Gout is one of the most common diseases of the joints. Statistics show that the incidence of this disease is increasing day by day and is getting younger and younger. The following article provides you with information related to gout, which foods to eat, which foods to avoid to control this disease.
Statistics show that the rate of disease is higher in men than women, especially from the age of 30 and older. Gout can be treated and re-occurrence limited if the patient adheres to the doctor’s instructions and changes to a healthier lifestyle. The reason leading to gout is an unscientific diet. In addition to drug treatments, patients need to build a healthy eating menu that both helps repel and prevent the disease from recurring.
1. What is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs due to an excess of uric acid in the blood. Increased uric acid levels cause urate crystal deposition in soft tissues and joints.
Gout attacks often come on suddenly, causing pain, accompanied by redness and swelling in the joints. Patients may experience pain in only one joint or may experience pain in multiple joints at the same time. The joints in the feet, heels, hands, elbows and especially the big toe joints are the most common sites for pain.
Gout causes a lot of pain for the patient. The condition can get worse if not treated promptly. Therefore, the prevention of Gout attacks and finding ways to treat acute Gout attacks are always of great interest to sufferers.
2. How Does Food Affect Gout?
Did you know that certain foods high in purine can trigger gout attacks by increasing uric acid levels. For healthy people, foods high in purine are not harmful to the body. However, people with gout due to the inability to remove uric acid effectively, consuming too much purine will accumulate uric acid and cause Gout attacks.
To prevent Gout attacks, you just need to limit foods high in purine and take medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Foods high in purines include animal organs, red meat, seafood, wine and beer. However, according to researchers, certain purine-rich vegetables do not trigger gout attacks. Besides, fructose and sweets can increase the risk of gout even though they do not contain much purine. Meanwhile, low-fat dairy products, soy products, and vitamin C supplements can help prevent gout by reducing uric acid levels in the blood. High-fat dairy products do not seem to affect uric acid levels.
3. Good Food for Gout Patients
3.1. Fruits Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin of the body, responsible for the formation and regeneration of tissues and at the same time maintaining healthy tissues. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. This is an antioxidant that can help your body fight off free radicals.
Fruits rich in vitamin C such as Oranges, Lemons, Strawberries, Grapes, Guava and Kiwi… are good for gout patients. Because vitamin C supports very well in the process of reducing uric acid levels in the blood, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, increasing resistance and endurance for vessel walls, reducing the risk of disease.
Potassium-rich fruits like Bananas, Oranges, Apricots, Grapefruits, Avocados, Watermelons and Pomegranates are also good for the health of Gout patients. Potassium plays an important role in the body’s metabolism, helps with water and electrolyte balance, lowers blood pressure and bone health. Potassium helps to increase uric acid excretion through the urinary tract, thereby reducing uric acid and the symptoms of Gout.
A 2009 study tested vitamin C in about 47,000 men with no history of gout to test its benefits. Researchers have found a link between vitamin C doses and the risk of developing Gout. The results demonstrated that people taking high doses of vitamin C showed greater effects than those taking low doses.
3.2. Milk and Milk Products
Milk is a food group containing very little purines, so it does not affect gout patients. In milk, there are some proteins that have the ability to inhibit, fight inflammation with Gout pain and help the process of eliminating uric acid through the kidneys faster than normal.
Patients should choose animal milk, especially cow’s milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese… Prioritize choosing skim milk, low sugar or no sugar milk to protect health.
Gout patients should limit sweet milk such as condensed milk, high-energy milk, etc. In particular, soy milk contains a lot of purines, which have the ability to metabolize and increase uric acid content in the blood, causing the crystals to form. Severe uric acid deposits in the joints. If using soy milk regularly will make the disease worse and worse.
A 2014 study linked the use of skim milk powder and gout symptoms. According to research, taking a supplement with skim milk does not completely eliminate gout but can improve the condition. The results showed that for those who added skim milk powder, the number of Gout attacks occurred less than half of those who did not use it each year.
3.3. White Meat
Many people believe that meat containing purines is not good for Gout patients, so remove this food from the daily meal. However, abstaining from meat can lead to a lack of protein in the body. Meanwhile, there are many types of meat that do not contain many purines such as lean meat, chicken breast, river fish, freshwater fish such as carp, carp, perch …
These proteins are very good for people with Gout, they work against the precipitation of uric acid. When eating meat, people with Gout need to adhere to some of the following principles:
- Eat no more than 100g of protein/day, including protein from meat, dairy and legumes and nuts. Patients can refer to the following conversion: 100g meat = 180g tofu = 70g peanuts = 100g fish = 100g shrimp. Choose meats that are low in uric acid.
- Meat should be cooked, not raw. Prioritize processing meat in the form of steaming or boiling instead of fried or fried foods. Do not use meat broth, fish broth, bone broth.
- Eat meat with green vegetables to neutralize the amount of purines in the meat.
