Gout is a kind of arthritis that’s described as an inflammatory condition affecting the joints. People suffering from this condition experience severe and sudden attacks of swelling, inflammation, and pain in the joints. Luckily, there are medications and treatments that can help control painful gout symptoms.
For instance, lifestyle changes and a healthy diet are some of the most common treatments for this condition. Following a gout diet that helps control the levels of uric acid in the blood can serve as one of the most important parts of the treatment plan for gout. This is mainly because high levels of uric acid in the blood can cause crystal formations in the joints resulting in severe inflammation and pain.
What does a gout diet focus on?
- Conventionally, diets for gout generally focused on the foods that should not be eaten.
- These food triggers typically have a high content of nitrogen-containing compounds and purines, which metabolize into uric acid.
- However, further research in this field has proved that what people eat might have a major impact on managing the levels of uric acid.
- This would further help in reducing the risk and severity of painful attacks and inflammation in the joints.
What are the foods that decrease the levels of uric acid?
Foods that help manage the levels of uric acid within the body are as follows:
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that ceases the activity of the enzymes and thus helps to reduce gouty.
- Cherries: Cherries are one of the most effective treatments for inflammation and pain in the joints. Tart cherry juice helps in doing away with high levels of uric acid within a very short span of time.
- Vegetables: Vegetables such as asparagus, mushrooms and spinach are filled with nutrients and can be consumed safely by people with joint pain and inflammation.
- Dairy products: Dairy products that are low in fat might help improve the production of uric acid via the urine. Consumption of yogurt and low-fat milk can help decrease uric acid content in the blood.
- Bananas: This is one fruit that contains high levels of potassium and less sugar, meaning it’s one of the best fruits for preventing gouty arthritis.
What foods should be avoided?
For individuals who are susceptible to joint inflammation and pain, it is important to avoid high-purine foods. High-fructose foods also need to be avoided as they can serve as triggers. High-fructose, high-purine, and moderately-purine foods that should completely be avoided are as follows:
- All organ meats such as sweetbreads, brain, liver, and kidneys
- Sugary beverages such as sodas and fruit juices
- Game meats such as veal, pheasant, and venison
- Seafood such as crab, scallops, roe, shrimp, mackerel, trout, haddock, herring, etc.
- Added sugars such as agave nectar, corn syrup and honey
Apart from the above-mentioned foods, refined carbohydrates such as cakes, cookies, pasta and white bread should also be avoided.
What should be the objectives of a gout diet?
- Achieving a healthy weight
- Accomplishing healthy habits of eating
- Avoiding high-purine foods
- Controlling levels of uric acid
What are the results?
- Improvement in overall health
- Healthy weight
Healthy lifestyle choices in combination with the right treatment plan can help in successfully managing gout.