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6 Foods To Avoid For Gout

| Reviewed By Arya Krishnan

Gout is a painful form of arthritis that develops when an excess of uric acid builds up and forms crystals in your joints. The condition causes sudden pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints and mostly affect the big toes. It can also affect the fingers, wrists, knees and heels.

Uric acid, which causes gout or gout attacks is the waste product which is made by the body when it breaks down a substance called purine, which is found in many foods. Gout attacks typically occur at night and last 3-10 days [1] .

One of the things that may help you manage your gout is to reduce the number of purines you eat. People with gout will not be able to efficiently remove excess uric acid from their body, unlike healthy people.

A gout diet aims at helping you achieve a healthy weight and good eating habits. By restricting the consumption of foods that are high in purine, such as organ meats, red meats, seafood, alcohol, a gout diet guides you in consuming the right kind of foods, which will not only help prevent the onset of these attacks but also promote a healthy lifestyle [2] [3] .

In the current article, we will take a look at the types of foods to be avoided while suffering from gout.


1. Red Meat And Organ Meats

All organ meats such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads and brain should be avoided as they contain high amounts of purine, which can elevate the inflammation levels and trigger gout attacks. Studies point out that these high-purine foods are the primary causes of gout attacks in individuals with gout. The list also includes bacon, turkey, veal, venison, liver, beef kidney etc.


2. Shellfish

One of the other main types of food to be avoided are shellfish such as lobster and shrimp. Apart from these, you should also avoid the consumption of anchovies, sardines, mackerel, scallops, herring, mussels, codfish, trout, and haddock as well. The high-purine content in these is harmful to an individual suffering from gout.


3. Refined Carbohydrates

This includes white bread, white rice, pasta, sugar which can affect uric acid levels in the body, thereby triggering gout attacks. Refined carbohydrates are high in sugar content which, studies point out, is linked to obesity - a known risk factor for gout.


4. Processed Foods

Food items such as chips, snack foods, frozen dinners should be avoided when one is suffering from gout. Studies point out that processed foods are one of the most harmful types of food for individuals suffering from gout. These foods can cause gout flare-ups because it raises uric acid levels in your body.


5. Sugary Beverages

As aforementioned, sugar is extremely harmful to your body when suffering from gout. The sugar content in these drinks are broken down by your body upon consumption and is used in releasing purines - the primary cause of gout attacks. Apart from that, the fructose content in these beverages increases the serum acid levels in one's body. A study had proved that sugary soft drinks are linked to increased risk of gout in men.


6. Alcohol

As stated by studies, alcohol is a source of purines. Drinking wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks have been linked to the risk of an episode of gout to some degree. According to a study, a direct correlation between beer consumption and gout was found, with other kinds of alcohol also affecting the inflammatory condition. Another study also supports the finding by asserting that wine did increase the risk of a gout attack, so drinking any amount of alcohol increases the risk of gout attacks.


On A Final Note…

Stay away from sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. You also may need to limit or avoid alcohol as well. Talk with your doctor and figure out the best suitable diet for you. Kindly note that, while a healthy diet can help control how much uric acid is in your system, you may still need medicine to prevent future attacks.

View Article References
  1. [1] Chiu, T. H., Liu, C. H., Chang, C. C., Lin, M. N., & Lin, C. L. (2019). Vegetarian diet and risk of gout in two separate prospective cohort studies. Clinical Nutrition.
  2. [2] Singh, J. A., Green, C., Morgan, S., Willig, A. L., Darnell, B., Saag, K. G., ... & McGwin, G. (2019). A Randomized Internet-Based Pilot Feasibility and Planning Study of Cherry Extract and Diet Modification in Gout. JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.
  3. [3] Li, M., Ding, X., Rong, X., Fang, T., Qian, S., He, M., ... & Wu, J. (2019). Clinical pathological study of gosling gout induced by high protein diet. Journal of South China Agricultural University, 40(1), 46-52.
Arya KrishnanEmergency Medicine
Arya Krishnan
Read more about: gout diet
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