3.4. Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil or Omega-3
Fat is an important component for the body in daily life. But for people with Gout, if used excessively, it will contribute to an increased risk of acute Gout attacks. Olive oil, Peanut oil, Sesame oil… are foods that provide good fats for Gout patients, support against arthritis, reduce pain and swelling, and reduce uric acid…
Limit or avoid the use of Soybean oil, Sunflower oil, fried foods, animal fats.
Experts often recommend omega-3 fatty acids to promote heart health. This substance is found in fish oil products. In addition, omega-3 has also been shown to reduce inflammation. So this substance can be useful for people with Gout.
For people with Gout, eating fish can worsen their condition because certain types of fish contain high levels of purines. But purines are the cause of increased uric acid levels in the blood. But pure distilled fish oil will not contain purines.
3.5. Green Vegetables and Tubers Contain less Purines
Nutritionists say that the best food for Gout sufferers is fiber. Fiber has the ability to slow down the absorption of protein, and at the same time reduce protein degradation for energy, so it reduces the formation of uric acid (the cause of arthritis). Thereby supporting the treatment of Gout, minimizing the symptoms of arthritis pain after each meal.
Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Celery, Eggplant, White Radish, Pumpkin… are cool vegetables, low in purines, rich in vitamins and minerals. This is an ideal food for people with Gout, helping cool the body temperature. They have the ability to limit the deposition of urate crystals in bones and joints, promote uric acid excretion through the urinary tract, and effectively support the treatment of Gout.
Besides, people with Gout should avoid vegetables such as Mint, Bean Sprouts, Asparagus, Peas and Mushrooms, … because of their high nutrient content, high in purines, which will cause severe joint pain, intense, making the symptoms of Gout worse.
2.6. Whole Grains
Whole Grains are a type of grain that does not contain a lot of protein or purines, it digests very well even people with high uric acid levels. The reason why Whole Grain flour is called a “superfood” is because it is rich in minerals such as manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, copper, biotin, chromium and magnesium. Moreover, Whole Grain flour is also an excellent source of fiber for the digestive system.
If you use cereal for breakfast, it will provide all the necessary nutrients for the body during a long working day.
This type of food contains antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects and support joint pain relief. Grains and starches contain safe levels of purines and help reduce and dissolve uric acid in the urine. In particular, whole grains are low in calories, suitable for those who have problems with increased uric acid in the blood such as Gout.
Wheat flour has cholesterol-lowering effects by removing bad cholesterol. This will help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes because Whole Grains can stabilize blood sugar and high blood pressure, both of which are linked to Gout.
Cherries are very beneficial for Gout sufferers as it can prevent attacks by reducing uric acid levels and reducing inflammation. Cherries are also rich in vitamin C. The addition of vitamin C helps reduce uric acid significantly. In addition, vitamin C has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
In Cherries there is a very powerful antioxidant component called anthocyanins. This is a substance with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce the risk of Gout. In addition, Cherries also have an impact on the immune system. These positive effects on the immune system can reduce the risk of Gout attacks.
A 2012 study in the medical journal Arthritis and Rheumatology found that people who regularly ate Cherries had a 60% reduction in uric acid levels. This can lower blood uric acid levels to reduce the likelihood of developing Gout and relieve troubling symptoms.
A safe way to add Cherries is to add this fruit to your menu. You can enjoy it in many different ways. For example, use as a dessert fruit, use in recipes or prepare Cherry juice.
Can gout sufferers eat Eggs, it is a question that many patients wonder. Because gout sufferers must abstain from many foods to help control and treat the disease. However, many studies suggest that this is a food that people with gout can add to their diet to balance nutrition.
Although containing abundant protein content, the protein in Eggs does not cause much effect on uric acid levels in the blood. Omega-3 fats in Eggs also have the ability to inhibit inflammatory reactions and reduce swelling and pain in joints affected by Gout.
Of all Eggs, Chicken Eggs are recommended to be added to the diet of people with Gout. Because Chicken Eggs contain lower levels of purines than other Eggs, but the content of healthy nutrients is high.
For people with Gout, Egg processing is often more limited because some egg dishes may not be good for disease control. Gout patients should eat boiled Eggs, steamed Eggs tofu, steamed Eggs with mushrooms …
2.8. Winter Melon
Winter melon is one of the foods that contain very little purines – a protein that, when metabolized, produces uric acid, and at the same time helps to eliminate uric acid from the body.
It is an alkaline food, the pH in Winter melon is high, so eating it every day significantly increases the solubility and excretion of uric acid from the body through the urine. Potassium minerals found in Winter melon have a diuretic effect, increasing the elimination capacity of the kidneys, leading to more uric acid in the body being eliminated through the urinary tract. On the other hand, there are very few purine radicals (a type of protein that produces uric acid when metabolized). So gout patients can eat Winter melon comfortably without having to worry about uric acid levels in their body. .
