Elevated uric acid level increases the risk of gout. The disease is usually characterized by pain, inflammation and redness at the small joint of the big toe. It might even affect the knees, ankles, fingers, wrists and elbows. Acute gout attack usually subsides naturally within a few hour or days. Rarely, gout pain lasts for several weeks.
Deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints produces the painful symptoms of gout. Your diet might affect the uric acid level in the blood. Modifying the diet could reduce gout pain and prevent recurrent gout attacks.
Gout diet is a specialized diet that discourages consumption of protein and purine rich foods. Meat and shellfish are especially harmful for people prone to gout.
Studies have shown that people following a meat rich diet have 40 per cent higher risk of developing gout than vegetarians or people who eat small amounts of meat. Risk of developing gout is 50 percent higher among people who consume large amounts of seafood.
Gout patients should avoid or limit consumption of organ meats such as liver, kidneys, brains and sweetbreads, sardines, mussels, yeast, salmon, haddock, trout and scallops, which are the richest source of purines.
Although vegetables such as asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower, peas and beans and whole grain breads are moderately high in purine, studies did not find any association between gout attack and consumption of vegetables containing purine.
Complex carbohydrates comprising of dietary fiber rich vegetables, fruits and whole grains should be the main source of calorie in the diet of a gout patient. While 55 per cent of the daily energy requirement should be met through complex carbohydrates, proteins should comprise not more than 15 per cent of the total daily calorie intake.
Plant proteins should be the main source of protein in the diet of gout patients. Gout patients could consume essential fats. Cherries, berries, tomatoes, bananas and pineapples are beneficial for gout patients. They should add enough vitamin C rich foods to their diet.
Oranges, lemons and bell peppers are beneficial for gout patients. Green leafy vegetables, celery, parsley, cabbage and kale could provide essential nutrients. They should drink plenty of water and fluids.