Want to follow the gout diet but don’t know where to start? Discover which foods are safe to eat for your gout and which should be avoided.
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that develops when the body’s uric acid levels are too high, causing crystals to grow and build in and around the joints.
When the body breaks down a chemical called purine, uric acid is formed. Purine is present naturally in the body as well as in some foods. Uric acid is excreted through the urine.
A gout diet is not a cure for arthritis but promotes lower uric acid levels in your blood. It also reduces the likelihood of recurrent gout episodes and halts further development of joint damage.
People with gout who are on the gout diet still require medication to control discomfort and pain and to reduce uric acid levels.
A gout diet is intended to help you maintain a healthy weight and correct bad eating habits by avoiding certain, but not all, purine-containing foods.
It also includes foods that can help maintain a normal uric acid level.
Eating reasonably healthy meals is a good guideline for gout diet starters.
What A Healthy Diet Looks Like
The main principles of a gout diet are similar to those of a healthy diet:
Gout is more likely to develop if you are overweight, and it is less likely if you lose weight.
Research shows that cutting calories and shedding a few pounds can lower uric acid levels and minimize the frequency of gout attacks.
Weight loss also reduces joint stress.
Consume more complex carbs by eating more fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Limit your naturally sweet fruit juice intake and avoid meals and beverages containing high-fructose corn syrup.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Saturated fats that you can find in high-fat dairy products, fatty poultry, and red meat should be avoided.
Protein sources should include lean meat and poultry, low-fat dairy, and lentils.
Foods To Avoid On The Gout Diet
Here is the gout diet food list you should avoid to eventually alleviate joint pain:
1. Organ And Glandular Meats
Avoid meats with high purine contents, such as kidney, liver, brain, and sweetbreads, which can lead to elevated uric acid levels in the blood.
2. Red Meat
Try to limit your serving sizes when it comes to red meat. This includes beef, lamb, and even pork.
Some fish and seafood have more purines than others, which is not a good thing for gout sufferers. These include:
- Shrimp, and more.
However, for persons with gout, the overall health advantages of consuming fish may exceed the dangers. So a gout diet can include moderate amounts of fish.
Beer and distilled spirits have been linked to an increased incidence of gout and recurrent gout attacks.
Moderate alcohol intake does not appear to raise the risk of gout episodes. So moderation is key.
Try to avoid any alcohol intake during gout attacks and restrict alcohol consumption, particularly beer, between attacks.
5. Sugary Foods And Beverages
Sugar-sweetened foods, such as candies, sweetened cereals, cakes, and bakery products, should be limited or avoided.
You should also limit your intake of sugary beverages such as sodas and fruit juices, even though some of them are naturally sweetened.
Honey, high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, and other added sugars should be avoided if you’re following a gout diet.
Foods That Help People With Gout
Here is the gout diet food list that might help lower the risk of gout attacks:
1. Vitamin C
Uric acid levels may be reduced by taking vitamin C, so it’s wise to add this supplement to your diet.
Just make sure to consult your doctor to see whether vitamin C supplements fit your diet and medication regimen.
According to several studies, consuming coffee in moderation may be connected with a lower risk of gout.
But if you have any other medical issues, you should avoid drinking coffee. Even better, consult your doctor about how much caffeine is OK for you.
According to recent studies, you can lower your risk of gout flares by up to 75% if you’re eating cherries. So make sure to dig in when the cherry season is here.
4. High-Purine Vegetables
Purine-rich veggies like asparagus and spinach, according to research, do not raise the risk of gout or repeated gout episodes. So it is safe to include them in your daily meals.
5. Low-Fat Dairies
All dairy is safe for gout sufferers, but scientists found that low-fat dairy helps reduce the risk of gout attacks.
One-Day Gout-Friendly Menu
Here’s a sample menu for one day on the gout diet:
- A bowl of whole-grain, unsweetened cereal with low-fat milk;
- One cup of fresh fruits;
- Unsweetened coffee.
- Two slices of roasted chicken breast on whole-grain bread with mustard;
- A green salad with mixed vegetables and nuts, plus olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing.
- A cup of fresh fruits (cherries, strawberries, watermelon, etc.)
- A plate of roasted salmon with steamed green beans and pasta (whole-grain);
- One low-fat yogurt with a cup of fresh fruits.
You should drink plenty of water or unsweetened tea during the day. Also, a couple of glasses of skim or low-fat milk is acceptable.
Sticking to this gout diet food list can help your body reduce the production of uric acid and increase its elimination.
Remember that a gout diet is unlikely to reduce uric acid levels in your blood sufficiently to treat your gout without medication. However, it may assist to reduce the number of attacks and their intensity.
A gout diet, together with calorie restriction and daily exercise, can enhance your overall health by assisting you in keeping a healthy weight.