A Comprehensive List of Foods to Avoid with Gout
Gout is arthritis that damages the joints, particularly the big toe. According to NCBI, gout affects around 6.8% of every 1000 people yearly. This disorder is more common in men, and the risk increases as a person ages. Sudden and severe discomfort in the joints are the symptoms it generally shows.
Certain foods can trigger gout symptoms. It is best not to eat them to avoid gout flares. So, what are the foods that you should avoid? Let’s explore them.
How Does Gout Arthritis Happen in a Person?
Gout happens when our body has a surplus amount of uric acid. Uric acid is the waste that comes after the breakdown of substances in the kidney.
Our kidneys usually excrete this waste into the blood, but sometimes, the uric acid builds up. The excess of uric acids converts into crystals, which settle into joints, particularly the big toe.
The build-up of crystals in the toe causes trouble and gives rise to conditions like gout. It is the main reason gout often causes swelling, and redness in the affected joints.
List of Foods to Avoid with Gout
1. High Purine Foods
A purine-rich diet is the primary trigger of gout. Our body breaks down the nitrogenous bases and converts them into uric acid, and we call these converted bases purines. Your body increases uric acid levels when you consume purine-rich meals such as red meats, organ meats, and shellfish.
Excess uric acid in your circulation can cause sharp, needle-like crystals to develop. Crystals gather in joints, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation, a clear sign of gout.
2. High Fructose Foods
Foods high in fructose play a crucial role in triggering gout issues. Foods and drinks rich in fructose include fruit juice, candies, sugary beverages, and processed snacks. When processed in the liver, these foods do nothing except increase uric acid.
The high uric acid levels harm the kidney and build up crystals in the joint. The crystal build-up then leads to pain and swelling in the joints.
Additionally, sugary beverages are harmful to gout sufferers. The drinks not only have fructose, but they are the cause of obesity and weight gain. Excess body weight puts stress on the inflamed joints and triggers gout.
Alcohol and gout have a peculiar connection. As you know, alcohol has various types; certain types of alcohol affect gout more than others. Beer is potentially the main trigger for people with gout, according to American Addiction Centers. It is because beer has many purines that convert into uric acid in the body.
Other types of alcohol, like whiskey and vodka, have relatively low purine content but still affect gout if consumed in excess.
4. Processed Foods
Packaged and ready-to-eat foods may cut off preparation time, but they do not benefit people with gout. These foods contain trans fats, additives, and chemical compounds.
Food manufacturers use preservatives such as artificial flavors and coloring to enhance the taste and appearance of food. However, these additives can trigger gout attacks by starting inflammation in the affected area.
Trans fats are unhealthy fats that increase the level of bad cholesterol in the body. The high level of bad cholesterol triggers gout symptoms.
Processed foods have refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup, increasing uric acid levels in the body. The increased urate crystals cause pain and discomfort in people suffering from gout.
5. Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates have a connection with gout. It is essential to understand the relationship to manage the disease effectively. Extensive processing of food results in refined carbs, causing them to lose most of their fibers and nutrients.
Refined carbs are present in white bread, sugary cereals, and pastries. When you consume these foods in excess, they make gout symptoms worse.
Consuming refined carbs has the additional disadvantage of raising blood sugar. High blood sugar levels cause insulin resistance and generation of uric acid, which triggers gout symptoms.
Most people do fasting as a religious practice plus for weight loss. However, it is not beneficial for people with gout.
Fasting means not eating or drinking for a specific period. It may cause the body to become dehydrated.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, dehydration during fasting can concentrate uric acid crystals. The concentrated uric acid crystals then result in painful gout.
Also, read What is Gout?
List of Foods to Have with Gout
If you are suffering from gout flare-ups, opt for a gout-friendly diet. It will not only prevent gout symptoms but also better overall health. Here is a list of foods you can have with gout,
- Include low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese to reduce uric acid levels.
- Fruits: Most fruits are gout-friendly cherries, particularly are like blessings for people with gout. Apples, bananas, and oranges are other fruits to include in the gout diet.
- Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, and bell peppers are low in purines and help manage gout.
- Whole grains like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oats are healthier than refined carbs and aid in managing gout.
- Lean Protein: Chicken, turkey, and tofu are good lean protein sources. It would be best to have them in your diet to prevent gout attacks.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, and peas are excellent protein sources and don’t worsen gout symptoms.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds and pistachios have low purine content. Hence, they work well to minimize uric acid levels.
- Water: Getting enough water into your system assists your body in eliminating extra uric acid. Staying well-hydrated decreases the risk of developing gout flares.
- Herbs and Spices: Many herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory characteristics. They are beneficial to prevent gout symptoms.
How SNS Can Help You Treat Gout Symptoms
Are you experiencing recurrent gout flare-ups and don't know how to treat them?
You can contact our best rheumatologist in NJ to address your gout-related issues. Our experts dedicate themselves to helping you effectively manage the disease. They also offer personalized treatment plans tailored to your unique needs.
Whether you need medication management, dietary guidance, or lifestyle recommendations, they have the expertise to guide you the best. Schedule a consultation with SNS rheumatology now and lead an improved, pain-free life ahead.
- Gout is arthritis caused by uric acid build-up in the joints.
- Awareness of the foods you consume with gout is essential, as some can trigger it.
- Today, we discussed a list of foods to avoid with gout, such as high-purine foods, processed foods, and alcohol.
- To live a happy and pain-free life with gout, you must avoid using them.
- Apart from foods that trigger gout, some can even manage gout symptoms.
- The foods you can have with gout involve nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
If you have ongoing gout symptoms, seeing a rheumatologist who can assess you thoroughly and provide suitable treatment is best.
Meet Dr. Qaisar Usmani, a Board Certified Rheumatologist with over 20 years of experience in the field, currently serving as Section Chief at Monmouth Medical Center and GPHA, Inc. in Pennsylvania, specializing in the treatment of various Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases.
Meet Dr. Sadia Ghafoor, a board certified specialist in rheumatology who completed her medical training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Osteopathic Medicine and her fellowship in rheumatology at the State University of New York Stony Brook campus, with additional board certification in internal medicine.
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