Losing Weight With Gout Foods To Avoid

During my review and reorganization of the Gout Diet section, I noticed how my old Diet For Gout page was about the benefits of losing weight for gout sufferers. Control of excess calories is important for some gout patients, though probably not as many as is generally believed. There was a lot of useful information on that page, so I reproduce it below.

The latest gout foods to avoid pages, now cover specific aspects of excess calories and gout, including tips for losing weight that do not trigger more acute gout flares.

I will expand the relevant pages in the Gout Diet section to make it clear that a diet for gout must consider different types of foods to avoid (or at least to limit). As excess calories lead directly to extra uric acid from the purines in our own flesh, it pays to consider calorie control. As with all forms of gout treatment and diet changes, your plan must start with gathering information about yourself. This article introduces some tools to help you assess if weight loss needs to be part of your personal gout management plan.

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What Gout Foods Can I Eat?

Every gout sufferer wonders what gout foods they can eat. Typical questions are:

  • What can I eat with gout?
  • Will a certain food make gout better or worse?
  • What foods should I avoid for gout?

Gout pain makes you miserable, and when you don’t know what to eat, it just makes things worse. My best advice is not to listen to what other people tell you about gout food and diets. Gout varies a lot between different people. What suits one person is unlikely to suit you. Here are my best tips for gout diet.

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Best Diet For Gout

What Is The Best Diet For Gout?

Gout sufferers keep asking me what is the best diet for gout.

I have to disappoint them – there is no such thing. We can say that a bad diet will make gout worse, but what can we say about a good diet?

It might help your gout, and it might not. The best diet for gout is the one that helps you.

The idea that gout is caused by diet is wrong. Gout is caused by excess uric acid. There are certain bad eating habits that can cause uric acid to rise. However, this does not mean that you can stop gout just by improving your diet. Gout takes years to get to the point where you notice it.

The uric acid crystals that cause a gout flare up today, might have started growing 5 years ago. Nobody knows exactly how long, but we do know that they can take a long time to dissolve. A good gout diet might start to reverse years of bad eating. But do you really want to continue with years of gout attacks?

No, you need to get uric acid under control immediately, then follow a diet that helps your treatment plan. Your treatment plan has to be personal to you. Therefore the best diet for gout is a personal diet that supports your gout treatment plan.

See how to plan your best diet for gout

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Gout Diet Including Food, Drink & Lifestyle

Gout diet can be complicated, but do not worry.
I am here to make it easy for you to choose food that helps your gout.

Note, it’s YOUR gout diet.

Most of what you read about gout diet does not apply to you.
Gout diet must be personal.

Gout affects everyone differently, and everyone has different tastes.
I urge you to start with what you like to eat.
I will help you find ways to eat your favorite foods that make your gout better.

Everyone seems to think that gout is a disease caused by food. It is not! Your diet can affect gout, but it is only part of the story.

In these gout diet guidelines, I explain all the different ways that food can affect gout – good and bad. These are good reference pages that reflect current scientific research. But if you do not know where to start, then the best place starts with yourself. If you go to the gout forum, tell me some facts about your gout, some ideas about your favorite foods, or some of your worries about what you can eat, I will help you find the right guidelines that suit your situation. That way, you can focus on what matters to you, and safely ignore food facts that are not relevant to your gout. All you need to do is ask about your gout diet in the gout forum.

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Diet for Gout: Brussels Sprouts and Gout

Brussels sprouts and gout is topic #82 in the Gout and You series, which is based on popular searches by GoutPal visitors.

Brussels sprouts are included in USDA key foods list, and so I listed them in the Gout Foods Table for Vegetables. We can also see that Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C which is good for uric acid.

From a gout point of view, they are quite unremarkable, as I can find no studies linking Brussels sprouts with gout or uric acid. On the other hand, food is prominent in the minds of many gout sufferers.

Brussels sprouts tend to divide opinion. Do you love them or hate them? It does not matter, and this is key to understanding good gout diet. You can plan a good diet around any foods that you love, and avoid foods that you hate. Therefore, this is a good time to use Brussels sprouts as an example of how you should plan a diet for gout.

