Gout is a painful condition that occurs when uric acid crystals develop in joints. The result is painful and uncomfortable joint inflammation. As a patient with gout, your doctor likely told you to steer clear of foods rich in purine, a natural chemical compound that breaks down into uric acid in the body and triggers flare-ups.
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So on one hand, avoiding purine-rich foods such as red meat, shellfish, alcohol, and even bread is wise. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to eat a healthful diet even when you have gout. Here are seven diet tips to help you avoid a major flare-up…
Many doctors recommend an alkaline diet for gout. This is because alkaline foods are thought to neutralize the uric acid in the body, as well as the formation of uric acid crystals in joints. This is because the foods we eat can impact the levels of different compounds in your bloodstream, including uric acid, which triggers this painful form of arthritis.
Thankfully, a successful way to prevent painful gout flare ups is to avoid consuming foods. For instance, certain types of fish and seafood (i.e., shellfish, anchovies, mussels, scallops, haddock, sardines, cod, trout, and herring); meat products (i.e., liver, veal, turkey, bacon, and venison); as well as all forms of alcohol). These foods and beverages trigger uric acid production and trigger gout flare-ups. Luckily, a diet made up largely of alkalizing foods (i.e., fresh fruits and veggies) can help neutralize excess acid in the body. Sources like WebMD recommend veggies such as asparagus, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, as well as citrus fruits.
Consider nuts and legumes for a good source of protein and also considered alkaline, says registered dietitian Julie Ching.