That is the reason that Winter melon is listed on the list of foods for Gout patients. You can process Winter melon into dishes such as soup, stew, stir-fry, boiled … drinks by drying water or juice.
2.9. Green Tea
Green tea is a great drink for gout patients. Due to the high concentration of antioxidants in Green tea water, it helps reduce pain and swelling symptoms. The concentration of antioxidants in green tea water is extremely high, which helps reduce pain and swelling caused by Gout. Drinking green tea also helps you urinate more, thereby eliminating the amount of uric acid in the body effectively.
Green tea consumed in moderation each day promotes urine formation and accelerates the elimination of uric acid. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, drinking 2 to 4 cups of Green tea a day helps manage gout attacks, thanks to antioxidant compounds such as gallic acid and the catechin compounds epigallocatechin, gallocatechin, epicatechin or EGCG.
2.10. Ginger Tea
Ginger is an herb with anti-inflammatory effects, reducing joint pain associated with increased uric acid caused by Gout. This ability is due to the abundant gingerol content in Ginger. This substance also helps blood circulation better, so that Gout joints are less swollen and heal faster.
Scientific evidence shows that consuming Ginger tea reduces pain associated with uric acid buildup in the joints. Although more evidence is needed to corroborate these effects, this remedy is a great way to help with Gout.
You can put 2-3 slices of fresh Ginger into the teapot, cover and leave for 15 minutes. Then pour it out and drink it a few times. You can add honey to increase the delicious taste of Ginger tea and add vitamins and minerals to the body.
3. What Foods Should People with Gout Not Eat?
As mentioned above, the principle of eating when suffering from gout is to limit foods high in purines. In some cases, patients should abstain from these foods if they do not want the disease to get worse.
3.1. Red Meat
Red meat (Beef, Pig, Goat…) contains high levels of nutrients including protein, vitamins E, B6, B12, the very high protein content, which will lead to increased uric acid levels in the blood, is the cause of Gout. Dishes made from red meat will undergo digestion under the catalysis of enzymes, causing the purines in red meat to convert into uric acid.
However, you should not abstain absolutely from red meat, because the body also needs a lot of energy from meat. You should maintain the use of red meat in a moderate amount, should only eat a maximum of 2 times / week, no more than 100g / day. You should process red meat thoroughly, cooked in boiled, braised or steamed form is better than grilled, fried, and minimized the amount of fat loaded into the body.
Cut down on Seafood in your daily diet, especially when you’re suffering from Gout attacks, advises nutritionist Lona Sandon, professor of nutrition at Texas Southwestern University.
Seafood and red meat are foods rich in purine, this compound when absorbed into the body will create the final product, uric acid. Seafood (such as Herring, Tuna, Clams, Oysters, Snails, etc.) contains high levels of nutrients, including purines. Seafood also contains a lot of protein, so people with Gout should limit their intake. People with Gout should only consume meat and Seafood at a minimum of 110g-170g per day.
3.3. Animal Organs
Animal organs (Liver, Kidney, Heart, Stomach, Brain…) contain many nutrients such as protein, B vitamins (B2, B6, folate and B12), CoQ10, cholesterol, minerals: iron, zinc, selenium. Although it contains many nutrients, people with gout should not eat because viscera contain a lot of purines, which are substances that increase uric acid levels in the blood, making the disease worse: swelling, more pain.
3.4. Foods High in Sugar
Consuming foods with too much sugar not only increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes but also negatively affects diseases related to the musculoskeletal system such as Gout.
Therefore, in the list of “What should not eat with Gout?”, you should not miss them. Because, foods containing a lot of sugar such as cookies, cakes, soda, soft drinks …) will interfere with the body’s absorption of calcium. Since then, the musculoskeletal system has been damaged, and now it is even weaker.
Especially, for patients who are taking corticosteroids such as Cortison, Prednisolone, they should limit sugar in their diet.
3.5. Turkey Meat, Goose Meat
Chicken, goose meat contains many nutrients such as B vitamins, minerals, amino acids, iron, phosphorus… Chicken also contains purines, so people with Gout should eat chicken in moderation, about 110 – 175 mg. With this sufficient amount, it will provide enough nutrition for the body and avoid the increase of purines in the blood.
3.6. Soy Bean
Foods such as Tofu, Soy milk… are foods that have good effects on the health of ordinary people.
However, for people with gout, soy products are not good. Because these are foods high in protein, it is easy to cause damage to the joints in the body. Causing numbness, pain and discomfort if left for a long time, the disease will become more and more serious and directly affect the patient’s health.
In addition, you should avoid refined flour foods for dieters like white bread, cakes and cookies. Although these foods are not high in purine or fructose, they are low in nutrients and can increase uric acid levels.
Studies show that following a scientific, healthy diet is an effective way to treat gout. Drink enough water (2-2.5 liters) every day, should combine using water from vegetables and tubers.
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