A New Approach to Healthy Eating

Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean going to extremes. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s all about introducing new habits and sticking to them over the long run. The first step in creating new healthier lifestyle habits is to learn what healthy choices are. Then do what you can to make these choices part of your everyday life. You can even make it a goal to make one healthy change a week—this week you start avoiding sugary beverages, next week you focus on drinking more water, and so on. Read on to learn what steps you can take to tackle gout by eating right.

Aim for a Balanced Diet

When you have gout there are certain foods and drinks you should avoid, because they keep uric acid levels high and may trigger gout attacks. It’s equally important, however, to know what you should eat (hint: heart-healthy foods).

Tackle Gout by Getting MORE of These Healthy Foods and Drinks:

These are associated with lower uric acid levels, OR they are good, heart-healthy choices for you.

✓ Skim milk
✓ Low fat dairy products
✓ Vegetable protein (nuts and legumes)
✓ Whole grain foods
✓ Plant oils (olive, canola, sunflower)
✓ ALL vegetables
✓ Some fruits (less sweet ones)
✓ Vitamin C supplements (500 to 1,000 milligrams daily)
✓ Coffee (if you already drink it)

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Tackle Gout By LIMITING OR AVOIDING These Foods and Drinks:

These are associated with higher uric acid levels and should be avoided.

✗ Red meat and organ meats (liver, tongue and sweetbreads)
✗ Sugary beverages
✗ Excessive alcohol (more than one alcoholic drink for women and two for men within 24 hours)
✗ Refined carbohydrates (white bread, potatoes, pastas and sweets)

Consult Your Doctor or Dietician:

*These are associated with higher uric acid levels, but they do have some heart-healthy properties. It will depend on whether you can tolerate them or not. Be sure to check with your doctor for guidance.

* Moderate alcohol (daily limit of one drink for women and one to two drinks for men)

* Seafood (“oily” types, like salmon and mackerel)

* Fruits

Your Tackle Gout Eating Goal:

If you have gout, follow a heart-healthy diet that takes advantage of all the food groups, especially whole grains, plant proteins such as nuts and legumes and also low-fat dairy. Know what to avoid, but don’t obsess too much about the exact purine content of foods, especially that of healthy choices like vegetables. Keep refined carbohydrates and processed foods to a minimum and make good food choices (see examples above). Remember that this is less of a diet than an eating strategy for the rest of your life. So don’t forget to enjoy food. That will help you stick with it.

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Tackle Gout Pro Tip: Water Yourself!

Research has shown that staying well hydrated lowers the risk of gout attacks. Dehydration raises the concentration of uric acid in the blood, which can trigger an attack.

Tackle Pro Tip: Not All High-Purine Foods Are Bad for You!

Contrary to what many people believe, even though some vegetables are high in purines, they have minimal or no effect on uric acid levels or gout, as once believed. People have been advised to avoid them for years, but now research shows all vegetables are safe – and healthy – for people with gout.