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Gout: Changing Your Diet

Gout: Changing Your Diet

Introduction

Gout is a form of arthritis marked by sudden attacks of painful, inflamed joints. If it is not controlled, gout can cause severe damage to joints, tendons, and other tissues.

Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. This used to be treated with a strict diet, but now there are medicines that can control it. These medicines have largely replaced the need to restrict what you eat.

But making changes in your diet may still help with your gout. If you want to try an eating plan for gout, this information can help you learn more about how to eat in ways that may help you keep your gout under control and still get the nutrition you need.

To help control your gout:

  • Limit foods that are high in purines, especially meat, seafood, and beer.
  • Eat a healthy diet that provides the nutrients you need and helps you control your weight.
  • Eat low-fat dairy products. This may lower your risk of gout.1
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids. This can help your body get rid of uric acid.

How To

There are several things you can do as part of an eating plan for gout.

  1. Avoid or limit foods that are high in purines, especially during a gout attack. These foods include:
    • Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and brains.
    • Meats, including bacon, beef, pork, and lamb.
    • Game meats.
    • Any other meats or poultry in large amounts.
    • Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, and scallops.
    • Gravy.
    • Beer.
  2. Eat foods that may lower your risk of gout.1 These include:
    • Low-fat or fat-free milk.
    • Low-fat yogurt.
  3. Choose healthy foods. These foods include:
    • A wide range of fruits and vegetables.
    • Eggs, nuts, and seeds for protein.
    • Small amounts of meat. Limit your serving size to 2 to 3 ounces a day.
  4. Drink plenty of water and other fluids. This can help your body get rid of uric acid.
  5. Avoid eating habits that can raise your uric acid levels. For example:
    • Avoid crash diets and low-carbohydrate diets.
    • Do not eat too much food or drink too much alcohol.
    • Avoid alcohol, especially beer and "spirits" such as whiskey and gin.

References

Citations

  1. Gomez FE, Kaufer-Horwitz M (2012). Medical nutrition therapy for rheumatic disease. In LK Mahan et al., eds., Krause's Food and the Nutrition Care Process, 13th ed., pp. 901–922. St Louis: Saunders.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Current as of October 30, 2013

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