What to Eat and What to Avoid If You Have Gout?
Gout is a disease related to arthritis that has been known for hundreds of years. Indeed, gout is sometimes called the disease of the kings, since it is associated with a diet high in fat, animal protein and alcohol. Dietary recommendations and diets for gout found on the internet may seem drastic. In addition, the scientific evidence is not always there to support these recommendations. So what’s true? Is there something that can be done to help from the point of view of diet and lifestyle? Definitely! Here are our suggestions.
What is gout?
As mentioned above, gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by a problem with the metabolism and elimination of uric acid. Gout attacks are periodic episodes in which the immune system attacks the accumulations of uric acid in the joints. The joints most commonly affected are those of the toes, ankles and knees.
The development of gout is multifactorial. Genetics, being overweight, taking certain medications (ex diuretics), diminished kidney function, and bad lifestyle habits can all contribute to the development of this disease.
Gout is often associated with other related diseases (comorbidities) such as diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension and hypertriglyceridemia. Nutritional management of gout should, therefore, also include the management of these other diseases. We give you more details on our suggestions in the section “What to eat the rest of the time”.
What to eat in times of crisis
If you’ve done a little research, you’ve probably come across purine-rich food lists that you’re told to eliminate from your diet forever … In fact, that’s not quite the case. Although it is true that purine-rich foods (see the list below) should be restricted during active periods (gout attack), it is not necessary to do so between the periods of crisis.
The main foods rich in purines are:
- Game meats
- Meat extracts and sauces made from meat
In addition to limiting your consumption of purines, it is also necessary to ensure that you are well hydrated, avoid alcohol as much as possible (a maximum of 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men) and avoid high fat foods and meals (fast food, fried foods, high fat dairy products, etc.).
What to eat the rest of the time
Given that lifestyle habits are an important factor in the development of gout and the management of gout attacks, it is better to improve them starting from the very first period of crisis. The good lifestyle habits to adopt are:
- Limit your alcohol consumption, especially beer
- Achieve or maintain a healthy weight
- Decrease your consumption of added sugars, especially fructose, in the form of juice, sugary drinks, sweets, etc.
- If consumed, prioritize low fat dairy products over whole fat dairy products
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- Université de Sherbrooke. (2018). L’alimentation et la goutte. Préparé par Cora Loomis, Dt.P.