Gout also known as Uric Acid in common term is an extremely painful inflammation of the joints caused by a buildup of needle-sharp uric acid crystals. Even though they are painful they can be prevented by avoiding certain foods. Many foods can be directly responsible for causing a gout flare-up. That’s because certain foods contain more purines, which are substances that break down into uric acid.
When uric acid builds up in the bloodstream, it crystallizes and collects in the joints, causing pain, inflammation and redness, usually in the big toe. If it untreated on time it can cause a risk for diabetes and heart disease. Chronic gout can also cause kidney stones. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood. It crystallizes in the joints, with the big toe being the location in half of the cases. This is called podagra.
By avoiding certain foods can help to limit the amount of uric acid in the blood stream, and therefore reduce the chance of a gout attack. Here are 10 common foods which trigger gout.
Both white and red meat contains more purines than others foods. Red meat like beef and lamb as well as white meats like pork is also high in purines. Organ meat like kidney, liver, brains, sweetbreads, tongue, spleen are also high in purine. Chicken contains moderate amount of purine count so it can be include in your diet. Don’t completely eliminate this but add lots of fruits and vegetables with this meal.
Seafood is good food but in case of gout, it can worsen the case. Seafood like herring, anchovies, sardines, tuna, codfish, mackerel, mussels, scallops, haddock, trout and other oily fishes should be avoided as it can trigger gout as well. Salmon is an exception and a better choice of seafood for gout patients. Also crab, lobster, oysters and shrimp contains moderate amount of purine and can be consumed sometimes.
Alcohol is one of biggest triggers of a painful attack. Beer is actually twice as bad as meats and seafood for those with gout. Those that had more alcohol in their diet had a much higher risk. One serving of beer a day can increase your risk by 50%. Other alcoholic drinks to avoid include hard liquor and wine. Other alcoholic beverages may not be as harmful as beer. It could be the brewer’s yeast or another component in beer that causes a reaction. You can have beer as an alternative drink.
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it can reduce the water in your body. Drinking too much of this can cause your body to become dehydrated. This is dangerous if you suffer from gout. The uric acid crystals are suspended in your blood, but if you become dehydrated they can crystallize at your joints. Drinking one cup of coffee a day is perfectly fine.
5. Sugary drinks
Sugary beverages like non-diet sodas or fruit drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup. The sweeteners will stimulate the body to produce more uric acid. People who eat a lot of beverages with fructose corn syrup have a higher risk of developing gout. You can opt for water, tea, coffee or pure, fresh-squeezed juice Instead of sugary drinks.
6. Asparagus and spinach
Vegetable like asparagus, spinach, cauliflower and mushroom are higher in purines than other vegetables. But if you like these foods, there’s no reason to avoid them completely as they don’t seem to be as bad as the meats are. Veggie-rich diets actually help you clear purines from the body, while the body seems to have an easier time excreting purines from vegetable sources.
However, vegetables can help the body get rid of purines and uric acid, so don’t cut them out of your diet completely. They also contain nutrients that can lower insulin resistance, which plays a part in controlling gout flare-ups. But some dried beans, particularly fava and garbanzo, are high in purines, and you may find you need to avoid them.
Peas, beans and other legumes are also good sources of purines, which makes them poor food sources for those who have gout. These don’t contain massive levels of purines but if they are eaten often or as a side for most meals that will definitely be a problem. Peas are ranked with a moderately high or high amount of purines by World’s Healthiest Foods at 5-100 milligrams of purines for every 3.5 ounces. Pea and other legumes can do less damage to those suffering from gout if they are raw and eaten in small portions.
8. Fried foods
Fatty foods can trigger a painful gout attack, so fried foods are ones to avoid. It has been shown that people with a higher body mass index are more at risk for developing gout. Fried foods can not only trigger an attack, they could be putting you at risk for chronic gout. Stay away from foods fried in oil, and also prepackaged foods that you have to bake. These may be coated in a breading that contains high levels of oils to achieve a crispy texture. Avoid processed foods like chips, snack foods, frozen dinners.
9. Lack of water
If body is dehydrated, the amount of uric acid in your body rises, and your kidneys’ ability to get rid of extra uric acid decreases. Lack of water in your body can make your uric acid levels rise even higher than they already are. Drinking water will help your body stabilize uric acid to a normal level and u can be far away from gout attack. Aim to drink at least 2 liters per day. However, you may need as much as 3-3.5 liters per day depending on your weight, whether it is hot, or whether you exercise.