Gout Diet: Foods To Avoid - What Should you Scratch From Your Grocery List?
Diets which are high in purines as well as full of protein have long been thought of causing a heightened risk of gout (a type of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the body which form crystals in the joints, resulting in pain and inflammation). Results from a study led by Dr. Hyon K. Choi, reported in the March 11, 2004 issue of The new England Journal of Medicine, offer an interesting twist.
About the Study
Choi's research team followed 47,150 men with no prior history of gout over a 12-year period. The conclusion: during the 12 year period of assessment, 730 men were diagnosed with gout.
- Study participants who consumed the highest amount of meat were 40 percent more likely to have gout than those who ate the least amount of meat.
- Study participants who ate the most seafood were 50 percent more likely to have gout.
Diet Tips To Control High Uric Acid Levels
Do you feel persistent joint pain especially in your fingers? Then, you have good reason to doubt that you have an increased uric acid level. Uric acid is a ...
- This specific study, though, not all purine-rich foods have been associated with an increased risk of gout.
- There was no increased risk associated with a diet which included: peas beans mushrooms cauliflower spinach
Even Though These Foods are Considered High in Purines
Choi's group also found that low-fat dairy products reduce the risk of gout and overall protein intake had no effect. Ultimately, diets shown to be connected to gout are the same kinds of diet associated with cardiovascular disease.
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Recommendations for Seafood Should be Individualized
At this point, it may seem like it will get confusing. Isn't seafood typically recommended as part of a diet which is healthy for the heart? Yet research has revealed that there is a strong, undeniable link between seafood and gout. How does Choi reconcile what seems like conflicting information? He believes "recommendations for seafood should be personalized."
Sorting Out the Myths
More importantly, how does a person begin to sort the myths from the facts and decide what to get at the grocery store? According to the University of Washington, Department of Orthopedics:
Obesity can be associated with high uric acid levels in the blood. Those who are obese should consult with their doctor to decide on a reasonable weight-loss program. Fasting or severe dieting can actually increase uric acid levels and cause gout in order to worsen. Usually people can eat what they like within limits. People who have kidney stones as a result of uric acid may need to actually eliminate purine-rich foods from their diet because those foods can raise their uric acid level. Consuming coffee and tea is not a problem but alcohol can raise uric acid levels and trigger an episode of gout. Consuming at least 10-12 eight-ounce glasses of non-alcoholic fluids each day is recommended, especially for those who have kidney stones, to help flush the uric acid crystals from your body. Foods Higher In Purines.
Johns Hopkins Lists Foods Which are Increased in Purines
Foods very high in purines include: hearts herring mussels yeast smelt sardines sweetbreads.
Foods moderately high in purines include: anchovies grouse mutton veal sausage hard working liver salmon turkey kidneys partridge trout goose haddock pheasant scallopsGout Medications
Experts at Mayo Clinic suggest that drugs for gout have reduced the need for dietary restrictions, but some modification can lower the severity or frequency of gout attacks. Dietary customization may also be preferred by people who cannot endure gout medications.
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Chris Randon is a nutritionist specialized in human health, and is based in Los Angeles, Carlifornia.