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15 Foods to Eat When You Have Gout

Beans

Beans are a great source of protein that don’t overwhelm your system with purines and high uric acid levels. Lentils and legumes, like peanuts, are also great plant-based sources of protein. Other experts advise against legumes and beans, as there is some contradictory evidence that they may significantly raise purine levels. 

If the beans or legumes agree with you, keep them in your diet. They allow you to keep the amount of saturated fat in your diet on the low end of the spectrum. This helps control gout by making it easier to keep cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight all at a healthy level—all of which are extremely important to keeping gout attacks at bay.

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Walnuts

Walnuts are a particularly good option for people with gout, and several organizations especially recommend this variety of nut. About 10 to 15 nuts per day may be sufficient to gain the benefits of nuts without inducing excessive uric acid. 

These nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which your body uses for a number of different functions. Additionally, the vitamin E in nuts helps keep the arteries cleared, making them good for heart disease, the risk of which increases with gout. Eating an orange or cherries after a large nut consumption may help move uric acid through the body as well. 

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Whole Grains

Getting plenty of whole grains is also extremely important in controlling your gout. While you want to avoid simple sugars, like those found in cheap white bread and most baked goods made with white flour, complex carbohydrates help control your weight and any insulin issues you might be having.

Since whole grains don’t digest quickly, you feel fuller for a longer period of time, which helps you eat less. Plus, they can help stabilize your blood sugar, which may keep gout attacks at bay for longer. 

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Low-Fat Dairy

If you’re already having trouble with joint pain and arthritis, skimping on the calcium isn’t doing yourself any favors. This is a tricky balancing act, though, because the high-fat content that tends to be in dairy products is bad for gout. Instead of missing out on your calcium or trying to get it all through alternative sources, choose low-fat dairy options instead. 

Since you’re missing out on a lot of the protein derived from meat, skim milk and low-fat Greek yogurt can be great protein sources. Additionally, low-fat dairy may actually provide some protection from gout. At least one serving of dairy a day showed lower uric acid blood levels in the patients of some studies—and other studies suggest that dairy may help move uric acid out of the body more effectively.

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Water

Sweetened drinks are generally a no-go if you’re dealing with gout. Pure fruit juice isn’t bad, as long as it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup. You might consider watering it down to get a lower sugar intake, too. Even cherry juice is recommended in low quantities. 

However, you can have as much water as you want, and the more you drink, the fewer gout attacks you may have. Keeping hydrated is going to help your body move uric acid along more smoothly, and although no conclusive results were reached about why it works, the research definitely showed a reduction in gout attacks as more water was consumed.

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Coffee

The other good news is that you can keep drinking coffee. Obviously, your best option is to drink it black or with only a low- or no-fat creamer. A spoonful of sugar might not hurt, as long as you’re taking necessary precautions across the rest of your diet. Additionally, coffee is another great choice that may actually provide some help.

One study by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver showed four to five cups a day reduced the risk of gout by more than 40%, while more than six cups a day reduced the risk by nearly 60%! Other studies show that more coffee tends to equal lower levels of uric acid—and no, it isn’t the caffeine, as tea showed no evidence of lowered uric acid, while decaffeinated coffee still proved beneficial. 

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Guava

A study from the Archives of Internal Medicine found that vitamin C could help prevent gout and gout attacks. The study was on 47,000 men, who took 500-milligrams of vitamin C daily. Their risk of gout fell by 17%. The risk dropped by 45% when participants consumed more than 1,500 mg of vitamin C every day.

Guava is extremely high in vitamin C. Adding it to your diet, along with other high vitamin C foods, can help prevent gout symptoms as consuming food that are high in nutrients is always better than supplements. If you’re considering taking supplements, speak with your doctor to make sure that it’s safe for your situation.  

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Cherries

Cherries have high levels of antioxidants that have an anti-inflammatory effect. Scientists also believe that cherries can help counteract the process that leads to bones being affected by gout, although more research is needed to confirm. Cherries are also a great choice because they’re low in calories – only around 100 calories in one cup.