Continue reading about Brussels Sprouts and Gout

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Diet For Gout: Bison and Gout

Bison and gout is the 95th top topic in the Gout and You series.

Bison is not one of the key foods that I currently include in my gout foods tables. However I did include some nutritional information in old pH tables associated with alkalizing gout diet menu. I have moved this detail to another website. [Update: I have updated Gout Foods Table for meat to include bison] The main point to consider is that bison, like most red meat is very acid-forming and needs to be balanced by around 3 to 4 times as much vegetables. Specifics vary between different cuts of red meats, and how they are cooked. The general nutritional advice about bison is that, as with all red meat, it should be eaten sparingly.

Despite the advice to limit red meat, there is a view that bison is “healthy.” This is misleading, because the articles that explain this make it clear that bison is a healthier alternative to beef. But planning a diet for gout means looking for better alternatives without losing enjoyment. So can we improve our gout diet by swapping beef for bison?

Purine information is not available for bison, but there is no reason to think that it is any different than any other red meat. Other key nutrients covered by my current gout foods tables are little different between bison and other red meats. However, there is one nutrition factor that might be better than beef, and it is particularly relevant to gout.

Read more about bison versus beef in your diet for gout

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Gout And Alcohol

This gout and alcohol guideline explains the important facts about the way alcohol affects gout. More importantly, it explains how you can judge the effects of alcohol on your gout.

Alcohol is a major concern for some gout sufferers, yet they never get clear advice. It is time to forget outdated nonsense that alcohol causes gout, and time to work out the part that alcohol should play in your gout diet.

How Alcohol Affects Gout

Despite the strong opinions of some people, we have very little knowledge about how alcohol affects gout. There is quite a lot of published scientific data, but most of it is statistical analysis rather than medical facts.

Statistics have their place in suggesting possible links, but they do nothing for you as an individual. In fact, they can be dangerously misleading. There is an epidemic of “advice” triggered by a 12 year study of 47,150 men. The impressive numbers suggest impressive value, but a look at the details reveals medical nonsense. I believe this is dangerous, because it confuses the average gout sufferer. Anything that causes confusion is dangerous because it discourages gout sufferers from seeking, and complying with, proper treatment.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the 2004 study, as long as you wish to live your life by statistics. If you want medical treatment rather than math, focus on yourself, and ignore this study.

Why do I disapprove?

The study goes on (and on, and on) about relative risk (RR). They conclude that the relative risk of getting gout is twice as high (RR=1.96) if you consume 30 to 50 g alcohol per day, and two and a half times higher over 50g per day. Apart from the confusion of understanding what alcohol consumption in g per day actually is, I am also confused by this constant referral to relative risk.

What does this relative risk mean in actual terms?

The control group for comparison is men who abstain from alcohol. When the statistics are analyzed in such a way that abstainers have a risk factor of 1, then the alcohol consumers have a higher risk. Therefore, the results are not saying that if you stop alcohol, you will stop gout. This is the most common misinterpretation of the study findings. So, what truly matters is you as an individual. If you are considering stopping alcohol as a way to control gout, this study will not help you. As with all gout management choices, you have to test it yourself. Also, there is a much more misleading aspect to these results. I return to the real meaning of Relative Risk.

The abstainers have an absolute risk of gout every 94 years. Therefore, if you drink 30 to 50 g (3 or 4 glasses of wine) per day, you risk gout every 47 years.[1] I’ll drink to that.

So, the message of the study is that abstainers have a very small risk of gout. If you drink alcohol, your risk is higher. But higher than very small is still small.

As a gout sufferer, you have many more things to worry about. The dangers of excess iron in food, excess lead in the environment, excess prescribing of diuretics, are all much more significant than alcohol. Best not to worry too much about alcohol, but if you do wish to review alcohol consumption, then please do it the right way…

Alcohol In Your Diet For Gout

First, you must decide what type of gout sufferer you are. Are you simply suffering from gout, and reacting to it by random attempts to change your diet? Or are you a gout patient – a gout sufferer with a treatment plan?

