PURINE-RICH foods, when absorbed, releases a waste product called uric acid in the blood stream.
People with gout are advised to restrict their diet of these foods.
In this post, let us be familiar of these purine-rich foods.
GOUT is a form of an inflammatory arthritis. An excess of uric acid in the blood causes it to crystallise. When these crystals are not excreted properly, it tends to accumulate in the blood stream. Then, it adheres to joints, tendons and muscles causing it to swell. This swelling results to deformities and bone misalignment resulting to sporadic pain that may range from 1-10. Just for making it easy to understand, consider 10 as the most painful grade.
There are many causes leading to an attack but the most common is due to a combination of hereditary and dietary factors. From the two, diet is deemed to be the controllable cause. If you know what foods to avoid completely, eat in moderation and eat without guilt, it could prevent painful gout attacks.
At all costs, prevention is better than cure. So before we jump into aiding these painful attacks with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and agents, put effort in decreasing uric acid crystal accumulation. Be aware that eating the right diet can largely help you.
However, the people who were hereditarily infected may have gout because they have a slower response to excreting the uric acid as it rises in the blood than anybody else. That’s a different scenario. While there may be another approach to counter that special case, this list favours the one whose kind of gout is triggered and can be controlled by a certain diet.
Early last year, my blood was examined for suspected gout. After watching the rugby games (and it’s a given that you will drink a cup of beer or two), my bunion was throbbing with pain. Fortunately, I didn’t have to work the next day. So, I took my day off as an opportunity to consult the doctor for it. I had a series of painful attacks at the same area which my doctor found it significant to consider a specific blood test for gout. As a former nurse, I suspected arthritis. But sadly, it was an extreme form that if not diagnosed early, it could result to deformities that may alter my physical mobility, gout.
Instantly, I thought of the foods I can’t eat. It gave it more of a pang! when the doctor italized each. In my mind, “Great, he just echoed my mind.” So I guess, I’ll start with those first:
FOODS TO AVOID WHEN YOU HAVE GOUT:
- ORGAN MEATS – This include the liver, kidneys, heart and tripe. Asians take pride in some delicacies whose ingredients are majorly organ meats. In 2015, an article by Rheumatology Network recorded the highest prevalence of gout in Taiwanese aboriginals and Māori, with an estimate of more than 10%.
- GAME MEATS – are meats that come from hunted animals instead of those who were raised in a barn. Examples of which are: pheasant, partridge, rabbit, quail, wood-pigeon and wild duck.
- FISH – such as mackerel, herring, trout, sardines. (This truly made me feel so bad as most of the fishes here are my go-to food when no foods seem to make sense to me.)
- (more!!!??!!-they’re just my favourite, I’m afraid! I was killing my doctor in my mind as he confirms the foods I know I have to avoid already. I knew it was coming but hearing him say it, were like symbals banging on each side of my head) SEAFOOD – Mussels, which is truly a beautiful, meaty food, is one of the highest in purine. Back to back with a juicy seafood that takes my breath away each time, scallops. (Sigh!) Some articles had included shrimps and crabs and squid. But, they are moderately high. If you don’t go overboard with them, they’re alright. Just don’t match them anymore with something else that are high in purine.
- ALCOHOL – Studies have shown that wine, even if containing a stronger alcohol content, is lesser to trigger a gout attack. This is due to the yeast content that beer has. So in addition to the brewer’s yeast is the nutritional yeasts that some white bread may have and other yeast supplements.
- SUGARY BEVERAGES – such as fruit juices and sugary sodas.
- OTHERS – which includes minced meat, peanut butter, mustard and chocolate.
EFFECTS OF CERTAIN FOODS
Have you ever tried making your toddler ingest chocolate in the evening? Well, they get hyper. And they’re like a spinning top until they have used that much energy they ingested. This is proven true with my daughter. And my husband will be laughing on this because we experienced it both.
Take this example in taking note that sugary beverages don’t produce uric acid. It enhances cellular metabolism instead. So, the process of digesting food increases, meaning, it increases waste production as well.
Now let’s check out the opposite of the list. There may be a lot of foods that this list encouraged you not to eat, but there are still those that you can keep on enjoying.
FOODS THAT YOU MAY INDULGE IN WHEN YOU HAVE GOUT:
- FRUITS – All fruits remain low in purine. Except when they are mixed with artificial sugars to make up fruit juices that come out excessively high in fructose. Generally, fresh ones are the most advisable. There are fruits that are diuretic by nature. This helps in ruling out excess of crystallising uric acid.
- VEGETABLES – Broccoli, squash, zucchini, carrots, celery and eggplant are examples of the low purine vegetables. All the while, I thought eggplant makes my condition worse. But for foods to be considered low-purine they should have less than 100 mg of purines per 3.5 ounce. So eggplant is safe.
- DAIRY PRODUCTS – Butter, milk and cheese belong to the low-purine foods.
- CEREALS – Oats, rice, pasta, cereal, cornbread, noodles and refined bread remain low purine while wheat bread and wheat germ are not.
- EGGS – Amongst the protein-rich meats, chicken or fish, eggs are the only ones that remain under the low-purine level.
Beans, legumes, nuts and lentils have moderate purine in them. This means they contain 100-300mg of uric acid/100 g or serving. If you’re not too careful and would eat more than 100g, it will for sure trigger a gout attack most especially if it’s combined with other ‘moderate-purine-level’.
FOODS THAT COULD EASE YOUR PAIN BECAUSE OF GOUT:
- APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – This helps in reducing excessive sugar in the blood, helps the body excrete toxins and soothes joint pain.
- GINGER – With the many uses of ginger, it helps people with gout because it has anti-inflammatory agents and so are…
- TURMERIC and
- EPSOM SALT – In addition, to its anti-inflammatory power, it induces relaxation of muscles therefore releasing them from tension and further stiffening.
- CHERRY JUICE – A 2012 pilot study found that consuming cherry juice concentrate lowered the levels of uric acid in the body
- LEMON JUICE – stimulates the formation of calcium carbonate released by the pancreas and aids in alkalization of the blood and urine, neutralizing acids such as uric acid.
I hope this could be of help. I always follow a mantra that goes:
Everything ingested or taken in excess will backfire one way or another. And as the cliché that goes, “Karma’s a bitch!” I got a similar one, “Bunions are a bitch!”