If you suffer from gout should you be eating chicken?
For many people, if not most, chicken is their favorite white meat. And no wonder; it’s a great source of protein and low in both fat and sodium, even more so in organic or pasture-raised chickens. In addition, chicken has zero carbohydrates, so has little effect on your blood sugar levels.
- vitamin A
- vitamins B1, B2, B3 ,B6, B12
- vitamin D
- vitamin E
- vitamin K
Between them these help to build healthy strong bones and teeth, produce energy and muscle movement, aid immune system functionality, help activate thyroid hormones, and help to maintain healthy kidneys, blood vessels, and cells. And a whole lot more.
And, of course, it’s very versatile in the kitchen and so easy to incorporate into a healthy diet. It’s also widely available and very cheap.
So, is it any wonder that chicken consumption is on the increase worldwide?
But what if you are a gout sufferer? Can you eat chicken as part of your gout diet? Should you be eating chicken?
Chicken and Gout
The good news for gout sufferers is that chicken is classed as only being moderately high in purines, as can be seen from the following extract from one of the purine tables in my gout guide Gout Rescue:
So chicken can form part of your gout diet, just as long as it is eaten in moderation:
- Limit chicken consumption to 1 x 3.5 oz (100 g) serving per day. And better if not every day because you may be eating other moderate purine foods too. Try to keep to one serving of moderate purine food per day. (All this is covered in more detail in Gout Rescue.)
- Buy organic or pasture-raised chicken whenever possible. Organic chicken’s nutrient quality is generally higher than intensively reared chickens.
- Pasture-raised chickens are even healthier. Studies have shown they have decreased fat and increased protein concentrations giving a good fat / protein balance.
- Talk to your grocer or supplier and find out how the animals were actually raised. Don’t just depend on the label.
But avoid chicken livers completely as these are very high in purines, as is all offal meat.
Chicken in a Gout Diet
Whilst chicken can be eaten in moderation if you’ve got gout, it’s the additives and accompaniments that can pile on more purines as well as fat and salt. So care must be taken when preparing your chicken dish.
Select lean skinless chicken breast in preference to thighs and drumsticks which have higher fat and cholesterol content.
Broil, braise, roast, grill, or poach the chicken breast instead of frying. We all love fried chicken, I know, but it’s a definite no-no if you have gout.
And avoid adding commercial sauces, gravies, and coatings as these are often high in purines, fat, and salt. Make your own from scratch using fresh ingredients.
Just keep it simple. For example:
- Grilled chicken breast with boiled potatoes, carrots and parsnips.
- Homemade chicken soup.
- Homemade chicken curry with brown rice.
And here’s a simple recipe from Chef Sambrano:
GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST (Gout Friendly)
- 1 large boneless and skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp. chopped thyme
- 1 tbsp. vinegar
- 1 tsp. minced onions
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients first, and then marinate the chicken breast overnight in the refrigerator.
- Heat up a grill to medium high heat.
- Remove chicken from he marinade, let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
- Grill the chicken where the skin was first side down, grill for about 7 minutes, and then turn it over and grill another 7 minutes. Check for doneness with a thermometer, if it reads around 160 it will be good to eat.
- Take the marinade and put it into a saucepan, heat up pan over high heat, bring to a boil, making sure it is very hot to kill any bacteria. Once hot, pour marinade over some chicken pieces, eat when served to prevent food poisoning.
If you are a gout sufferer, it’s perfectly fine to incorporate chicken into your gout diet, just as long as it’s eaten in moderation and you keep an eye on any additives.
Note: If you’re having an actual gout attack it’s better to completely avoid chicken and other moderate purine foods, such as turkey and pork, until your symptoms abate. High purine foods you should not be eating anyway. But you can still eat low purine foods during a gout flare. My gout guide Gout Rescue contains purine tables for High, Moderate, and Low purine foods and additives.