There is an obsession with foods that cause gout. This is wrong.
Gout is not an eating disorder, it is a uric acid metabolism disorder. However eating the wrong foods in the wrong way can affect uric acid, but it’s not all about purines.
In foods to avoid with gout, I explain that excess calories and excess iron can be just as bad at causing gout as excess purines.
There is another hidden danger that applies to all food – not just “eating too much of the wrong thing.”
That hidden danger is bad eating habits.
Bad eating habits include dehydration, but there is another bad habit that is often overlooked. Missing meals, then making up for it with overeating – often late at night – can seriously increase uric acid levels.
Missing Foods That Cause Gout
We know that uric acid increases during fasting. I have looked at other articles, specifically looking at starvation and fasting. They all show uric acid rising when we deprive ourselves of food. In a recent review, “Lessons from comparative physiology: could uric acid represent a physiologic alarm signal gone awry in western society”, Johnson and colleagues note:
it has long been appreciated that uric acid is increased under conditions of starvation (Lennox 1924; Ogryzlo 1965).
Anyone who spends time in weight-loss forums will be aware that rapid weight-loss is no friend of the gout sufferer.
Gorging Foods That Cause Gout
Whereas starvation is likely to raise uric acid levels due to purines from increased cell death, the situation with gorging is less clear.
The studies of purine metabolism show that purines from food will raise uric acid in the blood. However, we also know that some foods, e,g, skim milk, will cause uric acid to fall. Therefore excessive eating also called gorging or binge-eating or overeating, may or may not raise uric acid directly, as it depends on what you eat. Clearly, if you eat items from the purine rich food chart, then the more you eat, the more you can expect uric acid to rise.
Good Habits For Foods That Cause Gout
Clearly, there is more to gout diet than just what you eat, or what you avoid. How you eat also affects the causes of gout.
One study, Effect of nibbling versus gorging on cardiovascular risk factors: serum uric acid and blood lipids, compares uric acid in the blood after eating the same food as three meals or seventeen snacks. This report concludes:
concentration of uric acid was significantly lower during the nibbling period as compared with the three-meal period
Foods That Cause Gout: Next Steps
We have seen that bad eating habits can affect uric acid. The degree will vary from person to person, so you will need to consider your own lifestyle and improve eating habits to minimize the chances of increasing uric acid.
There is another aspect of eating habits related to poor nutritional advice about gout. Instead of focusing on a healthy diet, then tweaking it to match the gout treatment plan, many advisers present simple lists of so-called foods that cause gout, or foods that are good for gout. The disaster with this approach is, it encourages gout patients to severely limit the range of foods they consume. This is recognized by nutritionists as a common cause of malnutrition.
All foods are foods that cause gout when eaten in the wrong way.
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