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An assortment of healthy foods for gout arranged on a black table

Gout and Dietary Health: What to Eat to Manage Flare-Ups

Gout is one of the most painful foot conditions and types of arthritis. It also has a deep connection to the foods and drinks you consume on a regular basis. The benefits of good nutrition are two-fold: they can help with gout prevention and manage your flair ups. Let’s look at the science behind a gout diet, what to avoid, and what delicious and nutritious foods you can add to your daily menu. 

Gout and Dietary Health: What to Avoid 

Gout management and prevention through diet mainly involves avoiding purine. 

This is a chemical compound found in food and drink. It leads to high uric acid levels (hyperuricemia) that then form the crystals around the joints that trigger inflammation and ultimately result in the onset of a gout attack.

Arthritis-Health tells us there is no way to fully avoid purine since it is found in the cells of virtually everything we consume. But you can maintain a low-purine diet by avoiding foods and drinks with high levels. 

One of the main culprits is alcohol. Not only does it contain a lot of purine, but it can prevent your body from metabolizing and eliminating uric acid. Beer has the most purine compared to spirits and wine. However, fortified wine, stouts and ports are also high in purine. 

Other drinks to sip sparingly include high-sugar juices and sodas — there is a lot of purine in high-fructose corn syrup! 

When it comes to food, seafood like sardines, anchovies and shellfish are full of purine, as are red meats, organ meats and processed meats like hot dogs, salami, etc. Of course, everything in moderation is key, but these proteins should be avoided when you have other alternatives.

The Best Gout-Friendly Foods

The word “diet” can be frustrating because it represents restriction. But sometimes for our health, we have to do what’s best for us. This is the case for a gout diet.

Remember, the lifestyle changes you make to control this condition don’t mean that you can’t enjoy delicious foods. Here is a list of just some of the nutrient-dense and low purine foods you can have: 

  • Eggs
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Fresh fruit with natural sugars. Be careful of preserves, packaged, or canned fruits as they often sneak in high-fructose corn syrup. 
  • Tomatoes
  • Poultry
  • Salmon 
  • Leafy greens
  • Popcorn
  • Whole grains
  • Low-sugar desserts

When planning your new menu, you may be surprised to see a lot of healthy foods, like mushrooms, asparagus and cauliflower, have moderate purine levels. It’s okay to eat them on occasion.

Click here to learn what foods are great for general foot health; just be sure to double check purine levels.

Looking for More Gout Guidance?

Keeping up with good nutrition is just one of the many ways you can wrangle this frustrating foot issue. Visit Toronto’s Feet First Clinic for top-quality care from a licensed chiropodist! Call us at (416) 769-3338 or book an appointment here!

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