Gout is a type of acute inflammatory arthritis, characterized by buildup of urate crystals in the body, especially in the joints. Such crystals are formed when there is an elevated uric acid level in the bloodstream or the body has problems in getting rid of this acid. In the body, uric acid is formed as a result of purine metabolism. Thus, gout is indirectly related to purine substances, which are naturally present in the body, as well as in food items. So, avoiding food items rich in purine are imperative to manage painful gouty arthritis.
Depending on the manifested symptoms, gout is classified as primary or secondary type. In the former case, gout symptoms are manifested alone; whereas secondary gout refers to the occurrence of gout along with other medical conditions. For both the cases, following a well-planned anti-gout diet (low in purine) forms a part of the treatment strategy. Here are some useful tips in order to plan a balanced diet for those affected by gout.
Include Anti-gout Diet Food
According to a 6-year study conducted in Harvard Medical School, it was found that consuming dairy products resulted in reduced uric acid concentration; while including seafood and meat increased the blood uric acid levels. Here are the food items to be included in the anti-gout diet plan.
- Milk and milk products are excellent food options in the low purine diet for gout. Ensure that low-fat dairy products are incorporated in the regular diet plan.
- Plain yogurt and sweetened yogurt are good to lower uric acid levels in the blood. So, have one or more servings of yogurt daily to combat the pain.
- Drink lots of water and healthy fluid (about 8 cups) on a daily basis to treat gout naturally. This will help in flushing out uric acid in urine and help prevent formation of urate crystals.
- Moderate protein intake will cause no virtual effects, provided that the nutrient comes from healthy sources, like nut butter, eggs, and fruits.
- Tofu prepared from soybean milk is an excellent protein-rich food for the affected person. So, to get optimal protein essential for the body, incorporate tofu and tofu-based products.
- Food products to consume include blackberries, blueberries, and other dark-skinned berries. They are found to lower uric acid levels and alleviate inflammatory responses. Thus, berries are good fruits for the affected people.
Understand Gout Diet Restrictions
As the daily diet plan of the affected person greatly influences his/her urate crystal buildup, he/she should go through the gout diet handout given by the concerned doctor. This will help in sorting out the food items that contain higher amounts of purine. Food items to be avoided in this diet are:
- All varieties of seafood (herring, sardines) contain a higher percentage of purine, which when consumed will initiate onset of gout symptoms for them. So, eatables to avoid include seafood items.
- Red meat and any type of meat are rich sources of purines and they are included in the list of food products that cause gout. The same is with meat extracts and meat soups. Hence, they are strictly not recommended in this diet plan.
- Liver, kidneys, and alike organ's meat are considered as a delicacy for many non-vegetarian people. However, for those affected by gout, they are nothing more than a contributory food for gout attacks.
- Purine-containing vegetables that should be avoided in this diet are mushrooms, cauliflower, asparagus, and all types of legumes (both fresh and dried).
- Last but not the least, refrain from beer, alcohol, and any type of beverages that contain alcohol. These are the drinks well-known for triggering gout symptoms.
Relying on a strict diet to prevent gout attacks is effectual in many of the affected people. In addition to the diet, they should minimize the use of niacin, aspirin, and diuretic medicines. If required, the doctor will recommend gout medications to reduce uric acid levels, inflammation, and pain. A little change in the diet and lifestyle habits will go a long way in managing the painful signs of this condition. So, why not follow the anti-gout diet and lead a cheerful life, instead of having desirable food and experiencing worse symptoms.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.