Gout is a form of arthritis, which occurs when high amounts of uric-acid present in the blood form crystals and accumulates around the joints resulting in swelling and pain. Uric acid is formed during the breakdown of purine, a natural chemical compound. Besides occurring naturally in the body, purines are also absorbed from certain type of foods. You can lower the level of uric acid by making slight changes in your diet.
This can reduce the chances of gout attacks in the future. The gout diet mainly concentrates on controlling the production of uric acid as well as its elimination from the body. Although, gout diet is not a treatment for the ailment, it will definitely control the attacks. Besides, the diet will help you to maintain your weight and contributes towards the overall management of gout.
Diet for Gout Control
Limit Fish, Poultry and Meat
Proteins obtained from animal source are usually high in purine. Therefore, you need to strictly avoid foods such as mackerel, anchovies, herring and organ meats.
Seafood (scallops, lobster, shrimp and tuna), fatty fish, red meat (lamb, pork and beef) are all linked with the risk of gout attacks. Limit your intake of such foods to 4 – 6 ounces per day.
Vegetables and Fruits
Include fruits that contain vitamin C like cherries, papaya, tangerines and oranges. Also avocados, pineapples, pears and apples have low-purine and can be consumed in moderation. Eat vegetables such as beet-root, red bell pepper, squash, cabbage and kalian, but reduce the intake of mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower and asparagus, as they have moderate purine content.
Limit or Completely Avoid Alcohol
You need to reduce the intake of alcohol, especially beer, as it is directly related to gout attacks. Alcohol obstructs the process of uric acid elimination from the body. Therefore, if you are having a gout attack, it is better to avoid alcohol.
Nevertheless, you can drink about one or two, five ounce servings of wine a day, if you are not having gout attack. This will not affect you in any way.
Avoid or Limit Sweetened Foods (with high-fructose corn-syrup)
Uric acid in the body is increased due to fructose. It stimulates the production of uric-acid. Therefore, you need to avoid sweetened beverages that have high-fructose-corn-syrup like juice drinks or soft drinks. However, you can consume 100% pure fruit juice.
Reduce Intake of Fat
Saturated fat reduces the ability of the body to get rid of uric acid. Therefore, you need to choose plant-based proteins like legumes, beans, fat-free or low fat dairy products, which will help in cutting down the saturated fat in the diet.
Meals that have high fat content contribute to obesity and this is associated with gout. Therefore, losing weight is quite important. However, make sure that the weight loss is not rapid, as it can contribute to gout attack. Uric acid is produced in large amounts, when you follow high protein diets to lose weight. Therefore, it is safe to avoid such diets.
Nuts, Seeds and Dairy Products
Your diet must include nuts and seeds (about two tablespoons) every day. Cashew nuts, flax seeds, almonds, walnuts are some of the low-purine sources of nuts and seeds. Low-fat yogurt and milk are excellent for gout sufferers, as they have a low purine content.
Photo Credit: http://www.orthopaedics.com.sg/conditions/ankle-pain/gout