In many ways, gout continues to live up to its reputation as a “lifestyle disease.” Though some people may be more naturally predisposed to experiencing a gout attack, it is still a condition that can be prevented or minimized through a healthier lifestyle and smarter dietary choices.
At its core, cases of gout are triggered by high levels of uric acid in a person’s bloodstream. A condition called hyperuricemia, this can then lead to the formation of urate crystals in your joints-resulting in inflammation and pain. This process of developing gout also illustrates that it can be prevented by lowering the amount of excess uric acid in our body. And indeed, there are proven and effective means to lessen the likelihood of experiencing gout attacks. All you need to do is know the types of food you should avoid, what you can afford to simply lessen, and what you can eat more of.
What You Should Avoid
Unfortunately, some food and drinks inevitably increase the risks of having gout. According to information from multiple trusted sources, including a Philippine medical resource, here are the types of food you should avoid to help prevent gout:
- Meat innards. These are the parts of meat that come from an animal’s liver, kidneys, and other organs.
- Carbonated and sweet drinks. This includes many canned and bottled drinks and is especially applicable for drinks that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.
- Alcoholic beverages. If possible, it’s best to cut out the consumption of alcohol in its entirety. In particular, beer’s high purine content can greatly increase the possibility of experiencing a gout attack.
Though it may be difficult at first, cutting out the above types of food and beverages from your diet can greatly decrease the chances of having gout. Avoiding them can be especially effective if you experience chronic gout due to long-term hyperuricemia.
What You Can Simply Lessen
Meanwhile, there some types of food that can contribute to a healthy and balanced diet when eaten in a reasonable amount but can cause gout when eaten in excess. As a result, it might not be the best idea to cut them out entirely. Instead, it might be better to lessen the amount of these types of food that you take in. These usually include the following:
- Red meat (from beef or pork). These types of meat have many purines, though not as much as that present in the animals’ innards.
- Seafood. Examples of seafood that are especially rich in purine include shellfish, sardines, and tuna.
- Sweet desserts. Decreasing the amount of sugar-rich food you consume in general can also lessen the risks of having gout.
- Salty types of food. You can start by decreasing the amount of table salt you add to your food. Additionally, you can also avoid certain flavorful and meat-based sauces, such as gravy.
The above food and beverages can contribute to a healthy lifestyle if consumed in the right amounts. Simply hold yourself back from overindulging and you can effectively avoid gout without having to cut them out completely from your diet.
What You Can Increase
If there are food and drinks you should cut back on, then there are certainly those that you have more of. Indeed, increasing your consumption of the following can greatly contribute to a healthy lifestyle that’s free from gout attacks:
- Water. Making sure to drink more than 8 glasses of water daily can greatly decrease your risks of developing gout.
- Chicken. It can be especially helpful to prefer un-fried chicken and choose leaner parts.
- Low or non-fat dairy products
It can’t be denied that certain lifestyle factors greatly increase the likelihood of developing gout. If you’re starting to notice an uptick in the frequency of gout attacks, then you should know the changes you need to make in your diet to stop them from happening continually. If started early and done right, you can even effectively prevent them from happening without making any major disruptions to your everyday life.