Gout is in fact a type of arthritis caused by having high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is a chemical created when the body breaks down substances called purines. Purines are found in some foods and drinks including liver, anchovies, mackerel, beer, dried beans and peas.
Most uric acid dissolves in blood and travels to the kidneys however too much uric acid causes crystals to form in the joints which leads to pain and swelling. The pain can usually be eased by anti-inflammatory painkillers.
Purine Rich Foods to Avoid…
Vegetables like mushrooms, cauliflower, asparagus and spinach contain high levels of purine. Limit the intake of these vegetable to no more than two servings a day.
Alcohol is one of the biggest contributors of gout. Particularly beer which is high in yeast. Studies have also found that drinking beer during a gout attack can significantly increase its intensity. Wine is also quite high in purine, so consume it in moderation. Limit the consumption to 2 glasses a week.
Sunflower seeds should be avoided if you are suffering from gout as a serving of sunflower seeds contains 146 milligrams of purine.
Avoid red meat – this includes organ meats and game.
Chicken and turkey contain more purine than beef so should be avoided.
Fishes are common sources of purine. Sardines are extremely high in purine and can trigger a gout reaction if consumed in large amounts. Codfish, halibut, mackerel, herring, perch, tuna and anchovies are all other culprits as are shell fish like mussels, scallops, shrimps and lobster.
Moderate your consumption of lentils as a 100 gram serving of lentils provide 127 purine and 337 calories.
Raisins are a surprising source of purines so keep your hands of the fruit cake.
So What Can I Eat?
Aim to consume a diet high in fibrous carbohydrates like vegetables, fruit and wholegrains whilst minimising your protein intake and consume a moderate quantity of healthy fats.
Drink plenty of water to help dilute the uric acid.
Suggested macro breakdown: 55% Carbohydrate 15% Protein 30% Fat
Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must: Just never give up.