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Foods to Avoid with Gout

Gout is a type of painful arthritis that can affect one or more joints, but typically occurs in the feet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Trusted Source

, over 8 million people in the United States have gout, making it one of the most common forms of inflammatory arthritis. It’s traditionally treated with anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers.

Attacks are caused when uric acid crystallizes and builds up in the joints. Uric acid, which serves as an antioxidant and protects the lining of our blood vessels, is created during the breakdown of an organic substance found in foods called purines.

While genetics play a role in whether or not you develop gout, lifestyle changes can help prevent pain. Being mindful of what you eat and avoiding foods high in purines can help ward off symptoms.

Foods High in Uric Acid

Foods that contain 150 to 825 milligrams of purine compounds in every 100 grams are considered to be high-purine items and should be avoided by individuals on a gout diet.


High uric acid levels can result in a painful condition known as gout. Avoiding foods high in uric acid can help prevent the occurrence of this painful condition.

While purine is important to the body, recycling process of cells causes the breaking down of purines. This produces a chemical by product known as uric acid. While it is normal for the body to produce uric acids in acceptable levels, high levels will cause a build up that is detrimental to health. Uric acid, normally, dissolves in the blood and travels to the kidneys to be flushed out through urine. However, when the body produces excessive amounts of uric acid or does not flush out the uric acid properly, it can result in a condition known as hyperuricemia. This can cause various health problems, including the development of a painful joint disease known as gout. A build up of uric acid is often attributed to a diet high in purines, so you'd better control the intake of high uric acid foods listed below. 

 

List of Foods High in Uric Acid

Various factors contribute to the excessive development of uric acid in the blood. These can range from obesity to kidney problems to diuretic or immunosuppressant use. However, various foods too can contribute to the excessive formation of uric acid in the blood. If you suffer from gout, knowing the foods that contain high levels of purines can help you prevent a gout attack better.

  • Meat - Out of all foods that are high in purines, meat is ranked the highest. Organ meats, such as liver, heart, kidney and brain, sweetbreads, tongue, and tripe contain the most amount of purines. If you suffer from gout, you should completely avoid the consumption of organ meats and red meats, such as beef and pork. Bacon contains high levels of purine, and, therefore, should be strictly avoided.            

All other meats should be limited to 4 ounces per day.

Poultry, such as chicken and turkey can be consumed only in moderation. Duck, goose, rabbit, lamb, veal, venison These meats should be eaten in moderation.

  • Seafood - Seafood should be avoided as this too contains high purine levels.  Shellfish such as crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops, mussels and some fish  such as sardines, herring, anchovies, haddock, roe (fish eggs) and mackerel 

Other fish moderately high in purines include: tuna, carp, codfish, perch, trout, snapper, halibut and salmon.
  • Vegetables - Although certain vegetables are high in purines, making them on the list of high uric acid foods, they are not as high as that in organ meats and seafood. However, avoiding them or using them in moderation can be beneficial in keeping gout attacks at bay. Some vegetables with high purines are mushrooms, black gram, beans, peas, lentils, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, aubergine, asparagus and spinach.

  • Yeast - Any food item that contains yeast should be avoided as this too contains high purine levels. Various alcoholic beverages especially beer and breads contain excessively high amounts of purines. Gout patients should avoid these completely to prevent attacks of gout.

  • Fruits - There are also a number of fruits high in purines. These include dried fruits such as dates and figs, and fresh fruits such as bananas, avocado, apples, kiwi fruit, gooseberry, pineapple, Apricot, Rhubarb, Lemons, Cranberries, Apples (unripe) Persimmons etc..

  • Whole grains - Whole grains such as wheat germ, bran, and oatmeal all contain moderate amounts of purines, but for those with gout, the benefits of eating whole grain foods far outweigh the risks. Whole grains can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

A 2016 study Trusted Source found that reducing the glycemic index lowered uric acid levels in participants. Limiting foods with a high glycemic index such as white bread, pasta, and white rice may help to reduce uric acid levels and possibly prevent gout onset or flares.

From the resources authors concluded that future studies should be performed to further this understanding. Keep in mind that overindulging in whole grains can possibly be risky for gout sufferers, so watch portion sizes.

 

  • Sugars - Sugars are low in purines, but a diet high in refined sugars is linked to other conditions that may worsen gout symptoms, such as obesity and diabetes. Avoid soda and other products sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, because it can increase uric acid.

 

If you need to get your sweet on, choose fresh fruits. While some have high amounts of natural sugar, they also contain other vital nutrients that your body needs.

  • Alcohol - Beer contains purines, and brewer’s yeast is particularly high in purine content. Studies Trusted Source have shown that drinking beer during a gout attack can significantly increase the intensity of symptoms. While other alcoholic beverages may not contain very many purines, they can increase purine production in the body. This, in turn, leads to higher uric acid levels. Excessive alcohol use (more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women) can increase your risk of a gout attack.

A note on vegetables Some vegetables are rich in purines such as asparagus, cauliflower, and spinach. However, studies have not shown high-purine vegetables to be associated with high uric acid levels or to increase gout attacks. In fact, vegetables, including those with high amounts of purines, may even decrease Trusted Source the risk of gout.

How to Lower Uric Acid Levels

There are two methods that can be used to lower uric acid levels in the body, through the avoidance of foods that contain purines and medication.

Increasing carbohydrate foods and fruits that contain high water content is beneficial in preventing gout. Just like there are uric acid foods, there are also some foods that can help lower uric acid level, like berry, apple, celery seed, green tea, olive oil, etc. Try to decrease your soda consumption and alcohol. And maintain a healthy body weight to prevent an increase in uric acid levels.

While your diet can make a significant impact in maintaining proper levels of uric acid, a doctor may also prescribe you with medications. With proper diet management and medications, you will be in better control of your gout attacks.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is not meant to substitute the advice of the doctor. Always consult with your doctor before adopting any course of action related to your condition be it changes to your lifestyle, a new diet or autoimmune protocol. The owner of this site may receive a commission or other advantages when you decide to purchase the products recommended.

   

 

   

 

 

    

 


 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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