Preventing & Treating Gout through Diet
Gout is a type of arthritis that is predominantly seen in men (although can occur in women) characterized by higher uric acid levels from the breakdown of purine. Purine is a compound found in many foods and often linked to gout when consumed in excess. Foods high in purine include certain meats, shellfish and alcoholic beverages. Sotiria Everett, registered dietitian & nutritionist at Hospital for Special Surgery, says, “To prevent gout, it is important to maintain a healthy weight since obesity greatly increases your risk and eat a balanced healthy diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains. If you have gout, avoid beer and other alcoholic beverages. Also, consider limiting the amount of purine in your diet. Foods high in protein, such as meats, fish and beans are the main sources of purines, but some types of proteins are higher in purines than others.”
High purine protein foods include: anchovies, sardines, herring, mussels, tuna, codfish, scallops, trout and haddock (remove fish skin), bacon, organ meats (such as, liver, kidney), tripe, sweetbreads, wild game
Moderate protein foods include: beef, chicken, duck, pork/ham, crab, lobster, oysters and shrimp.
Sotiria also has this reminder, “Choosing foods that have moderate amounts of protein may help, but limit the portion. A moderate purine food can become a high purine food if you consume a big portion of it.”
Sotiria Everett is a registered dietitian and nutritionist at the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.