The Link Between Gout and Diet: What to Eat and Avoid

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Gout is a painful type of arthritis that is caused by an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream. This can lead to painful swelling in the joints and other areas. When diagnosing and treating gout, it is important to understand the link between gout and diet. By avoiding certain foods, you can reduce your risk of gout attacks and manage symptoms.

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What to Eat When You Have Gout

If you have gout, you should focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in natural, unprocessed foods. Aim to include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, and whole grains like quinoa and oats. Studies have also shown that some types of seafood can be gout-friendly. Make sure to choose options that are wild-caught and low in mercury, such as trout, salmon, and herring.

What to Avoid When You Have Gout

On the other hand, there are some foods that should be limited or avoided if you have gout. Foods that are high in purines and uric acid are of particular importance, as they can cause a sudden spike in uric acid levels, increasing your risk of a gout flare. Try to limit or avoid the following foods:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Organ-based proteins including liver, brain, and kidney
  • High fructose corn syrup found in soft drinks and processed foods
  • Certain seafoods like shrimp, sardines, and anchovies
  • Rich, fatty cuts of red meat like ribeye
  • High-fat dairy products like whole milk, cheese, and ice cream

Managing Gout Pain with Healthy Eating

Changing your diet and eating habits can help prevent gout flare-ups and reduce symptoms. It is important to focus on foods that are low in purines, uric acid, and saturated fat, as this combination can lead to a gout attack. Instead, choose plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins, and whole grains to keep your uric acid levels within a healthy range.