The Best Diet Advice for Gout

Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. The prevalence of gout has increased over the past several decades. Nearly 4% of the population in the US currently suffers from gout. Many of these same patients suffer from cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome, and hypertension. These conditions may all relate to an increased future risk of myocardial infarction and premature death. Gout is primarily a result of increased serum uric acid.

The conventional approach of a diet low in purine rich foods for gout care offers limited efficacy, palatability, and sustainability. This low protein diet promotes increased consumption of refined carbohydrates (including fructose) and unhealthy fats (including trans fats) that can worsen cardiovascular and metabolic diseases by furthering insulin resistance and increasing levels of plasma glucose, triglycerides, and low density lipoprotein cholesterol.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet substantially reduces blood pressure and is recommended for preventing cardiovascular disease. The DASH diet emphasizes intake of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy foods, and reduced saturated and total fat. Furthermore, a recent ancillary analysis of an original DASH randomized trial found that the DASH diet lowers serum uric acid levels substantially among people with hyperuricemia compared with a typical American diet. Thus, the DASH diet may be particularly useful in gout care by reducing both serum uric acid levels and cardiovascular disease risk

Conversely, the Western diet (reflecting higher intake of red and processed meats, beverages sweetened with sugar, sweets, desserts, French fries, and refined grains) contains many foods that have previously been established to increase serum uric acid levels and the risk of gout, which may explain the increasing prevalence of gout in Western countries.

If you suffer from gout you may want to make the following dietary changes to your diet:

  • Reduce sodium in your diet. This means cutting pack on packaged foods and eating a whole food diet.
  • Reduce your intake of bacon, sausage, hot dogs and luncheon meats such as corned beef, pastrami, bologna, ham, processed turkey and salami.
  • Avoid smoked, pickled and cured foods.
  • Eat at least four to five servings a day of whole fresh fruit and four to five servings a day of vegetables. A serving of vegetable or fruit is approximately ½ cup cooked or one cup raw.
  • Choose citrus fruit three times a week for potassium and fiber.
  • A good rule of thumb is to drink eight cups of water per day. Drink decaffeinated coffee and eliminate soda (even diet.)

The DASH diet could offer an attractive preventive dietary approach for the risk of gout. You may also find that the DASH diet may be helpful among patients with gout as well as for the risk of gout flares. Should you change to a DASH diet it is important to discuss your situation with your health care provider before stopping and prescribed medications.