Gout is a type of painful arthritis which is caused by deposits of urate crystals. These crystals form in between our joints cause swelling and pain.
Gout usually affects the big toe for most people, while others experience gout in the fingers, wrists, knees, and heels.
Gout occurs when uric acid in the blood increases, causing inflammation. Uric acid is a waste product when our body digests certain foods.
Gout attacks usually happen at night time, lasting from 3-10 days.
So how does our diet affect gout?
When you eat certain foods high in purines, your body creates uric acid as a waste product. Foods which are high in purine are more likely to cause a gout attack once uric acid levels rise.
Healthy people are able to remove excess uric acid more efficiently from their bodies, thus able to process high purine foods. If you suffer from gout, a high purine diet will increase the chances of gout attacks.
What foods to avoid with a gout flare up?
If you experience gout attacks regularly, you must avoid the main culprits…high purine foods.
Here are high purine and high fructose foods to avoid when you have a gout attack (Contains 200 mg of purine per 3.5 ounces):
Organ meats: Liver, kidneys, and brain
Game meats: pheasant, veal and venison
Fish: Trout, mackerel, tuna, sardines, anchovies etc…
Seafood: Crab. shrimp, roes
Sugary Beverages: Fruit juices and sugary sodas
Sugars: Honey and high fructose corn syrup
Refined carbs: White bread, cakes, and cookies. These are not high in purines or fructose but are low in nutrient which can raise your uric acid levels.
What foods should you eat to get rid of gout?
A gout-friendly diet does eliminate many foods which we love. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of tasty low purine foods you will enjoy.
Here are low purine foods safe for people experiencing gout (4-6 ounces | 115-170 grams per week):
Fruits: Fruit is generally fine for gout. Cherries can also prevent gout attacks by lowering uric acid levels
Vegetables: Vegetables, including potatoes, peas, mushrooms, and dark leafy vegetables
Legumes: Legumes including lentils, beans, soybeans, and tofu
Nuts: All types of nuts and seeds are safe
Whole grains: Oats, brown rice and barley
Dairy products: Low-fat dairy is very beneficial
Beverages: Coffee and tea
Herbs and spices: The more the merrier
Plant-based oils: Canola, coconut and olive
Other foods you can eat in moderations:
Meats: Chicken, beef, pork, and lamb
Fresh fish or canned salmon: Salmon contains lower levels of purines compared to most fish
7 Day Gout Diet Plan
Breakfast: Oats combined with Greek yogurt and berries if you like
Lunch: Quinoa salad, boiled eggs, and veggies
Dinner: Whole wheat pasta, chicken, spinach and low-fat feta cheese
Breakfast: Combine 1/2 cup of berries, 1/2 cup of spinach, 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup of low-fat milk. Blend together for a smoothie
Lunch: Whole grain sandwich with eggs and fresh salad
Dinner: Roast chicken, vegetables and brown rice
Breakfast: Prepare for overnight oats – 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup of low-fat milk, 1tbsp chia seeds, 1/4 cup berries, and 1/4 tsp vanilla extra. Sit overnight.
Lunch: Whole wheat wrap combined with chickpeas and vegetables
Dinner: Oven baked salmon, asparagus and cherry tomatoes
Prepare for overnight chia seed pudding:
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Let it sit in a bowl or mason jar overnight
Lunch: Salmon and salad
Dinner: Chicken, quinoa, spinach, eggplant, and feta salad
Breakfast: French toast and strawberries
Lunch: Whole grain sandwich, boiled eggs, and salad
Dinner: Stir-fried tofu, vegetables with brown rice
Breakfast: Mushroom and zucchini frittata
Lunch: Stir-fried tofu and brown rice
Dinner: DIY Chicken burger with fresh salad
Breakfast: Egg omelet, spinach, and mushrooms
Lunch: Whole wheat wrap, chickpeas, and vegetables
Dinner: Scrambled eggs, spinach, bell peppers wrapped in whole wheat tortillas
Lifestyle changes for preventing gout
Besides having a well-balanced diet, committing to lifestyle changes can also help lower the risk of gout attacks.
Excess weight can increase the risk of gout attacks because excess weight can make you more resistant to inulin. When our bodies can’t use the insulin to remove sugar from the blood, it increases uric acid levels. Slowly ease into the weight loss process and try not to starve yourself for faster results. When you are losing weight rapidly, it can increase the risk of gout attacks.
Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and also keep uric acids levels low.
Staying hydrated helps your body to remove excess uric acid from the blood, flushing it out via urine. It is important to stay hydrated if you exercise a lot since you will be losing a lot of water through sweating.
Limit alcohol consumption
Drinking alcohol can reduce the body’s ability to remove uric acid efficiently. This leads to crystals forming in your joints.
Gout is a type of painful arthritis which can be avoided with a few lifestyle changes.
When you experience a gout attack, try to focus your diet on low purine foods and limit yourself from high purine foods.
Remember to maintain an active lifestyle, drink plenty of water and remember to be conscious of what you put in your body.