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How to Control Gout
There are several things you can do as part of an eating plan for gout.
- Avoid or limit foods that are high in purines, especially during a gout attack. These foods include:
- Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and brains.
- Meats, including bacon, beef, pork, and lamb.
- Game meats.
- Any other meats or poultry in large amounts.
- Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, and scallops.
- Eat foods that may lower your risk of gout.1 These include:
- Low-fat or fat-free milk.
- Low-fat yogurt.
- Choose healthy foods. These foods include:
- A wide range of fruits and vegetables.
- Eggs, nuts, and seeds for protein.
- Small amounts of meat. Limit your serving size to 2 to 3 ounces a day.
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids. This can help your body get rid of uric acid.
- Avoid eating habits that can raise your uric acid levels. For example:
- Avoid crash diets and low-carbohydrate diets.
- Do not eat too much food or drink too much alcohol.
- Avoid alcohol, especially beer and “spirits” such as whiskey and gin.
Purines are organic compounds that are not necessarily harmful. In fact, it is natural for the body to contain some purines at all times.
However, purines break down into a waste substance called uric acid. Most uric acid dissolves harmlessly in the blood before the kidneys filter it and remove it from the body.
The breakdown of purines is responsible for about 15 percent of the uric acid in the body.
When levels of uric acid exceed the amount that the body can process, the acid can form crystals in the blood. These can cause gout, kidney stones, and other issues.
A low-purine diet helps to minimize the number of purines in the body and reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood.
There are two key parts of a successful low-purine diet. The first involves recognizing and avoiding foods that contain high levels of purines.
The second consists in changing the diet to help the body get rid of uric acid more efficiently.
Uric acid crystals can form kidney stones or cause gout if they build up in the joints and tendons.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, a low-purine diet can lower the levels of uric acid in the bloodstream and reduce the risk of severe complications.
People with high levels of uric acid in the blood have a condition called hyperuricemia, and a low-purine diet can help.