6 Foods To Avoid With Gout And What To Eat Instead!

foods to avoid with gout condition

Did you know that an independent study confirmed that – close to 3.9% of US adults suffer from gout? Added to that, the global and regional trends in incidences of gout have increased from 22 million to 53 million over the last two decades. One of the key reasons for this amongst others is an unchecked food schedule, that includes even those foods to avoid with gout. With junk and sugary beverages taking the top spot, it is red meat and alcohol that comes close second. 

Today, in this post, we will list out those foods you must avoid if you have gout and also include those foods that should make it to your plate. We will also establish the connection between correct food choices and gout and prepare a sample menu for your taste. Stay tuned with us – 

Which foods to avoid with gout? 

Let us quickly rewind a little about gout. This is a condition that occurs when one of your joints has inflammatory arthritis. Crystals of uric acid excessively build up in your joints/tissues and inflammation is caused as a reaction from your body. Purine foods add to the uric acid accumulation in the body. 

Now let us reveal before you the foods to avoid with gout conditions – 

1. Purine-rich animal proteins (especially red meat)

no read meat with gout
Image Credit: Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials

Animal proteins (red meats and organ meats) have high purine content. For those with an existing uric acid issue, purine accumulation adds to the problem. What happens as a result is, a further skyrocketing of the inflammation health issue. 

Assuming you or your near and dear ones are suffering from gout, exclude bacon, liver, venison, turkey, and veal from their diet. Replace it with lean protein like – chicken. 

2. Shellfish and a variety of seafood 

shellfish and seafood not suitable for gout
Image Credit: Tasting Table

For those of you surprised to see a mention of seafood in this article about foods to avoid with gout, let us inform you – that despite its range of benefits, seafood is purine-loaded. Hence, if your gout (or joint swelling issues are serious), you must steer clear of these foods. If at all, you have to include seafood in your diet, opt for the ones with moderate purine content (crab, oysters, shrimp) and consult your medical professional for the same. 

3. Alcohol and sugary beverages 

alcohol unsuitable for gout patients
Image Credit: Medical Xpress

Alcohol has purine content (differs in terms of variety; beer has maximum, wine minimum). It is the job of purines to break down into uric acid, but alcohol disrupts the removal process of uric acid from your body. Thus, uric acid accumulates, and the crystals cause the development and flare-ups of gout. 

You must quit beer and tone down alcohol to once in a while limited consumption. 

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4. Processed food (those laden with sugar) 

high sugar beverage not for gout patients
Image Credit: Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials

You must have expected this while going through which foods to avoid with gout conditions. Well, recapitulating the previous knowledge itself, processed foods have zero nutritional value, are packed with refined carbs, and are hard to digest. Apart from gout, it also leads to kidney diseases and increases the chances of type 2 Diabetes and heart issues. All of these combined deteriorates your already existing arthritis condition. 

Though it is not completely possible to give up on packed/processed foods, you must try to reduce their consumption to a minimum. If at all, keep them as cheat meals!  

5. Carbohydrates 

no carbs for gout patients
Image Credit: Health

Though carbs are necessary to improve your body’s energy levels, you must understand that foods that are high in glycemic index (most white carbs) spike the glucose levels in your body. The increased sugar content in your body, when not used, leads to obesity. The chances of an obese individual facing gout flare-ups are higher compared to one who maintains their body weight. 

Additionally, white carbs contain fructose, which, when broken down, releases purines that concentrate the uric acid levels. 

6. Yeast extracts 

yeast extracts unsuitable for gout patients
Image Credit: Adobe Stock Photos

Lastly, yeast extracts also come in the catalog of foods to avoid with gout. Foods like marmite and vegemite are also high in purine content and substantially increase the uric acid levels in your body. If you have a gout issue, then you must keep these fares out of your plate. 

You have a complete listicle of the dishes that you need to avoid if you are facing a gout flare. But, what precisely is the relation between ‘what you eat’ and ‘your gout recurrence?’ Also, then what do you include in your diet? We will discuss it all in the upcoming sections. 

What is the relation between food and gout condition? 

signs and symptoms of gout
Image Credit: MedicalNewsToday

There is a deep relation between what you eat and your gout conditions. Gout, as you have read is a category of arthritis that happens when uric acid builds up in your body (especially joints). For the unknown, uric acid is formed when your body breaks down purine (chemical compounds that cells make DNA and RNA blocks with). 

