Gout is a common type of arthritis which causes health problems such as severe pain, inflammation, redness, and tenderness. While men are mostly affected by gout, it is also seen that women above the age of 60 are also affected by this condition. The flares associated with gout can begin suddenly, usually at night and can last to around ten days. The symptoms of gout will be very painful during first 24 hours after it occurs.
People suffering from gout often have high uric acid levels in the blood; managing these levels can help relieve the symptoms. The intake of some food helps in lowering the levels of uric acid in the blood. Changes in diet are often helpful in managing the symptoms and in preventing the flares.
There is a link between gout and diet; here are a few beneficial tips on the type of foods to take and avoid for managing and preventing the symptoms of gout.
Foods to Avoid
There are many shreds of evidence showing the trigger of gout after the consumption of certain types of food. Listed below are a few among those.
In a study conducted in 2004, researchers have found that certain types of purines that are found in plant and animal foods has the potent to worsen the symptoms of gout as the human body suddenly converts those into uric acid. This popular study also indicated that the consumption of animal-based foods that have high levels of purine in them has a higher risk of developing gout in people.
However, the consumption of plant-based foods having purine content does not have the same effects on the body. Researchers also pointed out that the consumption of dairy products is helpful in the prevention of gout.
There are many types of food that has high levels of purine, the intake of which should be limited or totally avoided – organ and red meat including kidneys and liver which contains high saturate fat, some varieties of seafood like sardines, tuna, lobster, shrimp, haddock, etc., sugary foods and drinks that have high levels of fructose, alcohol especially hard liquor, refined carbohydrates and processed food.
Fasting helps in relieving the symptoms of gout in some people. However, it can also trigger the symptoms of gout if a person becomes dehydrated on fasting. People suffering from gout are always recommended to take special precautions while fasting and they are often asked to make sure that they drink enough fluids.
A study that was conducted in the year 2014 compared people who fasted and who didn’t fast during a period, which restricted the intake of food and fluid during the daytime. According to the study, it was not able to find that people who fasted experienced high uric acid levels in the blood and more symptoms of gout than the people who didn’t fast.
Foods to Eat
Gout is regarded as a long- term chronic condition. Developing a set of healthy habits is often seen as a helpful thing that helps people in managing the symptoms. A person with gout who is following a healthy diet should include all the food groups that help to reduce the level of uric acid in them. These foods include – low-fat dairy products like cottage cheese and yogurt, pulses like peas, beans and lentils, whole grains, plant oils like avocado and olive oil, fruits like citrus and berries, lean meat, eggs, nuts, oatmeal and all vegetables.
A plant-based diet is seen to be more beneficial than high-fat diets that focus on meat for stabilizing the uric acid levels. It is also seen as a helpful way to boost the heart health of a person with gout as they consume a high amount of fruit, fiber, and monosaturated fats. This is pointed out as an important concern as people suffering from gout also have the risk of developing heart problems, according to studies. A systematic review published in the year 2016 found shreds of evidence to support the beneficial effects of coffee also in reducing gout flare-up.
Many doctors often recommend vitamin C supplements (500 to 1000 mg per day) to gout patients. These supplements are available for purchase in the market. However, you should consult a doctor and get proper advice before taking these supplements.
People with gout are recommended to seek the advice of a doctor before planning changes in their diet. However, below is a list of foods that can be added to the menu of a healthy diet plan for a person with gout.
Foods such as loaded oatmeal, coffee and a glass of water can be a good option of breakfast. Loaded oatmeal is prepared using low-fat milk, almonds, and walnuts, cherries, and berries.
Salads that are loaded with green leafy vegetables, boiled eggs, flaxseed, avocado with a dressing of vinegar and olive oil is a good choice. You can also include a cup of black bean soup and a glass of water in this lunch.
Skinless chicken breast or a cup of brown rice along with one or two cups of broccoli is a healthy option for dinner. Make sure to include a glass of water too.