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Gout Foods to Eat Dietary Guidelines

gout-foods-dietary-guidelines

There are a few simple dietary guidelines for gout sufferers that may help patients reduce the frequency and intensity of their gout pain. Obviously, avoiding purine-rich foods that increase blood uric acid levels is important for gout sufferers, but there are also certain foods that you can add to your diet to decrease your gout symptoms, and some new research even indicates that foods previously believed to increase gout symptoms may actually help battle them.

The Basics

You want to start by consuming at least eight to 16 cups of fluid every day, at least half of which should be plain water. Staying properly hydrated reduces blood uric acid levels and helps the kidney excrete uric acid as a waste product. Physicians recommend a balanced diet with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy and protein sources for gout patients.

Some Specifics

In addition to maintaining a balanced diet and adequate hydration, certain specific foods may reduce gout symptoms. Coffee has been shown to reduce blood uric acid levels, although researchers admit they don’t completely understand the mechanism behind coffee’s effect on blood uric acid levels. Foods high in vitamin C, including citrus fruits, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, potatoes, and cantaloup have also demonstrated some effect in lowering blood uric acid levels. However, megadoses of vitamin C can actually increase the body’s uric acid levels. Studies have also shown dark berries such as cherries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, and raspberries can reduce blood uric acid levels, although their specific effect on gout and gout pain isn’t clear.

Conflicting Evidence

New research has vindicated some foods previously believed to increase blood uric acid levels, and even shown that these foods can actually reduce gout symptoms and pain. Although dairy is fairly high in purines, low-fat dairy products were proved to reduce gout risk in men by up to 50 percent in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Beans, peas, cauliflower, and mushrooms, all of which are rich purine sources, have now been shown not to increase blood uric acid levels, although they don’t reduce them either.

 

Resources

“Gout: Lifestyle and home remedies – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gout/DS00090/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies.

“Gout: Lifestyle and home remedies – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gout/DS00090/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies.

“Vitamin C: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002404.htm.

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