Gout is a very painful condition that leads to arthritic symptoms, especially in the small bones of the feet. It is caused by the build up of uric acid in the body, which can cause sharp crystals to accumulate in the joints. Deposits of uric acid called tophi can also build up under the skin, and kidney stones can form from uric acid accumulation. The big toe is the most common joint affected, and can cause pain, redness, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Too much uric acid can come from either (1) producing too much in the body to start with; (2) not metabolizing it out of the body well enough; and/or (3) eating too many foods high in purines. Attacks can come on suddenly, and can be triggered by alcohol, foods, stress or other illnesses. Dietary strategies for gout can help reduce the severity and frequency of attacks, so the following guidelines are optimal for sufferers of gout:-
Basic Dietary Strategies for Gout
- High in complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, vegetables)
- Low in protein (15% of calories and sources should be soy, lean meats, poultry)
- No more than 30% of calories from fat (10% animal fat)
- Limit alcohol consumption to 1 drink 3 times a week, especially beer.
- Drink 2 to 3 L of fluid daily. Adequate fluid intake helps dilute urinary uric acid.
- Avoid high-purine foods (see below)
- Consume a moderate amount of protein. Limit meat, fish and poultry to 4 – 6 oz per day. Try other good protein food such as low fat dairy products, tofu and eggs.
- Limit fat intake by choosing leaner meats, foods prepared with less oils and lower fat dairy products.
- Minimize refined sugars as sugar increases uric acid levels.
|Foods High in Purine.
It is best to avoid these foods
|Foods with Moderate levels of Purines. Eat occasionally|
|Alcohol esp beer||Shrimp|
Foods which may be beneficial to people with gout include:
- Dark berries may contain chemicals that lower uric acid and reduce inflammation. Examples are fresh cherries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries etc.
- Certain fatty acids found in certain fish such as salmon, flax or olive oil, or nuts may possess some anti-inflammatory benefits.
Other Recommended Foods To Eat:
Vegetables including kale, cabbage, parsley, green-leafy vegetables
Foods high in bromelain (pineapple)
Foods high in vitamin C (red cabbage, red bell peppers, tangerines, mandarins, oranges, potatoes)
Low-fat dairy products
Complex carbohydrates (breads, cereals, pasta, rice, as well as aforementioned vegetables and fruits)
Essential fatty acids (tuna and salmon, flaxseed, nuts, seeds)
Tofu, although a legume and made from soybeans, may be a better choice than meat
There are also a few supplements that can be helpful for gout – such as:-
- Vitamin C – 1 gram 4x daily.
- Quercetin – 200mg 3x daily between meals.
- Devil’s Claw – 400mg 3x daily.
- Celery Seed – 500mg 2x daily.
- Fulvic Mineral Complex – 1 oz daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tablespoon in warm water, add raw honey to taste (1-2 tspn), and drink every morning. This will help alkalinize your system.
Black Cherry Juice – 2-3 tablespoons concentrate per day.
Gout can be very debilitating and very painful, but I have seen cases where dietary modification went a long way in helping minimize attacks. Moderating stress levels, getting enough sleep and reducing alcohol consumption definitely help too.