Gout is common, but painful type of arthritis replete with intense pain, inflamed and stiff joints.
When there is a steady elevation in the uric acid levels in your bloodstream, your body begins to develop this condition. Uric acid is the by-product created when your body breaks down the protein purine that is present in many food items we eat every day and naturally, in the cells.
Purine can be present in the nucleus of any animal or plant cell. It is a specific type of molecule found in the cell’s DNA and RNA and is made up of carbon and nitrogen atoms.
So essentially, they are the building blocks of all living things. In the human body, two types of purines are present. One is manufactured by the body while the other enters it through foods
The ones that enter the body via food , are metabolized by the body in the liver. It breaks down the protein and produces a waste product called uric acid. This uric acid is then released into the bloodstream and is eventually filtered out by the kidneys and excreted via the urine.
If there is an increase of uric acid in the bloodstream, it means that your kidneys are not able to process the protein due to a rare genetic abnormality, or because your diet and lifestyle include a lot of purine rich foods and drinks.
If not taken care of in a proper manner, needle-like crystals begin to form in the tissues , causing the joints to become inflamed and swollen, leading to excruciating pain.
It is also a long term incurable condition but the good news is that with a proper , simple diet and regular exercise, you can easily manage the condition.
But before that, let’s take a look at the lifestyle issues that lead to high uric acid levels in the body and ultimately gout.
Age and Gender :
Medical research has shown that men above 30 years, more than women, are more at risk for gout. However, women after menopause( above 45 years) also become susceptible to high uric acid levels and gout.
Gout attacks are a direct result of steady weight gain and obesity. Men and women who carry a lot of fat around the trunk (stomach) are prone to developing gout and other such inflammatory diseases.
Regular Intake of Processed food, Corn Syrup, Sodas and Beer:
Research has shown that a lifestyle that includes the regular intake of beer, foods and drinks laced with glucose fructose (also known as corn-syrup on your ingredient label list ), commercial packaged fruit juices, energy concentrates, is highly conducive for gout related inflammation.
Another super culprit that worsens the symptoms is packaged fruit jam and jelly.
Regular Intake of Processed and Organ Meats
Unfortunately for meat and deli meat lovers, regular meat intake is also linked in causing inflammation in the body that leads to your body developing high uric acid levels and gout.
High Blood Pressure.
Gout is also triggered by a consistent level of high blood pressure. They are both very closely related. A high blood pressure reducing diet is also known to lower uric acid levels in the body,
So… how does one deal with gout?
The first step towards healing from a gout is to know what to eliminate completely.
List of foods to eliminate from your diet to manage gout
- Red, Organ and Deli Meat
Steer clear of red meats and high fat meats like mutton, pork and beef. It doesn’t matter if they’re fresh, frozen or in the form of deli meats. Deli meats are made up of more inflammation causing parts of the animal and are super rich in sodium and preservatives. These cause a sudden spike in your inflammation, and as result, in increasing uric acid levels in the body. Organ meats like liver, kidneys, and other offal meat are a big no no as well on this diet. Say bye to the gurda kaleji and keema dishes immediately, they are purine rich, unfortunately. Especially in the initial days of your healing program.
Unfortunately, seafood is also inflammatory. Lobsters, prawns, shrimps, sardines, anchovies, tuna, trout , mackerel and haddock fish are ruled out on this diet. These are high in purine and with the kind of levels your body has on gout, you don’t need the ones in them.
- Sharbats, Glucose Drinks, Energy Bars and Glucose laced candies and chocolate bars
Donate your Rose syrups, Khus sharbats, canned fruit juices, soda laced drinks, processed chocolate bars, candies, jams, jellies and other such items, IMMEDIATELY! The glucose fructose , also known as cornsyrup in these items, is making you very sick. Get rid of them, pronto!
Refined sugar is the biggest factor behind the introduction and increase in inflammation levels in the body. On gout, your body is already super inflamed, You don’t need sugar to come and make it worse.
There are multiple fresh fruit juices that you can have at home, or whole fruits that can satiate your sugar cravings. It is just a matter of conditioning yourself.
- Processed foods and refined carbohydrates
Chuck your store bought refined and processed carb loaded treats out!
Get rid of the cakes, pastries, muffins, breads , pasta ( even though they are low in purine) as they will lead to weight gain and when you’re trying to lose weight, you want to eat clean, not processed.
90% of gout flareups happen because of consuming alcohol. Alcohol, especially beer- strong and mild, inhibits the body’s ability to excrete uric acid, causing a major flare up.
Stay away from all types of dietary supplements that contain yeast or yeast extract, such as brewer’s yeast is yeast inherently is high in purine).
So…. What Can You Eat On Gout?
Yes, we know it feels like all is lost, but it really isnt. Your gout diet allows you to enjoy most of your Indian home cooked meals.
Vitamin C plays a key role in repairing building and maintaining health of the tissues in the body. Ascorbic acid or vitamin c is an antioxidant that inhibits the growth of free radicals, thus lowering inflammation in the body.
Have more vitamin c rich foods and drinks like amla juice, lemon water, citrus fruits and all other kinds of fruits in moderation.
You’re allowed to have coffee on this diet. We recommend that you restrict yourself to one day as the drink is also dehydrating for your body and messes up your hormones quite often in the long run.
Just like in any healthy nutrition plan, nuts and seeds are necessary to curb inflammation in the body. Good fats found in almonds,walnut, pinenuts, seeds, peanuts, coconut, coconut oil, ghee are clean fats and help with the overall weight loss, management of inflammation and immunity.
Extensive research suggests that low fat milk and low fat yogurt actually help in lowering your uric acid levels and aid in excreting the uric acid out of your body. In moderation, you can enjoy low fat dairy on gout.
Eggs,Lentils, Lean Meats
The biggest problem gout patients face is the lack of protein as almost all animal protein sources are restricted. However, you can have eggs and paneer in moderation. They will be enough for your post work out protein needs.
We can’t stress enough on how good drinking water for gout patients is. It is single handedly the best way to flush out uric acid from the body. Drinking fluids reduces the likelihood of crystals forming in the kidneys. The general rule is that you should drink 8 large glasses of fluid in a day. You can drink all fresh juices, water, low fat milk , coffee and tea without sugar, except alcohol , in a day. Coffee and tea have to be restricted to once a day.
Although whole grains like wheat germ, bran, and oatmeal contain moderate amounts of purines, but for those with gout, the benefits of eating whole grain foods far outweigh the risks. Whole grains can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
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