When it comes to gout, research shows cherries lower uric acid levels in the blood. And that’s great for managing your condition, as is the anti-inflammatory effect cherries seem to have. In fact, one study found that just two tablespoons of cherry juice a day over four months lowered gout patients’ number of attacks by about half. Another study suggests that eating cherries may help reduce the effect of gout for up to two days after consumption!

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Citrus

Consuming vitamin C has been studied and has shown to lower uric acid levels when consumed regularly. Instead of supplements, grab some fruit! The fiber will help your body digest the nutrients in a more effective way. There’s a number of citrus fruits you can consume from oranges to pineapples. All of these fruits are great because they’re high in vitamin C but low in fructose.

Speak to your doctor before eating some citrus fruits. Grapefruit is delicious, but it can have a negative effect on some medications. Your doctor should be able to help you determine whether grapefruit is safe for you to consume.

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Tofu

Protein is essential for the human body. According to Harvard Health, everyone should consume 0.36 grams of protein for every pound. So, if someone weighs 140 pounds, they need to eat 53 grams of protein. The only problem is that a lot of meat is off-limits for those who suffer from gout. There is a solution!

Vegetable protein! It may not seem as appealing at first, but tofu has a surprising amount of protein. You can also add it in place of any meat. It will absorb the flavor of whatever it’s cooked in, so you can make it taste different for every dish. The best part is that tofu doesn’t raise uric acid levels like many meat products.

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Chicken

Not all meat is off the menu. Beef and pork can be high in purines and raise uric acid levels, which could lead to an increase of gout attacks. Chicken, however, is a great alternative. Ideally, skinless chicken breast is the best option as it’s very low in fat compared to the thigh’s dark meat. Chicken should still be consumed in moderation and monitored as it can be a trigger food for some people.

Other fowl should also be avoided. While chicken is safe, birds like turkey and goose can be very high in purines. In general, wild game is much higher in purines, making chicken and duck the safest choices as far as meat goes.

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Plant Oils

Oil is a mixture of fatty acids, but you can’t exactly cook without using some kind of fat, right? Turns out that there are healthy options that can help prevent gout attacks. Aim for oils that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These oils can help lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol.

Plant oils also won’t aggravate arthritis and inflammation like butter and other oils that are high in saturated fats. The best oils on the market include safflower, olive, and (surprisingly) canola oil. Whatever you do, stay away from coconut oil. While it’s touted as healthy, it’s extremely high in saturated fat.

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Cold-Water Fish

While shellfish is largely off the menu, some seafood is a great choice. Cold-water fish has the essential fatty acids we need to stay healthy without a ton of purines. Fish like tuna is an especially great choice because it can reduce gout inflammation. Salmon is another excellent choice.

Since it still has a fair number of purines, experts say to limit consumption to one serving per day. The worst fish for people with gout includes anchovies, codfish, haddock, herring, mackerel, mussels, roe (fish eggs), sardines, scallops, and trout. Avoid all of these fish like the plague.

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High-Fiber Vegetables

Vegetables are an ideal choice for anyone. For those with gout, it can be touch-and-go. Vegetables that are high in purines don’t seem to aggravate gout., like animal products. For that reason, keep a food diary and keep track of what causes inflammation. This way you know which vegetables you can eat and which ones you cannot.

Foods like asparagus, spinach, and mushrooms should be consumed on a case-by-case basis. They’re extremely high in purines and are prone to causing inflammation. Instead, eat onions, potatoes, and other low-purine vegetables. If you’re getting bored, try to mix things up in a casserole.

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Eggs

Eggs are safe to eat! Well, at least in moderation. They are still an animal product and can cause inflammation if you eat too many at once. Health Promotion Board suggests that a person can eat up to four eggs safely and not suffer from a gout attack.

Of course, keep track of what triggers your inflammation, as this could be different person-to-person. Eating too many eggs raise the protein levels in your body, which will also increase uric acid levels. The best way to avoid this is by planning your meals out beforehand.

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