Foods that cause gout, the “disease of kings,” were historically available only to the very wealthy. After all, they were the only ones who could afford them.
However today nearly everyone can overindulge in rich, unhealthy food and excess alcohol. As a result, some two million Americans are suffering from gout – just like the dukes, lords and kings of Old England.
Gout mostly effects men over the age of 40. The joint inflammation is caused by a crystallization of excessive uric acid in the blood stream (hyperuricemia).
Uric acid is a waste product formed by the breakdown of purines, natural substances found mainly in fatty meats, particularly red meat, some fish, grains and vegetables.
The latest, most exhaustive and definitive research studied 47,150 men over a twelve-year period. The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that all of the foods containing purines do NOT cause gout. Some do and some don’t.
The research team was able to clarify the foods that cause gout and which foods actually help to prevent gout flare-ups in those prone to the disease.
Lead investigator Hyon Choi, MD, DrPH, of Harvard Medical School, found that each daily serving of beef, lamb or pork would increased gout risk by 21%. Seafood increased the risk by 7% with each serving per week.
Chicken, grains and vegetables, even those high in purines, were found to have no risk. And two daily servings of low fat dairy were linked to a 50% decrease in symptoms.
Obesity is another major factor in gout. Extra pounds put extra stress on the joints and increase the risk of hyperuricemia. But, don’t lose weight quickly or resort to low-carb diets high in fatty meats. These only increase uric acid in the blood.
For best all around results and prevention, Dr. Choi recommends a diet “rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.”
Since water helps flush uric acid from the body, anyone susceptible should drink at least 8 (and preferably up to 12) glasses of pure water a day. It’s also extremely important to limit or eliminate alcohol. Alcohol increases uric acid, interferes with the removal from the body and is often the cause of painful flare-ups.
Recognizing the valuable anti-inflammatory omega 3 fish oil benefits, Dr. Choi recommends that you “get the protective components of omega fatty acids that are in fish.” But, since most seafood is high in purines and good quality fish oil supplements are not, he suggests, “fish oil capsules, rather than eating a lot of seafood”
To be free from pain, without resorting to harmful medications, it only makes good sense to eat less meat, drink more water and less alcohol, maintain healthy weight and take omega 3 fish oil supplements to naturally reduce painful inflammation.
Moss Greene is a respected health journalist and is currently the Nutrition Editor for BellaOnline.com. Over the past 34 years, shes helped thousands of people to look and feel their very best naturally.
You can view hundreds of relevant health articles by Moss at nutrition.bellaonline.com and subscribe to her free weekly Natural Health Newsletter.