Though both purine and uric acid are crucial substances of your body’s physiological process, when they build up in your body over time it cause issues. So, despite purine being essential to your body, it also can impact you negatively. 

Multiple researches have shown that – those cultures that consume high-purine food products have more chances of getting gout flare-ups. Let us give you the specifics – 

  • Those who consume food with high purine content, create more uric acid than the body can excrete 
  • Those with underlying health conditions like – kidney issues, diabetes, psoriatic arthritis, and hypertension, are more tend to get a gout flare-up compared to others
  • If you have undergone surgery, or are following a specific diet (unmonitored by a nutritionist), chances are high that you will get a gout flare-up. 

Apart from the foods you eat, your lifestyle also has a huge role to play in a gout recurrence. Therefore, you need to change both your diet and your lifestyle for an improved health condition. 

Which foods must you include in your diet? 

what to have in gout
Image Credit: EatingWell

You have seen the list of foods to avoid with gout in the section mentioned above. To see many of your favorites on that list must have been disheartening! Well, it is time to look at the brighter side. Let us pick some of the alternatives that you can add to your diet to improve your nutritional balance – 

  • Plant-based whole foods (beans/lentils/legumes/ quinoa/brown rice/barley/oats/green vegetables/seeds and nuts/eggs) 
  • Dairy products (especially low-fat) 
  • Vitamin C-enriched food products (has antioxidants and lowers uric acid levels)
  • Cherries (these have anthocyanins which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties thereby alleviating gout symptoms) 
  • The correct set of beverages (includes tea and coffee in moderation, plenty of water, sugar-free fresh juices, and milkshakes) 
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Most of the food products mentioned above are packed with antioxidants that help in lowering the inflammation levels in the body and also monitor the uric acid. Therefore, they assist in alleviating the condition to a great extent. 

A sample menu you can try out 

Almond-Milk-Oatmeal
Image Credit: BODi

For those of you who are finding it difficult to prepare a chart without the foods to avoid with gout condition, let us assist you a little. In the upcoming section, we will provide you with a sample menu including the foods that you can include in your diet – 

DAYS  BREAKFAST  LUNCH  DINNER 
DAY 1  Oatmeal with milk (or plant-based milk/soya milk) Salad with hummus  Brown rice/quinoa with boiled green veggies 
DAY 2 Wholegrain bread/muffin with scrambled eggs/tofu and avocado  Quinoa with broccoli/ beans/scallions/salmon/ chicken  Wholegrain spaghetti with a green salad 
DAY 3 Greek yogurt with blueberry/cherry Omelet with green salad and red onion  Chicken breast with brown rice/barley 

You can indeed make some changes to this meal according to your taste and try it out. We advise you to consult a nutritionist to ensure an adequately curated diet. 

Parting words 

A gout is a form of arthritis that flares up occasionally. One of the critical reasons for this consistent issue is – your diet. Assuming you have read this post well, you have a list of the foods to avoid with gout issues. Hence, it is better if you watch what you eat and also bring about a massive lifestyle change to alleviate your condition. Fit in portion (mindful) eating and regular exercise into your daily activities. Also, stay connected with your medical professional to ensure that you are dealing with this health condition correctly. 

If you enjoyed reading this post, then keep watching this space for more! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Which foods help clear gout?

Whole grains, low-fat dairy, and low-purine fruits/vegetables help ease gout pain. 

2. Are foods the only reason for gout?

Though the foods we eat play a significant role in managing gout, other lifestyle changes are also necessary. Inadequate hydration, lack of physical activity, too much stress, and excessive alcohol consumption also lead to gout inflammation. 

3. Why is Vitamin C so important for gout patients? 

Multiple shreds of evidence have shown Vitamin C can reduce uric acid levels in the body. Hence, the consumption of supplements, or foods enriched in Vitamin C like – citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, potatoes, or sprouts can also help in managing your gout. 

4. How do you flush uric acid out of your body? 

Apart from cutting down on your purine intake and alcohol, you must increase your water consumption. This will improve your kidney’s performance levels and flush the excess uric acid out of your body. 

5. Are tomatoes bad for gout? 

This is a debatable topic. While certain researchers have found tomatoes to increase gout inflammation, other shreds of research have found no such connection. Having said that this is a case-to-case issue and it is best to consult your doctor before making any massive dietary changes. 

 

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