Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that happens when too much uric acid builds up and forms crystals in your joints.
Your body makes uric acid after it breaks down a substance called purine, when high levels of uric acid build up, the needle-shaped urate crystals form in and around the joints.
This causes pain, tenderness, redness, and inflammation of the affected joint.
Fortunately, lifestyle and dietary changes can help manage symptoms and prevent flares.
This article reviews some foods good for gout and what foods to avoid, backed by research.
A gout-friendly diet focuses on reducing the amount of uric acid in the system and attaining and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Here are some foods that can help reduce uric acid levels that are generally safe for people with gout:
Fruits: All fruits are generally fine for gout, especially those with high fiber and low sugar content, such as berries, oranges, bell pepper and pineapple.
Vegetables: All vegetables are fine, including potatoes, peas, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, eggplants and dark green leafy vegetables.
Legumes: All legumes are fine, including lentils, peas, beans, soybeans and tofu.
Nuts: All nuts and seeds, including nut butters such as almond butter and peanut butter.
Whole grains: such as whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, popcorn, barley, quinoa.
Dairy products: All dairy is safe, but low-fat dairy appears to be especially beneficial (such as yogurt and cottage cheese).
Eggs: In moderation
Beverages: Coffee – Some research suggests that drinking coffee in moderation, especially regular caffeinated coffee, may be associated with a reduced risk of gout. Tea and green tea.
Herbs and spices: All herbs and spices are fine.
Plant-based oils: Including canola, celery seed oil, coconut, olive and flax oils.
Foods to Avoid if You Have Gout:
All organ meats: Such as liver, kidney, brain and glandular meats like the thymus or pancreas (you may hear them called sweetbreads), which are high in saturated fat.
Game meat: Examples include pheasant, veal, bacon, turkey, veal and venison.
Fish: Herring, trout, mackerel, tuna, sardines, anchovies, codfish, haddock and more.
Other seafood and shellfish: Shrimp, lobster, scallops, mussels, crab and roe.
Sugary beverages: Especially fruit juices and sugary sodas.
Food products containing a high amount of fructose: Honey, agave nectar and high-fructose corn syrup.
Yeasts: Nutritional yeast, brewer’s yeast and other yeast supplements.
Alcohol (A major trigger for gout attacks): Especially beer and hard liquor because it is rich in purines.
Additionally, refined carbohydrates like white bread, cakes and cookies should be avoided. Although they are not high in purines or fructose, they are low in nutrients and may increase your uric acid levels.
Low-Purine Diet Sample Menu for One Week
If you have gout and you’re not sure what to eat, here’s what you might eat during 3 days on a gout-friendly diet.
Breakfast: Oatmeal + Greek yogurt + Almond butter + 1/4 cup berries.
Lunch: Quinoa salad with boiled eggs and fresh veggies + whole wheat pita bread.
Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with roasted chicken, spinach, bell peppers and low-fat feta cheese + Mashed avocado.
Breakfast: Cottage cheese + Melon + Cornflakes or Rice Krispies + Mug weak tea / coffee
Lunch: Egg salad sandwich on whole wheat bread + olive oil-based spread + thin slice chicken/turkey/ham or peanut butter
Dinner: Small chicken breast or small fillet white fish or small portion lean meat + Whole wheat pasta + cannellini beans + broccoli + garlic + sprinkle of parmesan cheese
Breakfast: Tomato and Watermelon Salad + low-fat milk + Banana Yogurt Pots
Lunch: Quinoa and Stir Fried Veg + Tortilla chips
Dinner: Veggie burger + whole wheat bun + Spicy Mediterranean Beet Salad
Final word, the following information may improve your symptoms and lower your risk of a gout flare:
- Take medications for gout as ordered by your doctor.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Lose weight if you are overweight but avoid crash diets, fasting, and high protein diets for weight loss. Rapid weight loss can increase uric acid levels.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help flush uric acid from the body. Consume at least 8 cups of fluid daily. At least half of fluids should be water. Talk to your doctor about your fluid goals.
- Keep a diet journal to track foods that may cause a gout flare.