What Is A Gout Diet?
A Gout diet is used to help patients suffering from gout. A gout-friendly diet is advised and used as a solution to avoid the painful attacks and symptoms that come along with gout. To get to learn about Gout diets, we should discuss what exactly Gout is, and why a specific Diet is needed for it.
Gout is a type of arthritis most common in middle-aged people; individuals who are overweight or drink too much alcohol; and in people who eat an excess amount of meat and fish that are high in chemicals called purines (1). It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints.
If Gout isn’t properly treated, the attacks can occur again and again. Proper and continuous treatment is more than necessary for Gout. Over time, it could harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues.
The main cause of Gout is an abundance of uric acid in the blood. Proteins are rich in a substance called purines. When purines breakdown, they leave behind another chemical called uric acid. When there is too much uric acid in your body, it causes hard crystals to form in your joints. Which is just as painful and dangerous as it sounds. Water pills (diuretics), can also cause Gout.
The symptoms of Gout are as follows:
- Nighttime attack of swelling
- Sharp pain in your big toe
- Attacks in your foot, ankle, or other joints
These attacks can last for a period of a few days up to weeks. The next attacks may not occur until a couple of months or even years later. That’s why it is so important to get a consult from your doctor even after the pain stops occurring.
What Foods Should Be Avoided In A Gout Diet?
The main purpose of a Gout diet is to decrease the intake of foods and substances that have levels of purines. The purpose of cutting food consisting purines is since purines end up being broken down into uric acid in the body, and as we discussed before, an abundance of uric acid in an individual’s blood is the main cause of gout.
Per the research studies (2), the following foods, when used excessively, should be avoided in an individual’s diet to help the prevention of Gout:
- Red meat
- Sugary beverages
The Following are substances that have a high content of purines and are highly recommended to be avoided by anyone who suffers from gout. A gout diet should avoid or limit these foods:
Alcohol is one of the substances which should be avoided at all costs (3). When alcohol is consumed, it disrupts the process of removal of uric acid from your body. The uric acid is normally excreted from the body in the form of urine. When the uric acid isn’t properly removed from the body the formation of crystals occurs around joints resulting in another painful Gout Attack. Gout diets and gout diet recipes take these restrictions into account as well.
Gout Friendly Recipes also recommend staying away from carbohydrate-rich foods (4). They either include no refined carbs or very minimal amounts of them. Some Refined carbohydrates include:
- White bread
What Foods Should Be Consumed In A Gout Diet?
A Diet which is low in purine can be very effective in minimizing the levels of uric acid in the blood and even work to prevent the symptoms of Gout. In general, fruits and vegetables are the safest products to consume when diagnosed with gout. Plant-based sources can help your body acquire its much-needed daily proteins, while simultaneously cutting saturated fat found in high purine animal-based proteins. Here are some of the Foods that should be included (5) daily in a gout diet;
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy (16-24 oz. daily, max)
- Whole grains (like quinoa, barley, and wheat)
- Fluids, especially water
- Sweet potatoes
- Fruits and vegetables
There have been studies that have shown positive effects of Vitamin C rich products reducing gout attacks. Mayo Clinic has done a study on the effect of High purine vegetables on gout attacks. Surprisingly vegetables rich in purine have no effect on gout attacks and are safe to consume.
Some purine-rich vegetables are;
- Spinach and other dark, leafy greens
Water is another very important substance to be included in a Gout Diet. Individuals suffering from gout attacks should intake approximately 2-3 liters of water daily. Water helps flush the Uric acid out of your system through the kidneys.
What Are Some Good Gout Diet Recipes?
Cutting meat from your diet can be a little hard and bland. Luckily, there are lots of flavor-filled alternatives that you can include into your lifestyle to help minimize gout attacks and maintain your body weight.
There are lots of Recipes available that could be used for a gout-friendly diet. Vegetarian and Vegan recipes are safe to consume and promote a healthy lifestyle.
However, for your meat cravings, the safest form of meat to go with would be chicken. A simple way to treat yourself to a chicken meal at dinner would be to season it with lemon, thyme, and sage and sauté it in a pan with chopped potatoes, turnips, and carrots. That’s one simple recipe packed with protein, nutrients, and flavor, that could make your Gout diet much easier.
A nice lunch recipe, which would be effective in keeping you full in addition to staying purine-free, is a Cucumber salad. This recipe easily refreshes you for the rest of the day and is relatively easy and less time consuming than those giant meatball subs that are both damaging to your health and a hassle to put together. With a combination of plain low-fat yogurt, peeled and chopped cucumbers, and a dash of salt and pepper, your meal is prepared.
If you’re in the mood for something Asian. No need to fret. We’ve got you covered. A simple stir fry would more than suffice in satisfying your needs and keeping you away from those pesky gout attacks. Simply boil some egg noodles and set them aside while lightly sautéing sliced carrots, lettuce, and onions in a pan. When the onions come to a light brown consistency add the noodles to the pan along with some soy sauce, salt, and pepper and enjoy.
For those cold rainy days when chicken soup is on the mind, there is an alternative more gout-friendly recipe which will keep you warm and will keep your taste buds satisfied. Quickly bake some chunks of onion and bell pepper in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add red wine, golden raisins, a touch of brown sugar, salt and pepper, and a dash of vinegar. Cover and let it simmer for 45 minutes for a healthy vegetable ragout.
What Is A Good Gout Diet Meal Plan?
A set plan can help you achieve your goals of both eating healthy and consuming products that are safe for your body and are gout-friendly. The following gout diet plan is one that should be moderated to your own needs.
For example, if you are considered an average sized individual you may need to keep the same amount or increase some proportions to your liking. Whereas, if you’re someone with an eating disorder or weight abnormalities, you may need to increase or even decrease the proportions to what suits you best and adjust your dietary intakes to ones that will achieve a healthier lifestyle for you.
There you have it! Gout can be extremely painful and can greatly limit the way you live and enjoy your life. But you don’t have to live like that anymore! With the help of gout diet, you can minimize the risk of gout attacks and live a healthy and pain-free life!