Proper Gout Diet

Gout can be excruciatingly painful especially after eating foods like meat, organ meats, seafood (i.e., herring and anchovies), mushrooms and asparagus as well as drinking alcoholic beverages. This painful form of arthritis is, indeed, so closely associated with food and beverages consumption that the gout diet – or anti-gout diet, as it is also called – was developed in order to significantly lessen the severity, frequency and duration of the symptoms.clean-19049_640

High Uric Acid Levels

In order to understand the diet, the causes of gout must be understood first. Gout happens when high levels of uric acid in the blood cause crystal formation and accumulation around the joints such as the knees and fingers. The uric acid come from purines, which are manufactured inside the body but also come from the abovementioned food sources. When it is properly adopted, the diet helps in controlling the production and/or the elimination of uric acid in the blood. The result: Symptoms are lessened and attacks can be prevented.

It must be emphasized that the gout diet is not a treatment for gout, far from it. You must consult with your physician about other methods to control gout attacks, said methods of which include medications, weight loss and healthy lifestyle habits.

Low Purines Intake

The main purpose of the diet is then to reduce the intake of foods and beverages with high purines content. It must be noted that, although doctors recommend weight loss in fighting gout, afflicted individuals are advised to avoid fasting diets, cleansing diets and high-protein diets because these can worsen the painful symptoms.

The general principles of the gout diet are:

  • Limit meat including organ meats, poultry like chicken and turkey, and fatty fishes like mackerel, anchovies and herring as well as seafood like shrimp, scallops and lobsters. Keep in mind that animal-based proteins contain high levels of purines. Your daily intake should be limited to just 113-170 grams daily. Protein intake should come from plant-based sources like beans and legumes.
  • Limit fat intake. Better yet, cut out foods high in saturated fat because it hinders the body’s ability to remove uric acid. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
  • Avoid foods with high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener because it increases uric acid production. The gout diet, however, allows for limited intake of 100% natural fruit juices.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks because alcohol lowers the body’s ability to eliminate uric acid from its system. But if you are not having a gout attack, you may drink one or two 5-ounce wine servings per day.
  • Drink plenty of water, which will help in flushing out the uric acid. Doctors recommend at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day, perhaps even double the amount.
  • Opt for complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbohydrates. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are your best options instead of white bread, cakes and pastries.

The bottom line: You should be careful about your food and beverage intake while on a gout diet. The abovementioned guidelines should be easy to adopt considering that these are similar to healthy diet plans in the first place. The trick is in planning your meals so that you will still enjoy delicious dishes while still being on track in your fight against gout.

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