Gout is a painful condition caused by an excess of uric acid, a waste product made by the body. Uric acid forms crystals that collect in the joints. This brings on symptoms of joint pain and swelling. This is called a gout attack. Often, medications and diet changes are combined to manage gout. Below are some guidelines for changing your diet to help you manage gout and prevent attacks. Your healthcare provider will help you determine the best eating plan for you.
Eating To Manage GoutEat Less Of These Foods
Eating too many foods containing purines may increase the levels of uric acid in your body. This increases your risk of a gout attack. Try to limit these foods and drinks that are high in purine:
- Alcohol, such as beer and red wine (you may be told to avoid alcohol completely)
- Certain fish, including anchovies, sardines, fish eggs, and herring
- Certain meats, such as red meat, hot dogs, luncheon meats, and turkey
- Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads
- Legumes, such as dried beans and peas
- Mushrooms, spinich, asparagus, and cauliflower
Other foods may be helpful for people with gout. Add some of these foods to your diet:
- Dark berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, and cherries. These contain chemicals that may lower uric acid.
- Tofu, a source of protein made from soy. Studies have shown that it may be a better choice than meat for people with gout.
- Omega fatty acids. These are found in some fatty fish (such as salmon), certain oils (flax, olive, or nut), and nuts themselves. Omega fatty acids may help prevent inflammation due to gout.
Choose foods that are:
- High in fiber: whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- Low in protein (15% of calories from lean protein such as soy, lean meats, and poultry)
- Low in fat (no more than 30% of calories from fat, with only 10% from animal fat)
Get Prompt Medical Attentionif any of the following occurs:
- Return of gout symptoms, usually at night:
- Severe pain, swelling , and heat in a joint, especially the base of the big toe
- Affected joint is hard to move
- Skin of the affected joint is purple or red
- Fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
- Pain that is not controlled by prescibed medication