Foods to Avoid When Following a Gout Diet
Knowing what foods to avoid for gout can prevent attacks and keep the condition under control. The foods that trigger gout attacks all contain a substance called purine that forms uric acid crystals in the joints. These foods need to be limited or avoided completely. Some foods also affect how the body processes uric acid or the amount of purine produced naturally. There are several points to remember when planning a diet to deal with gout.
Limit Animal-Based Proteins
People suffering from gout should strictly limit the intake of protein from animal-based sources to between four and six ounces every day. This is a safe amount because the body can process the uric acid produced. Two of the most harmful proteins are beef and turkey although all red meats contain high purine levels. Many types of seafood like scallops, anchovies and trout are harmful as well. Organ meats like sweetbreads and kidneys should be avoided completely.
Stay Away From Some Vegetables
Vegetables are needed to have a healthy gout diet. However, some vegetables do contain high purine levels. This includes mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower and spinach. Other plant-based foods with high purine include lentils, oatmeal and many types of beans. Eating some of these foods every week will not normally trigger gout when meat intake is limited. Some research studies actually suggest that plant-based purines do not contribute to gout as much as animal-based purines.
Avoid Processed Foods and Sweets
A common ingredient in processed foods, sweets and beverages like soda is high-fructose corn syrup. This ingredient introduces high amounts of fructose into the blood. Fructose will actually increase the natural production of purines in the body. The result is a spike in purine production that leads to uric acid crystals in the joints. This is only true of high-fructose corn syrup. Research studies have shown that natural sugars and carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables do not increase purine production.
Reduce Saturated Fats
Foods that are high in saturated fats should be eaten as little as possible. Saturated fats affect the kidneys and other parts of the body. Saturated fats will reduce the amount of uric acid the body can process each day. The result is accumulated uric acid in the blood and joints. This can cause a gout attack. Additionally, saturated fats are linked with obesity. Obesity increases the risk of developing gout.
Drink Water Regularly
Water is important for many different biological processes. Although understanding what foods to avoid for gout is very important, drinking enough water everyday will help just as much. Water helps the body to break down uric acid and move it out of the system fast. It also assists with maintaining a healthy metabolism. It is best to drink between eight and 16 full glasses of water each day.
Stop or Lower Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption has many harmful effects on the body. Alcohol also contributes to gout. A good gout diet should contain very little or no alcohol. Alcohol actually harms the liver and kidneys. It changes some of the chemistry in the blood as well. This makes it very difficult for the body to get rid of uric acid. The carbohydrates in beer are the most harmful for people with gout.