Whole Food Plant-Based Diet and Gout

Gout is associated with joint inflammation and a painful flare-up. The buildup of uric acid in the body causes it. The body produces uric acid (UA) when it metabolizes purines. Someone’s body can build up uric acid if they produce too much of it, have a problem getting rid of it, or consume too many purine-rich foods.

Gout is not solely caused by diet. Medications, lead exposure, and family history can also contribute to it. Gout is more likely to affect men, older adults, and people who are inactive than women, younger individuals, and those who are active.

Whole Food Plant-Based Diet and Gout

Less Meats, Less Purines, Less Uric Acid

Gout patients are advised to avoid purines, but there is no purine-free diet. The same foods that contain proteins also contain uric acid.

You need purines to build DNA and synthesize proteins in your body. If you avoided purine completely, it would be extremely unlikely that you would stay healthy.

Foods vary in purine content similar to calories, proteins, and sugars. Nevertheless, research confirms diets consisting of animal meats and seafood with high-purine content trigger gout more frequently than diets consisting of only fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Except for pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans do not consume meat and seafood. These two major food groups include foods with the highest amount of purines. If foods such as beef, pork, animal organs, fish, and shellfish are avoided, then uric acid levels are less likely to increase.

Dietary Guidelines for Gout Prevention and Treatment

  • Consume no more than one serving per day of high purine foods.
  • Avoid meat extracts, broths, bouillon, and gravy.
  • It is best to avoid meat and fat-rich meals. Your primary source of protein should be plant foods.
  • Consume several servings of fiber-rich plant foods every day, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Consume fewer refined carbohydrates, including starches (white flour products) and sugar. The consumption of concentrated fructose can increase uric acid levels and insulin resistance.
  • Drink 2-3 liters of fluids each day. The majority of this should be water.
  • In order to eliminate uric acid, avoid alcohol.
  • Keep a healthy weight. Ideally, you should lose 1/2-1 kg (1-2 lbs) per week if you are overweight. Rapid weight loss from fasting or severely calorie-restricted diets is not recommended as it can raise uric acid levels and aggravate gout.
  • Get more exercise. (Check with your doctor first if you are not active currently).

Whole Food Plant-Based Diet and Gout Prevention and Treatment

Switching to a whole food plant-based diet may have considerable benefits for gout sufferers. Plant proteins (especially nuts and legumes) can potentially reduce your risk of gout, as well as other health benefits. Furthermore, plant-based proteins provide a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which may aid in weight management and cardiovascular health (both important health concerns for men). To increase your intake of plant-based foods, consider the following suggestions.

  • Cut back on meats β€“ Limit your intake of meats, organ meats, meat extracts, and seafood, which are high in animal purines.
  • Get your protein from plant sources β€“ Protein-rich foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, and tofu are good alternatives to animal proteins for people with gout.
  • Eat more vegetables β€“To fill in the void left by cutting back on meat, include plenty of vegetables in your diet. In addition, this increases your intake of fibre and antioxidants. Even vegetables high in purine, such as spinach, asparagus, and mushrooms, have been shown to have minimal impact on gout.
  • Experiment with your diet β€“ Why not try a vegetarian diet for 2-4 weeks to see what impact it has on your gout symptoms. Depending on the results, you may wish to adopt a vegetarian diet on a more permanent basis, or try for set nights of the week when you cut out meat (such as meatless Mondays).