risk of gout. You should, however, consult your doctor before you include it in your gout diet. Drinking green tea is also recommended
- Oils – plant-based oils like canola, flax oils, olive, and coconut oils
Additionally, all herbs and spices are good for a gout diet. Ask your doctor if you can take Vitamin-C supplements.
Wondering how to deal with gout? Diet and exercise are essential to managing the pain associated with it. Find out about the foods you should avoid and foods you should consume if you have gout.