If you are not sure, please start at the beginning of the Diet For Gout guidelines, then return here to learn how alcohol affects your gout. Alcohol is just one part of your gout diet, so you need to get the right approach to total diet, otherwise you will never know how alcohol affects your gout.

If you do not have a gout treatment plan, then you should focus on the part that alcohol plays in a healthy diet. For gout sufferers, it is important to eat a healthy balanced diet that meets national nutrition guidelines. Do not worry specifically about alcohol, or any other component of your diet, unless it forms an excessive part of that diet. The best you can hope for is that, if gout was due to bad eating or drinking habits, then stopping those bad habits might help your gout. However, you really need to get a treatment plan that matches your symptoms and diagnosis.

If you do have a treatment plan, then you should assess alcohol consumption in the light of that plan. The biggest problem is that excess alcohol consumption can cause you to forget to take gout medicine. Very few gout medicines lose there effectiveness with alcohol, but you should always check with your doctor or pharmacy about this, as it can be important for some meds.

Alcohol And Inflammation In Gout

I am unaware of any specific gout studies regarding alcohol and inflammation. If you see any, please share them in the gout forum. In general terms, alcohol can affect inflammation, and is therefore a concern to gout sufferers, but the situation is complicated.

Many studies have isolated genetic aspects to inflammation, and so it is impossible to generalize. You need to rely on personal experience to assess if alcohol is making your gout worse or not. I urge you to do this in conjunction with uric acid test results. I can provide individual help with this, so please explain your situation in the gout forum. One complication, is the differing effect of alcohol on inflammation at different levels. At least one study reports lower inflammation in moderate drinkers compared to abstainers and heavy drinkers. [2]

Best Gout And Alcohol photo
Which Alcohol For Gout

Gout And Alcohol: Next Steps

The role of alcohol in gout is often overplayed. Generally speaking, it is not significant when compared to other dietary factors. Your main focus should be on a healthy balanced diet.

On an individual basis, especially if your alcohol consumption is significant, there may be reasons to take action. Again, generally speaking, if you have an unhealthy alcohol consumption, it is more likely to impact your general health than to make gout worse. However, gout affects individuals differently, so you must speak to a health professional.

If you are not sure how to get professional advice, or if you do not understand that advice when you get it, please discuss your gout and your alcohol consumption in the gout forum.

I have not done a complete review of this gout and alcohol study, [1] but if you want more, please ask in the gout forum. My assessment of the small effect of alcohol from 3 or 4 glasses of wine is based on the authors explanation:

We used standard portions; a 12 oz (355 mL) bottle or can of beer, a 4 oz (118 mL) glass of wine, and a shot of spirits (44 mL). For each beverage, participants reported their usual average consumption in the preceding year, with nine response categories. We determined alcohol intake by multiplying the consumption of each beverage by its ethanol content (12·8 g for beer, 11·0 g for wine, and 14·0 g for spirits)

More Help for Gout And Alcohol

These guidelines explain some general principles about gout and alcohol. However, every gout sufferer is affected differently. You need to learn which principles apply to you, and how to manage gout and alcohol. You can join current alcohol and gout discussions. Or, you can ask your own questions about alcohol and gout.

Remember that alcohol is just one part of your gout diet. Alcohol must always be considered with respect to your total food and drink intake. You can learn about the importance of total food and drink intake in my gout diet guidelines.

Leave Gout And Alcohol to browse the Gout Diet guidelines.

Beer and Gout Update

I’ve flagged this article, for review. Are you are interested in more information about beer for gout sufferers? Please share your questions, opinions, and experiences at Possible Beer and Gout review.

Gout And Alcohol: References

  1. Published: Lancet. 2004 Apr 17;363(9417):1277-81. Title: Alcohol intake and risk of incident gout in men: a prospective study. Authors: Choi HK, Atkinson K, Karlson EW, Willett W, Curhan G.
  2. Published: Lancet. 2001 Mar 10;357(9258):763-7. Title: Effect of alcohol consumption on systemic markers of inflammation. Authors: Imhof A, Froehlich M, Brenner H, Boeing H, Pepys MB, Koenig W.
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