The following 7-day sample plan will guide you through everything you need to know about following a diet optimized to manage gout.
CAIRO, EGYPT | NOW THEN DIGITAL — A diet optimized to manage gout can be tricky to start, but this 7-day plan walks you through everything you need to know and provides a sample plan.
The 10 per cent of fat calories should come from dairy products that contain little or no saturated fats. The rest of the fat calories should come from low glycemic index foods.
In addition, you should stay well hydrated. Drink a minimum of 80 ounces of water per day. Aim for eight to 10 glasses a day to reduce the risk of gout attacks.
The first step of the low-purine gout diet plan is limiting the consumption of red meat, poultry, and seafood.
Consuming these foods can trigger gout attacks, so eating them only on occasion is vital.
Also, limit your intake of red meat and seafood, and substitute them with green vegetables, nuts, and starchy vegetables.
Plant-based foods, such as vegetables, are not associated with an increased risk of gout.
Purines are naturally present in many foods. When they are eaten too frequently, they break down into uric acid, which causes inflammation and pain in the joints.
People with gout are at a higher risk of developing kidney stones, so avoiding purine-rich foods can be extremely helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms and preventing future attacks.
The National Kidney Foundation recommends that all adults consume at least eight glasses of water per day.
During the day, low-purine foods are eaten throughout the day, with meals and snacks consisting of lower-purine foods. Snacks on the diet should consist of low-calorie, low-fat foods.
Low-fat dairy products are useful additions to a meal plan because they contain low amounts of purines.
In addition to these, low-purine foods can also be consumed in moderation, such as fruit juices and enriched bread sandwiches.
Avoiding foods that trigger gout attacks
Listed below are some of the foods that can cause a gout attack. It’s easy to avoid these foods when you know what they are and how they can harm you.
A gout attack is a painful condition where crystals in the joints are caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood.
Uric acid is produced naturally by the body but if it accumulates in the blood, it can form in the joints and cause inflammation, pain, and swelling.
Typically, a gout attack can last between three and ten days.
Many foods are high in purines, a substance in the body that is broken down into uric acid during digestion. Because uric acid can increase the risk of a gout attack, people with gout should avoid foods high in purines.
These foods include red meat, poultry, seafood, and refined carbohydrates.
If you’re concerned about dietary purines, you may want to consider including moderate portions of fish and seafood as part of your gout diet plan.
Organ meats are another food to avoid if you’re trying to prevent a gout attack. Organ meats, such as liver, kidney, and sweetbreads, contain high levels of purines and should be avoided altogether.
Also, if you’re a vegetarian, consider making a vegan alternative called “vegetarian pate” to simulate the taste of liver without the high purine content.
A low-protein, low-purine diet plan is an ideal way to manage gout and reduce the pain it causes.
The purpose of this plan is to reduce the amount of uric acid in the body, a compound that contributes to gout.
It also includes a high-fiber, whole grain diet and a high-protein, low-fat dairy product as a protein source.
When combined with regular exercise and a low-purine diet, a gout diet plan can help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by this condition.
In addition to limiting protein, the diet plan also contains low-purine foods. It is advisable to eat as many vegetables as possible and bulk up meat-based meals with more vegetables to help minimize the amount of protein.
Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of vitamin C, which may help reduce the level of uric acid in the body.
Cherries, oranges, pineapple, strawberries and tomatoes are high in vitamin C, which can help fight gout-associated inflammation.
Meat should be avoided because organ meat contains high levels of purines that contribute to gout. Red meat, poultry and seafood are high-purine foods, so limit your serving sizes and eat them sparingly.
Fish, however, is a good source of protein and may be included in moderate amounts. While meat is the primary source of protein, other plant foods can be a great substitute.
Avoiding foods that increase uric acid levels
There are some basic principles to follow when avoiding foods that increase uric acid levels.
Fruits and vegetables are a great way to reduce the amount of uric acid in your body, and consuming more of them can improve your condition.
Dairy products contain good amounts of protein and water, so they are useful additions to a diet.
Likewise, avoid red meat, organ meat, and seafood, and stick to fruits and vegetables. You can also limit your intake of fish and other meat to avoid high levels of purine.
In case of a gout crisis, however, you may need to temporarily avoid eggs or red meat.
Low-fructose fruits are also good choices. Cherries have been shown to be especially helpful in lowering uric acid levels, while low-purine vegetables such as cucumbers, cauliflower, and broccoli are not recommended.
You should also avoid alcohol and processed food, as they increase uric acid levels. Instead, consume whole grains instead of refined carbs. According to rheumatologist Frank Arnett, Jr., M.D., a professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, ‘Alcohol is worse than most foods.'”
Moreover, avoid foods that contain large amounts of sugar, such as beets, as they have the same effect as purines.
Foods that increase uric acid levels are also best avoided when trying to prevent gout. Fortunately, this is an easy task once you know what to avoid.
By avoiding these foods, you’ll be helping to prevent gout and other related health problems.
Just remember: you should eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and meats. Just make sure that you don’t eat too much of them, as they are high in uric acid.
Fruits that reduce gout attacks
A diet high in fruit and vegetables may be beneficial for people suffering from gout.
Besides citrus fruits, a variety of other foods have a high amount of vitamin C, which may lower uric acid levels and help prevent gout attacks. Dark berries, including cherries, may also help lower uric acid levels.
Also, eating tofu, which is made from soy, may be an excellent choice for people with gout. Tofu is high in protein, and its omega fatty acids may help prevent inflammation caused by gout. Nathan Wei, M.D., director of the Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Treatment Center of Maryland in Frederick, Md., suggests, ‘For those who are carnivores and miss meat, consider tofu instead.’
While cold water fish such as shrimp, lobster, and scallops may raise your uric acid levels, they can also have beneficial effects on your heart.
Therefore, shellfish and other shellfish should only be eaten in moderation. While fish may increase your uric acid level, the benefits for your health might outweigh the risk of gout attacks.
Another fruit that may help reduce gout attacks is tart cherries. Tart cherries contain red-purple pigments known as anthocyanins. These pigments have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Foods high in fructose are bad for those with gout. The sugar in these products causes your body to break down uric acid.
Therefore, it is important to limit your intake of fructose-sweetened drinks and foods.
In addition, organ meats such as kidney, liver, and sweetbreads are also bad choices. Vegetables high in purines are also bad for gout sufferers.
Managing gout with a balanced diet
While it is difficult to eliminate alcohol from the diet entirely, it can slow the process of excretion of uric acid, thereby increasing uric acid levels.
Despite its low purine content, wine and other alcoholic beverages can trigger an attack. Additionally, high-fructose fruit juices can also trigger a gout attack.
Lastly, avoid eating too much sugar or naturally sweetened fruits. Nevertheless, some fruits can help reduce the amount of uric acid in your blood.
To manage gout, you should consume about 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. You may reduce the amount of meat in your diet by bulking up the meal with vegetables.
You should also consume plenty of vitamin C-rich foods, such as cherries and berries. High-quality vitamin C intake has been linked to reduced levels of uric acid in the blood. It is also important to limit saturated fat in your diet.
Although dietary changes are not the cause of gout, losing excess weight can help you reduce your uric acid levels and lessen the occurrence of gout attacks.
Losing eight pounds is enough to help you reduce your uric acid levels and decrease your chances of a gout attack.
Lastly, here is our PDF of the 7-Day Gout Diet Meal Plan. Please download, print, and view this document.