Diets to prevent gout
- By Team TDO
Gout, or gouty arthritis, is a disorder of purine metabolism that develops when there is over production and less excretion of uric acid in the body which causes pain, inflammation and redness in the joints. It commonly affects toes and feet.
Development of gout is more commonly seen in men than women. Luckily, there are some dietary steps for people who are prone to the condition to prevent gout attacks.
Nutritional care for gout
The key to preventing gout is avoiding foods that are high in purines, a protein found naturally in some food sources. A specific diet that is relatively high in carbohydrate, moderate in protein and low in fat helps in preventing gout attacks because it helps limit uric acid in the body.
- Carbohydrate, Protein, Fat and Vitamins: The energy intake from carbohydrate can be increased by including whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables (except those restricted). Carbohydrates enhance clearance of uric acid from the blood. Protein intake need not be increased, as it needs to be consumed in moderation. It has been suggested that tofu (soya bean curd) is a preferable source of protein in patients with gout as it helps to increase uric acid clearance. Avoid fried foods and fatty meals. Restrict the use of oil to 3-4 tsp/day, as fat interferes with the excretion of urates. Vitamin C has been found to be successful to keep gout at bay. Daily consumption of vitamin C rich cherries, strawberries and other berries and citrus fruits can help to prevent and treat a gout attack.
- Fluid: Intake of fluid (3 lit/day) should be encouraged to keep the urine dilute. This would help to excrete uric acid and minimize the possibility of kidney stone formation. This includes water, green tea, lime juices and other form of beverages.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol completely as it is rich in purine content.
- It is important to maintain ideal body weight.
- Excessive dieting and exercise should be avoided.
- The following is a list of foods divided according to their purine content which helps in identifying the good and bad sources of purines.
Group I: High purine content (100 to 1000 mg of purine nitrogen per 100 g of food)
- Organ meats such as heart, brain, kidney.
- Fish such as Anchovies, Mackerel, Sardines, Roe, Mussels, Scallops, Herring.
- Meat extracts and minced meat.
- Yeast (baker's and brewer's), taken as supplement.
- Alcohol beverage.
Group II: Moderate Purine Content (9 to 100 mg of purine nitrogen per 100 g of food)
- Meat, fish like shellfish, poultry (except those listed in group I).
- Vegetables such as asparagus, beans (dried), spinach, peas (dried), mushroom.
- One serving of meat, fish or 1 serving of vegetables from this group is allowed daily.
Group III: Negligible Purine Content
- Bread (white) and crackers.
- Fat (in moderation) like butter, margarine, cream, oil.
- Cake, cookies, chocolate.
- Beverages like tea, coffee and carbonated beverages.
- Milk products like milk, ice cream, cheese, white sauce.
- Cereal and cereal products like macaroni, noodles, popcorn, rice, bread.
- Custard, puddings, gelatin desserts.
- Vegetables (except those in group 2), potato and fruits.
- Olives, pickles.
- Herbs, condiments, vinegar, salt, sugar and sweets.