Gout and your diet

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Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis. Research suggests that eating the right food can aid in reducing the symptoms of gout. Here's what to avoid and what to enjoy.

Restricting dietary purines

Dietary guidelines to restrict purine content - which causes uric acid - include the following:

- Water – Drink at least 6 glasses per day and make sure that you have one of the glasses before you go to sleep. It helps getting rid of uric acid.

- Tofu (bean curd) - Use as protein source. Research suggests that it increases uric acid secretion.

- Macronutrients – Diet should be relatively high in carbohydrate (like bread, rice and pasta), moderate in protein (e.g. tofu) and low in fat.

- Alcohol – An excess of alcohol should be avoided. Total abstinence and avoidance of alcohol may be required in severe cases.

- Body weight – Maintenance of, or gradual reduction to, ideal body weight could prove helpful.

Read: 14 foods that cause gout

Foods with a high purine content

These foods contain 100 to 1000 mg of purine nitrogen per 100g of food. Patients suffering from gout should not eat the foods included in this list:

- Anchovies

- Brains

- Consommé

- Goose

- Gravy

- Heart

- Herring

- Kidney

- Mackerel

- Meat extracts

- Mincemeat

- Mussels

- Roe

- Sardines

- Yeast (baker’s and brewer’s, taken as supplement)

Read: What causes gout?

Foods with a moderate purine content

These foods contain 9 to 100 mg of purine nitrogen per 100 g of food. One serving of meat, fish or poultry (90 g) or one serving of vegetables (1/2 cup) from this group, is allowed per day, depending on the condition of the patient:

- Asparagus

- Dried beans

- Lentils

- Meat, fish and poultry (except the above-mentioned)

- Mushrooms

- Dried peas

- Shellfish

- Spinach

Read: Sugary drinks up gout risk in women

Foods with a low purine content

These foods contain negligible amounts of purine and may be used daily:

- Bread (white) and crackers

- Butter or margarine (in moderation)

- Cake and cookies

- Carbonated beverages

- Cereals

- Cheese

- Chocolate

- Coffee

- Cream (in moderation)

- Custard

- Eggs

- Fats (in moderation)

- Fruit

- Gelatin desserts

- Herbs

- Ice cream

- Milk

- Noodles

- Nuts

- Oil

- Olives

- Pickles

- Pasta

- Popcorn

- Puddings

- Relishes

- Rice

- Salt

- Sugar and sweets

- Tea

- Vegetables (except those mentioned in the first group)

- Vinegar

(Source: Krause’s Food, Nutrition, & Diet therapy, 10th edition (Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S))

Read more:

Eating cherries lowers gout risk by 35%

Meat and seafood trigger gout flare-ups

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