Gout, which is a type of arthritis, affects about 8.3 million people in the United States. It is an inflammatory joint condition that can be controlled via dietary and lifestyle changes. The problem is that most people do not know what lifestyle changes they should make or what foods they should consume and avoid to improve their condition. In order to naturally improve gout, we are going to review the best diet for people with gout.
What Is Gout?
Involving sudden pain, swelling, and the inflammation of joints, gout is a form of arthritis that typically affects big toes (about 50% of gout cases start here), fingers, wrists, knees, and heels. Gout symptoms take place when there is too much uric acid, which is a waste product that the body makes after digesting certain foods, in the blood. Too much uric acid can lead to uric acid crystal formation in the joints, triggering pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Most people cannot eliminate uric acid efficiently because they eat foods that lead to uric acid accumulation in the blood. If you have gout, you may have noticed that you experience pain after eating certain foods, shellfish being one of the most common food groups that causes irritation. Most of these foods are rich in purines, which the body digests and makes uric acid as a waste product. For help concentrating on which foods to eat and which foods to avoid, follow the guidelines below.
Foods You Should Avoid
If you find that you are more prone to gout attacks, you should try to avoid high-purine foods. These foods contain about 200mg or more of purines per 3.5 ounces. You should also steer clear of foods that are high in fructose because they contain about 150-200mg of purines per 3.5 ounces. High-purine foods to avoid include:
- Sugary beverages (sodas, bottled fruit juices, alcohol, or energy drinks)
- Seafood (scallops, shrimp, roe, and crab)
- Fish (anchovies, sardines, mackerel, tuna, trout, and herring)
- Added sugars (high-fructose corn syrup or honey)
- Game meats (pheasant, venison, and veal)
- Yeasts (brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast, and other yeast supplements)
- Organ meats (liver, sweetbreads, brains, and kidneys)
- Refined Carbs (white bread, cookies, and cakes)
Foods You Should Eat
While it may seem like you can’t eat anything, there are a lot of low-purine foods that are beneficial for those with gout. These foods have less than 100mg of purines per 3.5 ounces. Focus on the foods in this list to help naturally lower uric acid levels and improve your gout.
- Fruits (you can essentially eat every kind fruit)
- Vegetables (the more vegetables the better; try to limit your consumption of regular white potatoes)
- Nuts (all nuts and seeds are acceptable, especially if they are raw)
- Herbs & Spices (all herbs and spices are acceptable, but try to consume sea salt as opposed to regular table salt)
- Plant-based oils (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed oil)
- Whole grains (oats, brown rice, and barley)
- Beverages (herbal teas and limit consumption of coffee)
Employ these eating rules and you can help naturally lower uric acid levels. In addition to following the detailed guidelines, it is recommended to regularly exercise (at least 30 minutes a day), stay sufficiently hydrated, and limit or avoid alcohol consumption. All of these things assist with lowering uric acid levels. Let us know if these tips help you in your quest to improving your gout.