Free USA Shipping!

What you need to know about gout and how your diet can prevent it

by Tina Sendin August 18, 2020

What you need to know about gout and how your diet can prevent it

What is gout and why do gout attacks happen?

Gout is a kind of arthritis that is characterized by an inflammation of the joints. Those suffering from gout describe the attacks as sharp and severe, accompanied by sore, swollen joints. [1]

And if you’re wondering which joints are usually affected, then sources report that almost 50 percent of cases happen in the big toes, and some in the heels, fingers, wrists, and knees. [2, 3, 4]

Usually happening at night and lasting in the next 3-10 days, gout attacks are typically associated with uric acid – especially when there’s too much of it in the blood. Most patients get these attacks because their system cannot get rid of the extra uric acid well. [5] Gout happens when uric acid piles up in crystals and settles in the joints, causing all the swelling and soreness. [4]

Others, however, suffer from gout attacks because of their diet. [6, 7]

 

 

How does your diet affect gout

Uric acid has a lot to do with gout attacks.

That’s because when your system breaks down this chemical called “purine,” it produces uric acid. The body gets rid of uric acid when you pee.

Purine may already be found in your body, but in the food you eat as well. This is why some patients suffer from gout attacks because of genetics (excess purine in the system or the body can’t efficiently break it down), or when they eat food that contains purine that’s too much for their body to break down.

While not a cure altogether, a gout diet may bring down uric acid levels in the bloodstream and make gout attacks less likely to happen.

Note, however, that a gout diet may not completely eliminate gout and medication may still be needed to complement it.

 

 

Diet that prevents gout: what does it look like?

A gout diet may sound like a hard thing to take on, but when you think about these guiding principles, it will start to sound like it’s very doable!

  • Watch your weight. An effective gout diet allows you to keep a healthy weight. Being overweight is one of the factors for gout as research indicates that the fewer calories you have the lower uric acid levels your body will achieve.
  • Avoid purine-rich foods. We’ll talk about what these foods are in a bit.
  • Focus on complex carbohydrates. Eat foods and beverages that contain complex carbohydrates, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. But watch for those sugar as naturally sweet fruits may set your diet back.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. This is always a good rule of thumb, whether we’re talking about gout or not. Drink lots of water and hydrate yourself at all times.
  • Ease off on fats and focus on protein. Avoid saturated fats found in high-fat dairy products, fatty red meat, and poultry. Instead, have more of lean meat and poultry, low-fat dairy, and lentils.
  • Eat in moderation. Too much of anything isn’t good, so try to watch what you eat and make sure you consume them in moderation.

Given these guiding principles, here’s a list of food that you can eat under a gout diet:

  • Certain fishin moderate portions, this can reduce your risk for gout. Big caveat: avoid certain seafood like anchovies, shellfish, sardines, and tuna as they have higher purines.
  • Vitamin Ceat fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin C and consider taking supplements
  • Coffee – research indicates that in moderation, drinking coffee can bring down uric acid levels and make gout attacks less likely to happen
  • Vegetables – even if they contain high purines, veggies such as asparagus and spinach don’t trigger gout attacks
  • Cherriesthis may come out of the blue but cherry extracts have been shown to reduce the risk of gout attacks. Buy more cherries in the supermarket or consider taking supplements like the VALI Organic Tart Cherry Extract, which has an advanced anti-inflammatory blend to protect against oxidative stress better than sweet cherries alone.

Gout diet: What to avoid

Given what we’ve just talked about, you may want to steer clear of high-purine foods altogether, specifically those with over 200 mg for every 3.5 ounces (100 grams). [8]

According to Mayo Clinic and Healthline, here are the foods to avoid:  [9, 10]

  • All organ and glandular meats: These include liver, kidneys, sweetbreads and brain
  • Game meats: Examples include pheasant, veal and venison and limit beef, lamb and pork
  • Fish: Herring, trout, mackerel, tuna, sardines, anchovies, haddock and more
  • Other seafood: Scallops, crab, shrimp and roe
  • Sugary beverages: Especially fruit juices and sugary sodas
  • Added sugars: Honey, agave nectar and high-fructose corn syrup
  • Yeasts: Nutritional yeast, brewer's yeast and other yeast supplements
  • Refined carbs: white bread, cakes and cookies
  • Alcohol: beer and distilled liquors

 

Other ways you can avoid gout aside from diet

If you feel like doing more and are so committed to getting rid of gout, here are some additional things you could do aside from eating properly:

Lose weight

Excess weight can trigger gout attacks, since being overweight is often associated to insulin resistance. When the body can’t use insulin to get rid of sugar from the blood, it leads to an increase in uric acid levels. [11, 12] However, avoid crash diet as it tends to be counter-productive. Eating as little as you could leads to abrupt weight loss, which according to studies also triggers gout attacks. [131415]

Exercise

If you must lose weight, why not do more workouts? Studies show that exercise reduces uric acid levels. [16]

Try supplements

Given that Vitamin C and cherry extracts help reduce uric acid levels, consider taking supplements to gain more of these vitamins. VALI Organic Tart Cherry Extract has an advanced anti-inflammatory blend to help protect against swelling and gout. In fact, user reviews rave about how it can help get rid of stiff joints and inflammation. Buy it on our website here or on Amazon.com here.

 

Sources 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0022797/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20203467

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117776/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19692116

[5] https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/gout/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16253630

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16253630

[8] https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/37/5/37_b13-00967/_pdf

[9] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gout-diet/art-20048524

[10] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-diet-for-gout#section3

[11] http://www.jrheum.org/content/jrheum/29/7/1350.full.pdf

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15230133

[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8363205/

[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3404561

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15826477/

[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21793335




Tina Sendin
Tina Sendin

Author




Also in VALI Blog

13 ways you can treat menstrual cramps (and how to finally say ‘bye Felicia’ to it)
13 ways you can treat menstrual cramps (and how to finally say ‘bye Felicia’ to it)

by Tina Sendin September 08, 2020

Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “the only constant thing in the world is change.”

In many ways this rings true, and if we were to look at one concrete evidence, there’s 2020.

But for many women, another constant thing in life (a monthly occurrence to be exact) is menstrual cramps.

They are very common that according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, menstrual cramps – or dysmenorrhea – affects 20 percent of American women so severe it interferes with their daily activities. [1]

Read More

Post-workout muscle soreness? Here's what to do!
Post-workout muscle soreness? Here's what to do!

by Tina Sendin July 28, 2020

If you’ve just signed up for that virtual yoga class or dusted off the stationary bike from the attic, odds are you may have experienced DOMS – or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. In layman’s terms, sore muscles. 

You may know this to be a normal, almost usual occurrence already. But if lockdown life is already making you a little more curious, or you find yourself having more time to look deeper into things, this article will let you in on why.

Read More

How to choose the right hair growth supplement
How to choose the right hair growth supplement

by Tina Sendin May 19, 2020

Finding yourself picking up a whole ball of hair from the sink? Spotting hair strands all over the floor? Or losing a lot of hair when you run your hands through it in the shower?

If you’re sitting there wondering “My hair is falling out - what do I do?” then you’re one of the many Americans who suffer from hair loss.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 40% of women in the US suffer from hair loss before they hit 40. [1]

It can be frustrating and devastating to the self-esteem, and we totally feel you!

We've created this article to help you find out the vitamins that can get you your glorious hair back. We’ll also give you tips on finding the right hair growth supplement for you.

Read More