Gout: Foods to Avoid
Gout is a specific arthritic condition that is caused by having too much uric acid in the system, which then forms crystals and settles in the various joints of the body. It most often starts in the big toe, and can be extremely painful. The quickest way to start easing the pain and preventing it from recurring is to alter your diet. If you have gout, foods to avoid should be listed on your refrigerator and memorized for when you are eating elsewhere.
The purines in food are the culprits, so you need to concentrate on foods that are low in purines. Meat is something that you should be eating in small portions. Organ meets like brains, kidneys, sweetbreads, and liver are best eliminated from your diet entirely, along with gravy and meat extracts. Beef, pork and lamb should be eaten in six ounce portions, or less. Forget you ever liked bacon. Chicken isn’t bad, but limit your use of duck, goose, and…yep…turkey.
Seafood isn’t your best bet either, so it will be high on your list of gout foods to avoid. But shrimp, crab, and lobster aren’t too bad…in small portions. However, your list of no-nos should include caviar, sardines, anchovies, mussels, scallops, herring, mackerel, and trout.
Even some fruits and vegetables are bad eating for gout victims. Believe it or not, the smaller the tomato, the higher the purines. Tomatoes should be eaten in moderation, and a beefsteak tomato is better for you than a cherry tomato, a grape tomato, and even a plum tomato! Among gout foods to avoid or at least eat sparingly, are the legumes, such as dried beans, lentils, and peas. Spinach and asparagus can also be a problem. And mushrooms can really get your toes radiating.
Oatmeal isn’t great for you either, in terms of purines. But it is a healthful food, so use common sense. Eat small portions of it, and avoid it when you are having pain. Breads with high yeast content are also problematic. Which brings up another unpopular fact. Beer is a definite no-no, with its high yeast content. Eliminating all alcohol is a good idea, but at least temper your use of other liquors and wines.
Knowing the gout foods to avoid is a big step in the right direction. However, there is more you can do. Exercise daily and drink plenty of water to help dilute the uric acid. You will be glad you did.