Gout Diet: Foods To Avoid - What Should you Scratch From Your Grocery List?
Diets which are high in purines as well as full of protein have long been diagnosed of causing a heightened risk of gout (a type of arthritis caused by high amounts of uric acid in the body which form crystals in the joints, resulting in pain and inflammation). Results from a study led by Dr. Hyon K. Choi, reported in the March 11, 2004 issue of The new England Journal of Medicine, offer an interesting twist.
About the Study
Choi's research team followed 47,150 men with no prior history of gout over a 12-year period. The conclusion: during the 12 year period of assessment, 730 men were clinically determined to have gout.
- Study participants who consumed the highest amount of meat were 40 % more likely to have gout than those who ate the least amount of meat.
- Study participants who ate the most seafood were 50 percent more likely to have gout.
- This specific study, though, not all purine-rich foods have been associated with an increased risk of gout.
- There was no increased risk associated with a diet which included: peas beans mushrooms cauliflower spinach
Even Though These Foods are Considered High in Purines
Choi's team also found that low-fat dairy products reduce the risk of gout and overall protein intake had no effect. Ultimately, diets shown to be connected to gout are the same kinds of diet associated with cardiovascular disease.
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Recommendations for Seafood Should be Individualized
At this point, it may seem like it gets confusing. Isn't seafood typically recommended as part of a diet which usually is healthy for the heart? Yet research has revealed that there is a strong, undeniable link between seafood and gout. How does Choi reconcile what seems like conflicting information? He or she believes "recommendations for seafood should be individual."
Sorting Out the Myths
More importantly, how does a person begin to sort the myths coming from the facts and decide what to purchase at the grocery store? According to the College of Washington, Department of Orthopedics:
Obesity can be related to excessive uric acid levels in the blood. Those people who are obese should consult with their doctor to decide on a reasonable weight-loss program. Fasting or severe dieting can actually increase uric acid levels and cause gout to worsen. Usually people can eat what they like within limits. People who have kidney stones due to uric acid may need to actually eliminate purine-rich foods from their diet because those foods can raise their uric acid level. Consuming coffee and tea is not a problem but alcohol can increase uric acid levels and provoke an episode of gout. Having at least 10-12 eight-ounce glasses of non-alcoholic fluids each day will be recommended, especially for those who have kidney stones, to aid flush the uric acid crystals from the physique. Foods Higher Within Purines.
Johns Hopkins Lists Food Which are Higher in Purines
Foods very high in purines include: hearts herring mussels yeast smelt sardines sweetbreads.
Foods reasonably high in purines include: anchovies grouse mutton veal bacon hard working liver salmon turkey kidneys partridge trout goose haddock pheasant scallopsGout Medications
Experts at Mayo Clinic suggest that drugs for gout have reduced the need for dietary restrictions, but some customization could lower the severity or frequency of gout attacks. Dietary customization may also be liked by people who cannot endure gout medications.
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Chris Randon is an expert in nutrition specialized in human health, and is based in Los Angeles, Carlifornia.