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Gout is a clinical condition in which uric acid crystals get deposited in the joints, thus leading to pain, inflammation, joint stiffness, swelling and redness. Dietary management of gout includes reduction of high uric acid levels in the blood and increased excretion of uric acid via urine.
The relation between dietary protein and gout
The precursor of gout is high uric acid level. People with gout have to be very careful about their food intake because food has a direct relationship with blood uric acid levels. Furthermore, such individuals are also advised to avoid the intake of purine-rich foods . This is because in the human body, purine is broken down to uric acid. A diet high in purine will, in turn, increase the level of uric acid in the blood. Therefore, restriction of purine rich foods is the basic and the most important step in the management of gout.
Animal protein (non-vegetarian foods) are rich in purine. Therefore, people with gout should strictly restrict their intake of non-vegetarian foods Rich sources of animal protein include:
Various clinical studies  have revealed that intake of seafood and meat increases blood uric acid levels. On the other hand, protein coming from dairy products such as milk and curd help in reducing high blood uric acid levels. Among all the non-vegetarian foods; fish, shellfish, red meat and organ meat are major sources of uric acid whereas, chicken is a moderate source of uric acid. Therefore, except chicken all other animal proteins should be out of the food list for those with gout whereas, 1-2 medium pieces of lean meat such as chicken can be consumed once in ten days.
As compared to non-vegetarian foods, vegetarian foods are not a great source of protein. Intake of dairy products such as milk, curd, buttermilk and lassi (without sugar) reduces the level of blood uric acid. Casein and lactalbumin are the two proteins present in milk that lowers the level of blood uric acid by increasing its excretion. Though milk contains protein, it is a poor source of purine. Thus, complete elimination of dairy products is not needed. Other vegetarian sources of protein such as soy and dals can also be consumed safely. In addition to non-vegetarian foods, some whole pulses are also a rich source of purine . Such pulses include:
Other foods to limit
Healthy Foods Recommended
Diet Plan for Individuals with Gout
Reason: Select high fibre products and replace buffalo milk (high-fat milk) with cow's milk (low fat milk)
Reason: Low purine fruit produces less uric acid.
Reason: Weight loss is the main step in the management of gout. This is because people who are obese or overweight are at a higher risk. So start your meal with a lot of healthy salad and restrict the amount of carbohydrate intake.
Reason: Do not select maida rich (low fibre) products.
Reason: Almonds and walnuts are low in purines. Select home-made vegetable juice or soup over fruit juices and soft drinks.
1. Choi, H. K., Liu, S. and Curhan, G. (2005), Intake of purine-rich foods, protein, and dairy products and relationship to serum levels of uric acid: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 52: 283 289. doi: 10.1002/art.20761
2. Hyon K. Choi, M.D., Dr.P.H., Karen Atkinson, M.D., M.P.H., Elizabeth W. Karlson, M.D., Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Gary Curhan, M.D., Sc.D. N Engl J Med 2004; 350:1093-1103
3. Teng GG, Pan A, Yuan JM, Koh WP. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015 Jul;67(7):1933-42. doi: 10.1002/art.39115.
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