Gout and Diet: Which Foods are Your Triggers? Which Foods Are Your Wellness Medicine?

Topics: Wellness and Health
Dr John La Puma

An excellent New England Journal of Medicine study of 47,000 gout-free men over 12 years finds that those who developed this painful arthritis ate more meat, more seafood, and fewer low and nonfat dairy foods. And beer and spirits bring on gout, but not wine, in the same group of men.

Nearly 4% of Americans have gout now though, and it’s not just older, wealthy, overweight men. But being overweight increases the risk of developing a high uric acid level and gout because as your cells are broken down and produced, more uric acid is also produced, and can accumulate in your joints. Fasting and rapid weight loss increase uric acid levels, so going slowly is the way. Read more about gout from the NIH here.

Which foods to avoid? Purine-rich foods, especially meats, organ meats, fish, seafood and beer. Adenine, guanine, xanthine and hypoxanthine are the purines about which to be concerned. Avoid foods that you over-eat—these are the ones that make you fat.

Which foods can be your wellness medicine? Purine-rich vegetables, such as cauliflower, asparagus, peas and mushrooms, had no effect on developing gout, and are good. Eat low and nonfat dairy foods (cheese, milk, yogurt, kefir)—not full fat. And try cherries and cherry juice: they lower uric acid levels. Make yourself fit and trim, and learn more about to keep yourself that way. Make an appointment, and see Dr. La Puma yourself, one-on-one.