Certain foods are known to trigger a gout attack; one thing these food items have in common is their high-purine content, which gets converted into uric acid. However, it’s not just the purine content you should be worried about. Certain plant foods are high in purines but are still safe to consume.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why some foods are considered the unhealthiest for gout sufferers. These are the top five foods to avoid for gout and why they are terrible beyond their purine content.
1. Red Meat
The occasional steak every now and then is acceptable but as much as possible, you want to avoid red meats and only stick to lean meats and white meat like chicken or duck.
You should also be steering clear from organ meats like kidney, liver, tongue, sweetbreads, and brains since they are very high in saturated fat. They have the highest purine content among all meat products and should not be included in your diet.
Red meat has protein in it that’s associated with hyperuricemia. It’s even shows to have a similar effect as seafood. Plant-based proteins don’t have the same effect on gout sufferers.
2. Processed Meat
It can be hard to avoid processed meat; it’s been ingrained in our minds through decades of marketing that bacon, ham, and hotdog are breakfast staples. If you have gout, you should be avoiding processed meat as much as possible.
Processed meat is not only high in purines but also in salt, preservatives, and carcinogens. It usually undergoes a process called curing; our ancestors used to do this to preserve meat, the only difference is the nitrite solution they add to the meat today that make it dangerous.
Nitrite is a substance associated with many cancerous compounds. Cooking it in high heat only makes it worse because nitrite turns into nitrosamine which is also cancerous.
Aside from nitrite, the high sodium content in processed meat can also be bad for your kidneys. Remember that your kidneys are essential to eliminating uric acid. If you want to live a long, healthy life with gout, you need to have a properly functioning kidney.
Whenever someone is transitioning to a plant-based diet, the number one meat they try to cut back on is pork. It’s very clear why. The pig is the dirtiest animal there is. The list of things it can eat is very long; it even eats scraps and dead carcasses. You don’t see other animals such as cows or goats having the same diet as the pig, do you?
The reason why the pig requires more feeding than its other farm friends is because of its very fast digestive system. It gets hungry very quickly and therefore needs to be fed often. Toxins get stored in its fat and remains there until human consumption.
Pork is also classified as red meat and should be avoided in a gout diet. In a 2009 investigation on 200 samples of pork, they found that 69% of the samples contained a bacteria called yersinia enterocolitica which can cause gastrointestinal illnesses. In the other samples, they found ractopamine. This drug is used to make the pig grow bigger but it’s so dangerous that it’s been banned in many countries.
Pork consumption has also been associated with liver cirrhosis much worse than alcohol. For a healthy liver that can metabolize uric acid efficiently, you should avoid pork completely.
A number of seafood items can lead to a gout attack. This includes shellfish, lobster, clams, shrimp, sardines, anchovies, scallops, codfish, tuna, trout, mackerel, and haddock. Like pork, certain seafoods like lobster and shrimp can be dirty since they are natural scavengers that eat anything in the ocean including animal poop and pollutants by man.
Seafood wasn’t always as fancy as it is now. Back then, you wouldn’t find a lobster in a wealthy man’s table. It was considered a poor man’s chicken! Poor families ate seafood because it was the easiest meat to access. Rich families, on the other hand, thrived on healthier meats like beef and cattle.
Today, you’ll see seafood being served in high-end restaurants! But just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Studies have found that gout patients who ate seafood had were at more risk for developing gout. This risk increased by 7% for every additional weekly serving of seafood they consumed.
If you suffer from gout, you are better off cutting out seafood from your diet. The only exception appears to be salmon. Yes, it can raise uric acid levels but it has heard benefits which outweigh the risk.
Except for the sugar in fruits, sugar in most forms is bad for gout because they stimulate the body to produce more uric acid. Whether it’s processed juice, energy drinks, soft drinks, pastries, or artificial sweeteners.
Be particularly wary of sweet products containing high fructose corn syrup. Studies show that men who ate more fructose-laden foods were more likely to develop gout. This is a dangerous type of sweetener that gets absorbed easily by your body and goes straight to your liver. As a result, it turns into fat rather than being utilized for energy.
In addition, high fructose corn syrup makes sugar very addictive. Like drugs, you develop a tolerance for it. Your usual two teaspoons won’t be enough, so you keep adding more and more. Before you know it, you’re hooked on sugar.
This is the worst-case scenario but the evidence of sugar’s danger to society can be seen in the rising number of diabetic patients. Diabetes doesn’t just affect older people anymore. Nowadays, even kids can have diabetes! That’s pretty alarming.
As someone who suffers from a metabolic disease such as gout, you should avoid sugar whenever you can. Only opt for natural sugars found in fruits. Through this, you get to satisfy your sugar craving and still receive the beneficial vitamins and nutrients.
What item in this list are you particularly vigilant for? Share your thoughts in the comments!
This article is intended for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or are considering any recommendations, please consult your health practitioner.