Have you ever watched a Victorian movie or read an old novel which showed the pains and pitfalls of gout? A painful condition which affects your feet or toes, hands or fingers, gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis, which is associated with high levels of uric acid in the blood.
When uric acid levels are elevated, they start to form crystals in the joints of the big toe, ankle, fingers and wrists which brings about the pain.
Gout has been associated with genetics, insulin resistance and diabetes, and a high purine diet. Foods that contain purines are organ and fatty meats, seafood and a variety of vegetables. Purines from vegetables have not been shown to increase gout. Besides medications, what are the best lifestyle interventions to avoid this painful condition?
- Keeping your weight normal and exercising regularly are essential
- Eating within your metabolic rate is key – i.e. eating when you are hungry and stopping when satisfied
- Increasing intake of dairy products is important
A study at General Hospital in Boston tracking 47,000 middle-aged men over 12 years showed those reporting the highest level of dairy consumption were half as likely to have gout than those who reported low dairy intake.
Recent studies showed a high fructose intake, from high fructose corn syrup and processed foods increased uric acid levels, which not only increased incidence of – gout but of high blood pressure and diabetes as well.
Other recommendations include:
- Increasing fluid intake from water
- Avoiding alcohol
- Increasing intake of vegetable based protein such as eggs, nuts, and nut butters
- Animal protein such as meat, chicken and fish should be lean with avoidance of organ meats. If you currently experiencing gout stick to one serving of meat or seafood per day
Eating a healthful clean diet has many benefits besides feeling comfortable in your clothes and having vitality. Understanding what brings about gout will hopefully make it only a condition of the Victorian era – and not of the 21st century.