Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Top Foods To Avoid With Gout

Did you know that gout is the only form of arthritis that can be relieved by what you eat? Therefore, if you have had a gout attack or gout runs in your family it is wise to understand which foods to avoid with gout to stop any of the nasty symptoms.

Gout is tremendously painful and it's on the increase. It used to be an affliction that made the lives of the rich a misery because of their rich diet and high alcohol consumption. Nowadays, as society has got wealthier we are leaving ourselves wide open for gout due to our reliance on processed foods, red meats and increased alcohol consumption.

Traditionally effecting men, more than women, bouts of gout are increasing for both groups.

Gout is caused by a condition known as hyperuricemia. This is where there are raised levels of uric acid in the blood. Although not dangerous in itself, hyperuricemia can lead to the development of gout.

When uric acid levels reach saturation point in the blood stream, small deposits are made in the spaces and connective tissues of the joints. These deposits crystallize, causing sharp, jagged needles that are the reason behind the swift swelling, redness and pain characterized by a gout attack.

Hyperuricemia is caused by an increase production of uric acid in the blood or the kidneys being unable to process uric acid effectively. This can be for hereditary reasons or by eating too many purine-rich foods, drinking alcohol heavily and becoming dehydrated.

Purine is a natural compound found in a lot of our food, particularly animal proteins. When ingested the body goes to work, breaking the purine down and producing uric acid as a result. Purine is found in high levels in processed foods and some alcohol, beer in particular. It stands to reason that having a diet high in animal and purine-rich foods, along with drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to gout, especially if it is a condition that runs in the family.

Staying hydrated is a good first step in your defense against gout. By drinking at least 8 - 10 eight ounce glasses of water a day, you are ensuring that the uric acid in your body is diluted, allowing your kidneys to efficiently deal with eliminating the excess via your urine.

However, to really go about lowering uric acid levels you need to look at your diet and make some amendments, as there are a few foods to avoid with gout. Among the worst offenders are:

Most meats


Meat extracts

Game meats

Processed meat


yeast extracts







Caffeinated beverages

Legumes ie. peas, beans & lentils



These foods are very high in purine and should be avoided, especially during a gout flare-up. Once gout symptoms are under control, small volumes of these foods can be eaten, however, it must only be moderation and you will be running a risk of experiencing further gout attacks.

The best way to manage your gout through diet is to look at changing the foods you eat as a lifestyle choice rather than a diet. That way you bypass the feelings of 'missing out' and your new food choices become habit.

Although the list of foods to avoid with gout is fairly extensive, there are plenty of other delicious foods that are okay to eat. Find out more on our site where you can sign up for a free newsletter.


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