If you wake up in the nights with burning toes then you probably have Gout. Gout is the result of elevated levels of uric acid or monosodium urate (MSU) in your blood stream that form sharp crystals in your joints causing you intense pain. To read more about Gout and the factors contributing to it, click here!

Gout can be prevented and controlled by eating a diet low in uric acid. If gout is caused by the presence of uric acid crystals in the joints, uric acid is in turn created by the breakdown of purines. Purines are natural substances that contribute to the chemical structure of our genes. They are there in all kinds of foods and you need them. But by avoiding foods which contain concentrated amounts of purines you can help your gout attacks. Most of the high-purine foods are high-protein foods too.

Restricted Foods

  • Some foods contain up to 1000 mg of purine in 3.5 ounce serving. They include Sardines, Brains, Sweetbread, Gravies, Mackerel, Yeast, Kidneys and Liver. By limiting these you will be able to control the metabolism of uric acid to some extent.
  • Moderate purine levels are found in Asparagus, Bacon, Beef, Bluefish, Bouillon, Calf tongue, Cereals, Carp, Cauliflower, Chicken, Meat soup, Codfish, Crab, Duck, Goose, Eggs, Halibut, Ham, Kidney beans, Lamb, Lentils, Lima beans, Lobster, Mushrooms, Mutton, Navy beans, Oatmeal, Oysters, Peas, Perch, Pork, Rabbit, Salmon, Sheep, Shellfish, Snapper, Spinach, Tripe, Trout, Tuna, Turkey, Veal, Venison and more. These food items contain 5-100 mg per 3.5 ounce serving.
  • Low purine foods like breads, cereals (low-fiber, white flour, or refined grain), nuts and peanut butter need not be limited. The good news is that coffee, tea, fruit juices, soft drinks, gelatin, sugar and low fat cheeses also are low purine foods.
  • However, forget alcohol if you get gout attacks.

Recommended Foods

Sufferers of gout need foods which are high in complex carbohydrates. If you have gout, then you shouldย  limit 30% of your calories to fats and 15% to soy products and lean meats (protein).

I know! You might have been disappointed to see most of the tasty and healthy foods in the restricted foods category. You might well be asking yourself, What do I eat now? Donโ€™t worry. You can enjoy all these foods listed below.

  • Enjoy fruits like cherries and berries. Bananas also make great friends with people with gout.
  • Citrus fruits and veggies like red cabbage, red bell peppers etc. that are high in Vitamin C.
  • Low-purine veggies like kale, cabbage, tomatoes, parsley, green-leafy vegetables.
  • Bromelain, (an enzyme) found in pineapple, inhibits chemicals that cause inflammation. So eat pineapples in plenty!
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate are safe for arthritic people.
  • You may need your essential fatty acids from tuna and salmon, flaxseed, nuts and seeds.
  • Enjoy low-fat dairy products.
  • Eat tofu instead of meat!
  • Drink a lot of fluids!

It is not necessary to avoid purine foods altogether because you need proteins as well. You can savor your favorite high purine foods by watching your portion sizes. Do not hesitate to get the help of your healthcare provider on how to cook them.

-AparnA K V
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