Gout is a type of arthritis that causes uric acid crystals to form around the joints. This painful condition is typically associated with eating an excessive amount of certain foods such as seafood, meat or alcohol. A combination of dietary restrictions and medications can be used to lower uric acid levels to minimize gout symptoms. What are the vegetables that you should avoid when suffering from gout? What are other foods you should avoid?
Purine chemicals can be naturally found in a variety of foods. When your body digests purines it can produce uric acid as a waste product. If uric acid builds up in the system it can cause chronic pain, swelling and tenderness in the joints. Those that have gout should avoid vegetables high in purine that could cause gout flare ups, though these do not cause as much damage as animal products.
Some vegetables including spinach, cauliflower and spinach can be high in purines but they do not cause as much damage as purines from meat products because vegetable purines can be excreted from the body more easily than those from animal products. Still, if you are suffering from gout, these vegetables should be avoided.
Beans, peas and other legumes are high in purines and should be avoided for those who have gout. Peas are ranked with a moderately high or high amount of purines by World’s Healthiest Foods at 5-100 milligrams of purines for every 3.5 ounces. Peas, asparagus and spinach can do less damage to those suffering from gout if they are raw and eaten in small portions.
Mushrooms are also ranked as having a moderately high or high amount of purines in each serving. This makes them a poor meat replacement for those that are trying to follow a gout diet.
More information about how to manage a gout diet can be found here:
Foods that are high in purine will significantly increase your risk of suffering from symptoms of gout. Fish including cod, carp, herring, sardines, trout, tuna, haddock, salmon or anchovies have very high levels of purine. While a small serving of these fish should not cause a severe reaction, regularly consuming large amounts of any fish that is high in purine may cause a negative reaction.
Alcohol is known to cause particularly painful gout attacks, with beer being the most dangerous for those with this condition to consume. A study that followed 47,000 men over 12 years noticed that those that had a high amount of alcohol in their diet were significantly more likely to develop gout in their lifetime. A serving of beer each day increases the risk of developing gout by up to 50 percent, though wine and hard liquor should also be avoided by those that already have the condition.
Caffeine acts as a diuretic, reducing the water content in the body. This can leave uric acid crystals suspended in the blood, allowing them to crystalize in the joints while your body becomes dehydrated. Those that consume caffeine should limit their intake to one cup of coffee per day instead of drinking several cups in one sitting.
Animals’ organs tend to be particularly high in purine, so consuming this meat can be particularly dangerous for those with gout. Calf’s liver is the most dangerous, containing 460mg of purine in each serving but spleens, heart, liver and lungs from other animals can also be dangerous.
Foods high in fat can increase gout symptoms, with those that have a high body mass index having more symptoms than those that follow a diet that eliminates fatty fried foods. Regularly consuming fried foods can also increase your risk of developing chronic gout. Prepackaged foods and those prepared in oil should be avoided. This includes items covered in a crispy breading mixture.
All forms of beef have moderate to high purine levels, with tenderloin, chuck, roast beef, ribs or beef shoulder have the highest purine levels. Beef is also very fatty, which can increase your risk of developing a gout attack. Red meats like pork or lamb possess a similar risk to gout patients, so it is vital that you only eat these foods in moderation.
Sodas are high in fructose that can increase your risk of a gout attack. Studies indicate that those who have an increased soda consumption are more likely to develop cases of gout over time. Many sodas also contain caffeine that can dehydrate the body and further increase your risk of a gout attack when the uric acid crystals in the blood start to crystalize.