10 Diet Tips to Prevent Gout Attack
A simple change in the type of foods consumed can reduce the frequency and severity of gout. Nutritionist Kohila Govindaraju recommends a gout-friendly diet that that will help you avoid pain, swelling and tenderness in the joints and keep major flare ups in control.
Gout is a type of arthritis, typically caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid normally dissolves in the blood and gets excreted by the kidneys. When the body makes extra uric acid and the kidneys cannot excrete enough, then the uric acid accumulates in the blood. This build-up happens slowly for several years and accumulates in the joints, bones and soft tissues that causes pain.
Excess uric acid is produced with increased intake of purine rich foods. Purines are naturally formed in the body and found also in certain foods that we consume. Some foods have high levels of purines and some have moderate to low levels of purines. Meat, sea food and beer are high in purines. Purine breaks down to uric acid, a waste product, when digested. High consumption of fructose, a type of sugar, too will lead to increased amount of uric acid levels in the blood and increases the insulin resistance, as well!
Check out: Frequently asked questions on Gout.
The amount of uric acid in the body depends on the balance between dietary intakes, its synthesis in the body and the rate of its excretion. So, a simple change in the type of foods consumed can reduce the frequency and severity of gout. The gout diet approach is focused simultaneously on limiting the body's production of uric acid and increased elimination of uric acid.
1) Fasting will influence gout attack.
Fasting causes dehydration that raises uric acid levels in the blood. There will not be sufficient amount of water in the body to flush out the uric acid through kidneys.
2) Limit meat, poultry and seafood intake.
Animal proteins are rich in purine. Limit the high-purine foods, like organ meats, herring, anchovies, mackerel, fatty fish like - tuna, shrimp, lobster, scallops, and red meat like-pork, beef, lamb that are associated with increased production of uric acid that results in gout. Eggs are recommended, for it is low in purine. If your cholesterol level is higher, it is obvious that the eggs consumption should also be limited to 3-4 per week!
3) Over weight/obesity are highly linked to gout.
Limit the saturated fat and high sugar foods. Sugary foods are high in calories that lead to overweight and gout. Saturated fats tend to lower the body's ability to eliminate the uric acid! Choose low-fat milk and yogurt, for they are low in purine and help reduce the uric acid formation.
You can consume low purine refined-starchy foods like - rice, quinoa, barley, pasta, potatoes, enriched-white- bread, for they are low in purine. At the same time, you should keep in mind that refined foods are high in calories, too! So, it is wise to have them along with fibrous vegetables to keep you full for a longer time. Whole grains are healthier than refined. But should be consumed occasionally for they contain moderate amounts of purine!
4) Vitamin C and dairy products helps lower the uric acid levels.
Enjoy fresh whole fruits and salads and vegetable soup for snack time. Cherries are found to be good in reducing the uric acid level in blood. In addition flavonoids rich berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, pineapple, lemon and limes, help reduce the symptoms of gout. Raspberries help treating the gout pain!
5) Strawberry yogurt smoothie sounds good for a mid-morning snack!
You can enjoy 3 servings of vegetables (raw and cooked), every day. Kailan (a green leafy vegetable), lettuce, radish, carrots, tomatoes, beetroot are low in purine levels. Avoid eating, vegetables like asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, more than twice a week, for they are high in purine.
6) Enjoy two tablespoons of nuts and seeds every day.
Walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds and cashews are low in purine. Cucumber-tomato-pineapple salad dessert looks colourful and healthier for dinner.
7) Avoid consuming beverages and drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
Fructose increases the uric acid in the body. High fructose corn syrup can be found in unexpected foods like bread, yogurt, cereals and bars, sauces, and jams. Read the food label before purchasing.
8) Alcohol interferes with the elimination of the uric acid.
Beer, particularly is linked with high serum uric acid.
9) Keep hydrated, always.
Drink plenty of water. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water every day. Water helps to flush the uric acid from the body.
10) Eat a balanced diet
A controlled intake of purine rich foods helps alleviate the gout symptoms and also prevents future attacks. If overweight, a gradual weight loss with healthy eating habits and regular physical activity will help maintain the weight and prevent the gout attack. Crash diet and rapid weight loss will actually trigger the uric acid formation and increase the risk of gout!
A Patient’s Tips
My 5 Gout Diet Tips - By Anirban Sen.
A few years ago, I had woken up with intense pain on my big toe. I was diagnosed with Gout at the time and fortunately have not had an attack again! I follow a strict diet that has helps prevent any future attacks and so here are my tips for all those who have Gout:
- Avoid spinach!
- Avoid urad dal, chick peas, rajma (kidney beans), and sprouts.
- Avoid prawns and all red meat.
- Keep alcohol intake to a minimum.
- Drink lots of water! I drink 1 liter of water on waking up every morning and keep a water bottle handy through the day.
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