I am concerned with the futility of many gout diet restrictions that some gout sufferers place upon themselves.
Whilst moving some of my food tables to a more nutritionally intense food diary website, I researched what was attracting so many visitors to these charts. I was amazed by how many visitors arrived at this website after searching for gout and a food item, or a food item and gout. Occasionally, the search takes a different form, but the lack of awareness about the importance of all food, drink, and exercise in the gout diet, and the futility of focusing on a single food item, becomes even more obvious with a question like “Are honey nut cheerios bad for gout?”
It is futile to worry about gout and a single food item.
Thousands of gout sufferers arrive at this website each day because they worry how an individual food item might affect their gout.
This is pointless. Gout is not a food allergy.
Diet can affect gout, but it is the combination of all foods and drinks, combined with exercise that is important, not individual items in your gout diet.
To prove a point, the most popular quest is for information about gout and tomatoes. I have had the argument with many a gout sufferer who believes that tomatoes cause gout. They do not.
The only thing that causes gout is an excess of uric acid. Whilst many things, including some foods, affect uric acid, tomatoes do not increase uric acid, therefore they cannot cause gout. So why do people worry about the effects of tomatoes on gout? Why do they think tomatoes might cause gout?
The answer lies in my recent article about the gout treatment pain assessment myth.
Tomatoes might cause gout pain, but if they do, it is because tomatoes lower uric acid, and thus help to cure gout, not cause it. The incidental gout flare is only a sign that tomatoes are helping fix your gout, so just pop a pain-killer, and let them do their job.
Stop worrying about restricting individual food items. Focus on your uric acid level.
When you know your uric acid number, and you know that you need to get it down to 5mg/dL (0.30mmol/L) or lower, then you can start to find your gout freedom. You may opt for gout medicines such as allopurinol that allow you to eat without restriction, or you may opt for diet improvements that lower uric acid.
If you choose the diet route, then you have to think differently. Instead of searching for gout and a particular food item, search for that food item and uric acid. I have placed a convenient search box at the top of each page to allow you to do exactly that. If you do not find the answer there, ask “How does [food item] affect uric acid?” in the gout diet forum service. Before you do any of that, you should study my Gout Diet Section, especially the gout diet restrictions page.
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