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Foods to eat and avoid if you have gout

These diet tips will prevent uric acid from accumulating in the blood, thus preventing recurring gout attacks.

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Gout, which is a painful rheumatic disease, is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. While an imbalance in the excretion by the kidneys can cause gout, certain foods high in purines can trigger a gout attack. If you have been diagnosed with gout, follow these diet tips recommended by nutritionist Khushboo Sahijwani.

Completely avoid alcoholic beverages

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You need to avoid alcohol entirely when you suffer from gout. The alcohol causes your kidneys to excrete alcohol instead of uric acid, increasing the amount of uric acid in the blood, leading to a gout attack. Beer contains plenty of purines and thus has a strong association with gout. The alcohol content and brewer s yeast in beer can also trigger gout pain.

Limit your intake of soft drinks and packaged juices

You also need to limit your intake of soft drinks and packaged fruit juices as they are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association suggests that corn syrup leads to an increased risk of gout [1]. While moderation is the key, if you crave for some fruit juices, you can try these healthy juices instead.

Don't eat animal protein

Animal protein is high in purines, which is the precursor of gout. It also causes you to excrete more uric acid, which triggers gout. So you certainly need to limit your intake of pork beef and lamb. Increased amount of seafood is also associated with a higher risk of gout. Excessive intake of protein from animal sources can also lead to cancer.

Consume more plant-based proteins

Plant-based proteins such as legumes and beans can be excellent if you re suffering from gout. They are low in purines and making them a staple in your diet will help you avoid the purines in animal protein. Sunflower seeds and flaxseeds are two of the plant-based protein sources which are lowest in purines. You can get your protein from these other plant sources.

Opt for low-fat dairy

Too much of saturated fat in your diet can reduce your body s ability to get rid of uric acid. You, therefore, need to cut back on saturated fats like high-fat dairy products. Opt for low-fat dairy products like skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurt instead, as they are associated with reduced uric acid levels.

Eat a lot of cherries

Including cherries in your diet can inhibit an enzyme that causes inflammation. It has also been linked to decreased uric acid concentrations in the body. Researchers at the Boston University Medical Centre conducted a study and found that eating at least ten cherries a day protected people with gout from recurring attacks.

Reference

1. Hyon K. Choi, MD, DrPH; Walter Willett, MD, DrPH; Gary Curhan, MD, ScD, Fructose-Rich Beverages and Risk of Gout in Women, The Journal of American Medical Association, November 24, 2010, Vol 304, No. 20

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