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Gout Diet

June 14, 2011 by Lynn.

Diet is a key factor in controlling gouty arthritis as it can help to lower uric acid levels and prevent flare ups. The combination of a healthy diet, weight loss, and gout medications is vital for lowering the risk of gout attacks.

Foods to Avoid

Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid, which is produced during the breakdown of purines. Purines are found in many foods, and to lower uric acid levels those foods should be restricted. In the past a low-protein diet has been recommended, but studies have since shown that overall protein levels do not affect the chances of getting gouty arthritis, but the type of protein being consumed does. Meat and seafood, in particular, are the culprits.

One study found that the men who ate the most meat were 40 percent more likely to get gout, and the men who ate the most seafood were 50 percent more likely to be afflicted. Some meats and seafood have higher purine levels (such as liver, herring and anchovies), but all animal protein contains purines.

While it is not necessary to completely eliminate meat and seafood as part of the diet, it is recommended that intake be restricted. Alcohol consumption should be limited as well, especially during an attack. While a glass of wine with dinner is not likely to increase your risk of gout, drinking beer will.

Foods to Include

Cutting out purine-rich foods is the first step in preventing attacks of gouty arthritis, but there are also foods that are beneficial to eat. Replace animal proteins with vegetable-based proteins like legumes and tofu as often as possible.

Be sure to include lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and choose low-fat dairy products, as research shows it can be helpful in preventing attacks. Make sure to drink lots of water to help flush out the body and stay hydrated. A well-rounded diet, much like the diet recommended for cardiovascular disease, can do wonders in helping facilitate weight loss and prevent in painful attacks of gout.

Because obesity is a contributing factor in developing gout, combining diet and exercise to achieve a healthy weight is important in preventing and managing gouty arthritis. With the right balance of gout medications, diet and exercise, gouty arthritis can be kept under control and the chances of a gout attack can be kept at a minimum.

Filed under: Gout Food Diet.

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