A gout diet, just like diets for other health issues, has a set of recommended foods for the arthritic condition. Know what to and what not to eat.
In this article:
Gout Diet Foods and Lifestyle Changes
Gout Definition: a type of arthritis wherein there is an excessive amount of uric acid in the blood
What to Eat
Key point: Always eat foods that are low in purine.
Fruits like pears, avocados, apples, and pineapples have low levels of purine but you should still eat them in moderation. On the other hand, cherries are effective anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, which can help prevent gout attacks.
Green vegetables, beetroot, red bell pepper, squash, cabbage, and kailan are good for gout diets. Spinach, mushrooms, cauliflower, and asparagus have moderate levels of purine, so eat them in moderation.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Try to include at least 2 tablespoons of nuts or seeds every day. You can start with walnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, and flax seeds which are low in purine.
4. Herbs and Spices
There are herbs and spices you can add to your home-cooked meals to help regulate your uric acid levels and prevent gout symptoms:
- Turmeric reduces inflammation and protects the cartilage in the joints.
- Cinnamon helps regulate the uric acid. It can also lower your insulin levels.
- Chamomile has antioxidants that can prevent inflammation and is often used as a natural remedy for arthritic pain.
- Nutmeg reduces uric acid levels by improving the function of your kidney and liver.
A study shows that higher consumptions of coffee can reduce uric acid levels and prevent an onset. About 4-6 cups of coffee every day can greatly help with gout management.
Coffee may not be suitable for other diets. If you have been diagnosed with other medical conditions, consult with your doctor before increasing your coffee intake.
6. Whole Grains
Whole grains are complex carbs but they also have moderate amounts of purine. They are a healthy addition to your diet and a great alternative to refined carbs but you need to limit consumption. Eat no more than 2 servings of whole grain per week.
Eggs are protein-rich animal foods with low purine content. They are healthy options for when you need to watch your weight.
8. Low-Fat Dairy Products
Low-fat varieties of dairies such as milk and yogurt have low purine levels.
9. Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help manage inflammation. Fish oil is a good source of this, with salmon being a very good source of healthy oil. You can opt to take supplements, too.
10. Vitamin C Supplements
Vitamin C helps lower your uric acid levels and prevent a gout attack.
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C but can be high in fructose as well, which can raise your uric acid levels. Choose citrus fruits with lower amounts of fructose such as oranges, strawberries, pineapples, and grapefruit. You can also talk to your doctor about adding vitamin C supplements to your gout diet.
Always stay hydrated. The water you drink will help your body get rid of the uric acid in your bloodstream and prevent any gout flare-up. Drink at least 8 glasses a day to stay healthy and hydrated. If you’re having a gout attack, increase your water intake to 12-16 glasses a day.
What NOT to Eat
Key point: Foods high in purine may trigger gout attacks.
12. Red Meat
Red meat such as beef, lamb, and pork are the main causes of gout attacks. They have higher purine levels compared to white meat and seafood.
13. Organ Meats
Organ meats from any animal have very high purine levels. Meats like liver, tongue, and sweetbreads are especially strong trigger foods for gout.
Tuna and anchovies can increase the uric acid levels in your body. Coldwater fishes such as trout, salmon, and tuna contain omega-3 but have moderate amounts of purine. Include them in your diet at least once a week.
Most crustaceans are high in purine. Avoid eating squid, lobsters, crab, oysters, scallops, mussels, and shrimp.
Distilled liquors and beer can cause or worsen gout. A glass of alcohol can increase your gout risk by more than 30%.
17. Sugary Foods and Beverages
High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of a gout attack. When the body breakds down your sugar consumption, it releases purines into your bloodstream.
You should limit your intake of sweet fruit juices and eliminate high fructose corn syrup from your diet. Avoid eating candies, baked goods, and sweetened cereal.
You can also find high fructose corn syrup in a lot of sodas. Try to limit your consumption of these drinks or completely avoid them. Replace your craving for soda with water to help reduce the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream.
For more info on preventing gout with a healthy diet, watch this video from Lee Health:
A strict compliance with the prescribed gout diet, partnered with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, may help manage gout. For medical management, consult your doctor.
Which foods do you include in your gout diet? Mention them in the comments section below!