GOUT FAST FACT

Nearly half of Americans have a family member or friend who suffers with gout.

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Gout Diet

There is no regimented “gout diet”. However, gout patients should follow a healthy, balanced diet, taking into account the following guidelines and dietary requirements related to any other health conditions.

It is important to avoid purine-rich food and large amounts of foods with a moderate concentration of purine. A diet low in purine content can play an important role in managing gout because purine can increase the amount of uric acid in the body and may trigger a gout attack.

It is also advisable to reduce the amount of fructose in your diet, an ingredient found in sugar-sweetened soft drinks and other processed foods. Foods heavy in fructose are also commonly cited for their role in contributing to the obesity epidemic.

Build your diet on foods such as:

  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Grains

Avoid crash diets as quick or extreme weight loss increases the amount of uric acid in the body.

 

High-purine foods to avoid:

  • Beer
  • Grain alcohol
  • Red meat
  • Seafood, especially shellfish like shrimp and lobster

Source: Krause’s Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy, 2004

A 2004 study by Dr. Hyon Choi, et al, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that each additional serving of purine-rich red meat was associated with a 21 percent increase in the risk of gout in men over age 40; each additional weekly serving of seafood was associated with a 7 percent increase in risk. The study also found that protein, purine-rich vegetables and moderate consumption of wine are not as harmful to gout sufferers as once believed. In addition, the study found that low-fat dairy products, specifically skim milk and low-fat yogurt, may actually decrease the risk or provide some protection against gout.

High-fructose foods to limit:

Fructose is a naturally occurring simple sugar found in fruit, vegetables and honey. There is a correlation between a diet high in fructose content and gout.

Moderate your consumption of high-fructose fruits to 1-2 cups per day, including

  • Apples
  • Dates
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Prunes

High-fructose foods to avoid:

  • All sweetened soft drinks, juices and foods with added high-fructose corn syrup on the label, especially in sodas, enriched fruit drinks, many breakfast cereals, many store-bought baked goods, many ice creams and candy
  • Processed foods such as those found at “fast food” restaurants

Some dietitians recommend creating a gout lifestyle and diet diary so that you can keep track of foods that may trigger an attack of gout. Click here to download a sample diary.

These guidelines may vary from those supplied by your physician or other healthcare professional and are not intended as a substitute for their advice.