Gout is a condition that results from certainly high uric acid levels in the body. Uric acid in the form of crystals is stored in the body, mostly in and around joint areas. This is also a form of arthritis that affects joint mobility, tenderness, redness, swelling, and sharp pain.
Normally purine coming out from different food sources is what causes the uric acid level to increase beyond normal limits. Therefore, managing diet can help out in dealing with gout. Likewise, avoiding certain food types can prove beneficial.
It is important to understand that diet is not a cure for this condition. Managing a gout-friendly diet helps to keep uric acid levels well in control in the blood. The low and controlled uric acid level in blood decreases the pace of joint damage and lowers the risk of a gout flare.
Gout is a very painful condition, and people manage diet along with medications to keep control of uric acid levels. This is helpful with pain too. Here are some. The aim is to achieve certain goals with the help of diet.
- Avoiding or limiting purine-rich food sources
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Sustain healthy eating habits or routine
- Incorporating foods that help in controlling the uric acid level
Healthy Diet Principles
The basic principle is moderation. Look for healthier options of food and take them in moderation. This will really help to achieve your goals. Experts have given some diet recommendations, especially when it comes to managing gout. Let us quickly review these principles.
1. Weight Loss
Research supports a connection between weight and gout. An overweight or obese person has a greater chance of getting into such a painful condition. The major aim is thus to sustain a healthy weight. If you require some weight loss, then manage your diet to shed off extra pounds.
Weight loss helps in numerous ways. Firstly, it reduces the number of gout attacks, and secondly, weight loss reduces the stress from joints.
2. Complex Carbs
Go for more complex carbohydrates and avoid refined ones. Complex carbohydrates offer many benefits. Most importantly, it keeps the body fuller for quite some time and helps to manage hunger. Add more veggies and fruits to your diet.
High fructose corn syrup also disturbs the uric acid level in the blood, thus avoiding such beverages. Though Fresh fruit juices are nutritious but are loaded with natural sugar, therefore it is better to avoid these too.
3. Drink Enough Water
Drinking plenty of water helps to manage gout too. This is because kidneys are the organs that are responsible for removing uric acid from the body. Drinking enough water helps kidneys to flush out uric acid. With a low level of uric acid in the blood, the gout pain will certainly reduce.
4. Cautious About Fats
Fats are loaded with calories, and these can also lead to weight gain. Therefore, be cautious while adding fats to your diet. Studies show that people who have more visceral belly fat are at a higher risk of developing gout.
This is because belly fat produces more inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals can trigger conditions such as gout. Fats such as trans-fat and saturated fats are rich sources of purine.
5. Proteins Rich Foods
Focus on adding more lean protein into your diet. Avoid red meat, organ meat, and seafood as these are purine-rich sources. Purine is a chemical that has a direct influence over uric acid levels and causes them to rise simultaneously. Adding legumes and beans is another healthy way to add proteins to your diet.
Specific Food Recommendations
Distilled liquor and beer are purine dense, and hence its ingestion results in an increase in uric acid levels. If you are really fond of drinking alcohol, then you can take wine in moderation. It is, however, advisable to avoid and limit alcohol intake if you are dealing with a gout problem.
Alcohol and drug treatment can be acquired from a rehab center near you. By getting substance addiction treatment, a person can get rid of toxic substances from their system and become better.
7. Organ And Glandular Meat
It is better to avoid organ and glandular meat such as kidneys and liver because of high purine levels. It is essential because it has a great influence on increasing uric acid levels in the blood. Organ meat should always be avoided if you aim to manage a gout-friendly diet.
High levels of purine coming out from such meat might worsen the condition and may even intensify the pain. If you aim to keep good control of gout attacks and pain, then you should totally give up organ meat.
8. Red Meat
It is fine to take beef and lamb meat in moderation. Normally a gout-friendly diet should aim to take 4-6 ounce servings per day. Be cautious of your portions, and never forget to keep going in moderation.
When it comes to seafood, you have a variety of options. Look for options that have a lower ratio of purine. For instance, shellfish, sardines, and tuna are purine-rich, and they should be avoided. Your nutritionist might suggest the right portion size for you.
Fish has countless health benefits and are rich sources of omega-three fatty acids. It is therefore recommended to take fish in your diet but in moderation.
10. High Purine Veggies
There are vegetables that are high in purine, such as asparagus and spinach. Research, however, suggests that despite having high purine levels, these veggies are safe to take.
Research supports the fact that adding cherries to your diet can help in reducing the risk of developing gout and gout attacks. Therefore, add cherries to your diet.
12. Vitamin C
Vitamin C lowers uric acid levels in the blood. After taking advice from your physician, you may add a vitamin C supplement to your diet to reduce the risk of gout.
A person can aim to reduce pain, flare, and joint damage with the help of a gout-friendly diet. Some simple rules discussed above might prove handy in keeping things under control.