Gout Food Pyramids tells you why food pyramids are important to gout sufferers. Specifically, I explain different food pyramid schemes. Then, how you might choose a food pyramid that helps your Gout Foundation Diet.
Gout Food Pyramids Audience
As the title implies, I wrote Gout Food Pyramids for GoutPal Dieters. Also, I hope it will help GoutPal Foodies. Do you know which type of gout sufferer you are? If not, read Questions for Gout Sufferers, before you continue.
Gout Food Pyramids
I was introduced to Gout Food Pyramids by Choi and colleagues in their landmark review: “Pathogenesis of Gout”. Now, that is a very technical document. But, the dietary advice was astonishing compared to prevailing gout diet advice at the time. In a nutshell, they explain that counting purines is pointless. Because all you really need to do is eat a healthy balanced diet. Then that becomes a strong foundation that you might improve for gout.
Of course, that raises the question of what is a healthy balanced diet. But, we already have the answer to that in the Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid. So, the authors took the best healthy eating advice of the time and added some gout-specific advice.
The Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid was consistent with gout-related analysis of health professionals studies[3-5]. Except, supplementation with fish oil should be replaced with plant-based omega-3 supplements. Because omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties.
The gout-friendly Harvard food pyramid has markers showing improvements and emphasis for gout sufferers:
- Beneficial to Gout Sufferers.
- Green arrows mark elements that are beneficial to gout sufferers and should be emphasized in your diet:
- Low-fat Dairy Products.
- Vitamin C supplementation.
- Plant oils.
Items in italics are marked as requiring more evidence in 2005. You can check for recent details about these beneficial foods using the search box at the top of every page.
- No influence on Gout.
- Yellow arrows mark foods that have no influence on gout:
- High-fat Dairy Products.
- Harmful to Gout Sufferers.
- Red arrows mark foods that are bad for gout:
- Red meat.
Since 2005, we have seen improvements to healthy food pyramids. Also, there have been many developments in resources and techniques for managing gout. But, this fundamental principle of gout diet remains. So, GoutPal Dieters can choose their favorite healthy eating style. Then adapt it to maximize the benefits for gout.
Choose Your Gout Food Pyramid
Before you can choose which gout food pyramid is best for you, you need to think about how you like to control your diet. Because some gout sufferers like to learn principles. Then, they can shop for different food groups according to local seasonal conditions. But, other gout sufferers like a daily meal plan with recipes.
There is no right or wrong way. But, if you like to be told what to eat, the Harvard Food Pyramid is not a good start. Because it was developed to be part of a healthy eating education plan. Therefore, that plan focuses on eating tips, healthy shopping lists, and expert explanations. So, it only includes 14 recipes as examples of healthy eating. However, the information is general enough to help you with gout diet. Because even if you choose a different gout food pyramid, those general tips will help you. Also, it includes references to pyramids adapted to Mediterranean, Latin American, Asian, and vegetarian diets, which I have flagged for review at a later date.
Another general gout food pyramid is the Alkaline Food Pyramid. I have a whole section of this website dedicated to alkaline gout diet. Including, gout studies that prove this type of eating can help gout dieters. Especially if your excess uric acid is from under-excretion.
Two other gout food pyramids give more direction about what you should eat. Because the Mediterranean Food Pyramid, and the DASH Diet Pyramid both include guidance on the numbers of servings of each food group. Therefore, I plan to add additional direction aimed at GoutPal Dieters and GoutPal Foodies. But, before that, I am investigating simple food scoring systems for these diets. Because food scoring allows you to assess your current diet. Also, food scores can quickly show which foods you might improve to help your gout better.
Finally, the Mediterranean and DASH diets have many resources available, including meal plans, and recipes. Also, note that the DASH Diet is nearest to typical Western diets. Therefore, it is often the best starting point for GoutPal Foodies who need to start a healthy eating plan.
Gout Food Pyramids: Next Step
You can see that food pyramids are useful for a quick overview of different gout diets. Also, you should choose one that suits you. So, most GoutPal Foodies should start with the DASH Diet pyramid. But, if you are unsure where to start, ask in the gout forum.
Please vote in my survey at Mediterranean, DASH, or Alkaline Diet for Gout?
Gout Food Pyramids References
- Choi HK, Mount DB, Reginato AM; American College of Physicians; American Physiological Society. Pathogenesis of gout. Ann Intern Med. 2005 Oct 4;143(7):499-516.
- Willett WC, Stampfer MJ. Rebuilding the food pyramid. Sci Am. 2003;288:64-71.
- Choi HK, Atkinson K, Karlson EW, Willett W, Curhan G. Purine-rich foods, dairy and protein intake, and the risk of gout in men. N Engl J Med. 2004;350:1093-103.
- Choi HK, Atkinson K, Karlson EW, Curhan G. Obesity, weight change, hypertension, diuretic use, and risk of gout in men: the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:742-8.
- Choi HK, Atkinson K, Karlson EW, Willett W, Curhan G. Alcohol intake and risk of incident gout in men: a prospective study. Lancet. 2004;363:1277-81.