image: mussels should be avoided if you have gout

Gout Causing Foods To Avoid With Gout

image: mussels should be avoided if you have gout
Shellfish, such as mussels, should be avoided if you have gout.

Gout causing foods to avoid with gout are those foods that are high / very high in purines. Purines are chemical compounds that are found in our body cells and in our food and some drinks. They perform important functions such as the provision of protein and energy, to name but two.

When they breakdown, as a necessary part of that process, uric acid is formed. Your kidneys then take over and process and excrete excess uric acid from your body. Enough is retained to act as an antioxidant and to help look after your blood vessels linings, etc.

But when things go wrong, e.g. your kidneys aren’t working at 100% and /or your body is producing too much uric acid for your kidneys to process, you are left with excess / high uric acid levels in your blood. This situation leads to the formation of uric acid crystals in your joints which leads to the symptoms of the condition we call gout.

You can see that purines are key elements in gout. More purines, means more uric acid, means more crystals, means a gout attack! So, as a gout sufferer, you need to reduce your purine intake through foods.

Not all foods have the same purine levels. Some are very high, some high, some moderately high, and, some have very low purine concentrations. The real ‘gout causing’ foods are those that are high and very high in purines.

The following list shows some typically high and very high purine foods to avoid completely as part of a healthy diet for gout:-

  • anchovies
  • herring
  • mackerel
  • mussels
  • fish roe
  • sardines
  • shrimp
  • scallops
  • offal (e.g. liver, heart, kidneys, etc.)
  • goose
  • partridge
  • consomme
  • gravy
  • broth
  • bouillon
  • mincemeat
  • meat extracts
  • sweetbreads
  • dried legumes
  • baker’s yeast
  • brewer’s yeast
  • yeast extracts
  • alcohol, especially beer

The following are foods with high concentrations of purines (not included above). These also should be avoided in your gout diet.

  • fish
  • shellfish
  • poultry
  • red meat

The following are foods with moderately high levels. These can be taken in moderation. But each person is different and what might affect one might not affect another. So get to know which affects you the most and cut them out of your diet.

  • asparagus
  • cauliflower
  • oatmeal
  • lentils
  • spinach
  • dried peas
  • legumes
  • mushrooms
  • soy

Note: You should always consult your doctor or other health professional before making any major dietary changes.

Note: Click here for 7 day gout meal plans.

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