What you eat is a crucial part of gout treatment. That's because some foods, such as meats in general, alcoholic drinks and seafood, are rich in purines, which can cause uric acid to build up in the body, making gout worse. Along side that, there are some foods that may help with treatment, specially those with diuretic proprieties, such as fruits and vegetables.
Gout, also called gouty arthritis, is a disease that happens due to an alteration in purine metabolism, which results in an increase of uric acid levels in the blood and leads to the formation of crystals that destroy the tissues in the joints, causing arthritis. These crystals usually accumulate in regions like the toes, ankles, and knees, causing inflammation and pain. Learn more abut gout and how to identify it.
What foods are allowed
If you have gout, it's essential that you drink a lot of water, about 2 to 3 liters a day, so that the uric acid accumulated in the blood can be eliminated through urine producion. In addition, it's important to include diuretic foods in your daily diet, such as:
- Watercress, beetroot, celery, peppers, pumpkin, onion, cucumber, parsley, garlic;
- Apple, orange, watermelon, passion fruit, strawberry, melon;
- Skimmed milk and milk products.
In addition, you can also add some anti-inflammatory foods such as olive oil, which can be used in salads, citrus fruits, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and chia seeds, that can be added to fruit juices or yogurts. These types of food can help decrease pain and joint inflammation.
Foods to be eaten in moderation
Foods like asparagus, beans, lentils, mushrooms, shrimp, spinach, poultry, and fish other than those mentioned bellow should be consumed in moderation. In relation to red meat, poultry, and fish, these can be consumed in a 60 to 90 gram portion daily.
Some people have stated that foods such as strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, and nuts can also cause gout crisis, however, these foods are not rich in purine. Up to now, there is no scientific evidence that confirms whether these foods do indeed cause a gout crisis and why. So, it's important that you pay attention to your diet so that if you have a crisis, you can be aware of what food caused it in order to avoid it in the future.
Foods you need to avoid
The foods that should not be eaten during a gout crisis are:
- Alcoholic drinks, especially beer;
- Organ meats, especially heart, kidneys, and liver;
- Processing seasonings;
- Baking powder and brewer's yeast as a supplement;
- Goose meat;
- Excess red meat;
- Seafood such as shellfish, muscles, and scallops;
- Fish like anchovies, herring, mackerel, and sardines;
- Processed products with fructose, such as sodas, packet juice or powder drink mixes, mayonnaise, mustard, processed sauces, artificial honey, caramel, chocolate, cakes, desserts, fast food, some types of bread, sausage, and smoked ham.
If you are not having a gout crisis, these foods are not forbidden, but they should be limited. Therefore, please eat these in moderation, preferably according to a nutritionist guidelines.
Meal plan for a gout diet
The following table brings an example of a 3-day menu to help decrease excess uric acid in the body:
|Meal||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||1 cup of strawberry smoothie + 2 slices of bread + 2 slices of white cheese||1 cup of natural orange juice + 2 oat and banana pancakes + 2 slices of white cheese||1 cup of pineapple juice + 2 scrambled eggs with cheese and oregano|
|Morning snack||10 grapes + 3 graham crackers||1 pear + 1 tablespoon of peanut butter||1 natural yogurt with 1 tablespoon flaxseed|
|Lunch/ Dinner||90 grams of chicken + 1/2 cup of rice + lettuce, carrot, and cucumber salad seasoned with a tablespoon of olive oil||1 fish fillet + 2 medium potatoes + 1 cup of boiled vegetables + 1 tablespoon of olive oil||Pasta with 90 grams of pan-fried turkey with vegetables|
|Afternoon snack||1 natural yogurt with a tablespoon of chia seeds||1 baked apple with a tablespoon of cinnamon||1 medium slice of watermelon|
The quantities included in this meal plan can vary according to age, gender, physical activity, or if you have another health condition, so it's important to visit a nutritionist to do a complete assessment and elaborate a food plan according to your needs.