If you didn’t know already, gout can be mitigated by a change in diet. A specially devised diet for people with gout generally aims at lowering blood uric acid levels. While this isn’t a cure, it’s been shown to decrease the risk of attacks, as well as slow joint damage regression. It bears mentioning that people following a gout diet would still need to take in medication in order to manage gout symptoms and associated pain.
The Goals Of A Gout Diet
The major objectives of a gout diet include enabling the person to do the following:
- Attain a healthy weight as well as good eating habits.
- Avoid some foods that contain purines.
- Include foods that can manage uric acid levels.
The principles underlying a gout diet aim at the typical healthy-diet goals.
- Weight loss: Too much bodyweight drives up the risk of developing gout while reducing weight drives it down. According to research, it’s possible to lower uric acid levels in the blood by bringing down calorie intake, even when purine intake is not restricted. Additionally, weight loss helps relieve the overall stress on joints.
- Complex carbs: It’s best to eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains. All of these together provide a high level of complex carbohydrates. Foods and beverages containing high-fructose corn syrup should be avoided, as should naturally sweet fruit juices.
- Water: The diet involves staying well hydrated throughout the day.
- Fats: Intake of saturated fats contained within fatty poultry, red meat, and high-fat dairy products is to be controlled.
- Proteins: This diet emphasizes the importance of poultry, lean meat, lentils, low-fat dairy, etc for protein.
Food And Supplement Recommendations
- Glandular and organ meats: Stay away from meats like kidney, liver, and sweetbreads, which generally have high concentrations of purines, which drive up the uric acid levels in the blood.
- Red meat: Restrict intake of lamb, beef, and pork.
- Seafood: Specific types of seafood like anchovies, sardines, tuna, and shellfish are high in purines, although since the benefits of seafood outweigh the gout risks, it would suffice for people on a gout diet to simply moderate their portions.
- High-purine vegetables: Spinach and asparagus, as well as other vegetables rich in purine, have been shown not to influence gout risk, so these are safe.
- Alcohol: Distilled liquors and beer have been shown to increase the risk of gout, as well as recurring attacks, while wine hasn’t.
Following a gout diet is predominantly about bringing down the uric acid levels in the blood, but this cannot be achieved to a sufficient degree to stop taking medication altogether. What it does manage to do is bring down the number of attacks, as well as limit their severity.