The Real Foods To Avoid With Gout
Gout has a long standing history of being related to the foods we indulge in. And while there is certainly no debate that what we eat can influence a gout attack the uncertainty comes about in exactly which foods to avoid with gout.
Most Of The Commonly Recommended Foods To Avoid With Gout Are Wrong!
I know that’s a bold claim to make – but I make it because I’m sick and tired of people who want to better their health naturally being led astray.
Just like with any area of health there are myths, lies and unsubstantiated rumors. But for some reason with gout the myth of the low purine diet as an effective treatment approach despite no evidence has continued to be perpetuated by everyone from medical practitioners to common health websites.
And unfortunately despite it’s ineffectiveness it is commonly passed on as valid information. A quick look on gout forums shows not only the impracticality of this diet but also the lack luster results it yields.
I think part of the reason it gets passed on as advice is because there is nothing else to really recommend. Besides wacky home remedies like eating a bowl of cherries or drinking apple cider vinegar nobody has any real substantiated natural recommendations… until now.
Which Are Gout Foods To Avoid Then?
To understand what foods to avoid with gout you must understand the mechanisms behind gout. Gout is related to high uric acid levels.
Uric acid is formed by purines. Purines occur naturally in our body and also in the food we eat. Incorrectly, it was assumed that lowering our intake of purines through the food we eat could decrease uric acid levels but this is not the case.
The purines we intake make up a small minority of the total purines our body has and decreasing consumption of the purines we eat will not greatly affect uric acid levels.
But there are things we can eat that do affect uric acid levels. The condition of diabetes is commonly associated with gout. Diabetes is a disorder of insulin which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. It has been speculated that high insulin levels can lead to high uric acid levels.(1)
So instead of focusing of high purine items as foods to avoid with gout the focus should be on eating foods that regulate insulin. This is a key but often overlooked aspect as everyone focuses on the high purine foods and the gout foods to avoid. In fact what is dangerous is that some low purine foods will actually wreak havoc on your insulin and could even trigger a gout attack.
Two other things that can be done to regulate insulin is make sure you are of a healthy bodyweight. A simple rule of thumb is keep your waist size below 35 inches if you are a woman and 40 inches if you are a man. Excess bodyweight can affect your insulin levels. Another thing you can do is exercise regularly. Obviously this will be difficult during an acute gout attack but in general regular exercise will help maintain a healthy body weight, can help regulate insulin levels and keep blood pressure down all of which will help keep uric acid levels lower and lessen your chance of a gout attack.
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Reference: 1. 15 Facchini F et al, Relationship Between Resistance to Insulin-Mediated Glucose Uptake, Urinary Uric Acid Clearance, and Plasma Uric Acid Concentration, JAMA, December 4, 1991, vol. 266, no. 21, 3008-3011