Lana Farson, M.S., L.Ac., Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Diet Help for Gout

Gout is a very painful type of arthritis that can come on suddenly with much redness, swelling, warmth, pain and inflammation.  Arthritic gout is caused by an excess build-up of uric acid in the body.  Uric acid is the end-product caused by the breakdown of purines.  Purines are compounds that are naturally found in the body and are found in many foods.  Many foods, but not all, that are high in purines can trigger an attack of gout.  Decreasing the consumption of foods high in purines can reduce gout inflammation.  Plant-based diets are generally low in purcherriesines.

Cherries contain an enzyme that helps the break down and excretion of uric acid.  Eat 1 cup of cherries every day to relieve pain and inflammation.  Regularly eating cherries can help prevent future attacks.  Look for fresh raw cherries first.  Frozen or canned unsweetened cherries or 100% pure cherry juice may also be helpful.

Alcohol increases production and decreases excretion of uric acid, which is not helpful.  For prevention and especially during acute bouts of gout, most of the protein in the diet should come from legumes, cheese, milk, and eggs.

Here are some generally agreed upon dietary guidelines for preventing and reducing the occurrence of gout.

Foods containing high amounts of Purine (avoid)

  • mussels
  • sardines
  • herring
  • hearts
  • yeast (as a supplement) and probably breads that contain yeast
  • smelt
  • sweetbreads

Foods containing moderate amounts of Purine (avoid)

  • Alcoholic beverages (especially beer)
  • Asparagus
  • Bouillon
  • Broth
  • Consomme
  • Gravy
  • Meats (chicken, turkey, partridge, pheasant, veal, grouse, mutton, goose, bacon, sausage, rabbit and other meats)
  • Meat Extracts
  • Mince meat
  • Organ meats (brain, kidney, liver, sweetbreads, pate)
  • Seafood (salmon, trout, sardines, scallops, herring, haddock, anchovies, mackeral, lobster, crab, caviar / roe and other seafoods)

Low-Purine Foods

  • yeast-free grains and breads
  • Butter, polyunsaturated margarine, & other fats
  • Cereals
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Cream soups made of low purine vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Fruit and fruit juices
  • Milk and milk products
  • Noodles
  • Nuts
  • Olives
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice
  • Salt
  • Sugars, sweets, and gelatin
  • Cherries (very beneficial)

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