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Gout Diet

Gout is known to be a severe kind of arthritis which is caused by excessive levels of uric acid in the blood. One factor that is associated with the increase of uric acid in the body is diet, especially the consumption of foods such meat or overindulgence in alcoholic drinks.

Before the development of gout medication, gout treatment involved getting into certain diets which at times were difficult for a person to stick to. After the coming of modern medicine treatment of gout is no longer difficult as it used to be.

The gout diet is not a diet that is out of the ordinary, it is actually similar to a healthy eating guide or plan that anyone can get into. This diet generally helps you to effectively manage gout and at the same time get to enjoy other benefits like;

- Reduced chances of developing certain chronic diseases.

- Attainment of a healthy body weight.

When there is a high concentration of uric acid in the blood, tiny urate crystals start forming and accumulating at particular joints in the body. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines. Purines can naturally be found in our bodies though much of it comes from the food that we eat. Therefore as you can see, there is a direct relation between gout and the food we consume.

What is the purpose of a gout diet?

The important thing to note is that a gout diet is not a treatment or cure for gout, but it will help in control and prevention of gout attacks. This is because a gout diet helps to minimize and remove uric acid that is present in your system. Research indicates there is a link between gout and obesity, therefore eating of a diet that helps in reduction of weight will decrease your chances of getting a gout attack.

A detailed look at the gout diet

A gout diet mainly incorporates a reduction in the intake of purine-rich foods in order to maintain normal levels of uric acid in your system. It is always advisable to try and lose a couple of pounds if you are overweight. An increased intake of fluids especially water will help in the excretion of uric acid from your body. The diet also needs you to decrease the consumption of foods rich in proteins as they encourage your body to produce excessive amounts of uric acid.

Therefore an effective gout diet will require you to:

- Increase your intake of plant-based proteins and reduce consumption of animal proteins.

Examples of animal proteins include;

a)     Red meat- lamb pork and beef.
b)    Seafood- mackerel, anchovies and herring.

Since animal proteins are rich in purines try and limit their intake to 4-6 ounces per day. Some of the plant-based proteins that you are encouraged to eat include beans and other kind of legumes.

- Try to minimize or avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is known to hinder the efficient removal of uric acid from the body, causing its concentration to increase which the leads to a gout attack. If you are going through a gout attack it is recommended not to take any alcoholic beverage as it may aggravate the condition.

- Take plenty of water each day. Water will assist in flushing the uric acid from your system. The recommended amount is about 8 glasses of water.

- Including complex carbohydrates in your meals. Whole grains are a good source of complex carbohydrates. Avoid refined carbohydrates like sweets, cookies or white bread. Eating of fruits and vegetables is also good.

- Consuming dairy products that are either low -fat or completely fat free. Recent research studies indicate that consumption of dairy products such as yogurt significantly reduces your chances of developing gout. The recommended intake of dairy products should range between 470-700 milliliters each day.

- Limiting you intake of sugary foods. Though there is still some controversy about the effect of sugar on gout, sugars are surely a contributing factor to obesity thus their intake should be carefully monitored.

What to expect from a gout diet

With a little commitment and discipline on your side this gout diet will result in a reduction of uric acid in your system, better control of uric acid production by your body and a great improvement in your health as a whole.

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