Q. What diet help is there for gout?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Tuesday, 22 October 2013.
Tagged: alcohol, fluids, hydration, obesity, protein, special diets, weight loss

Q. What diet help is there for gout?

The question in full:

Q. I am having problems with gout, especially in my big toe. Is gout a food related problem? If so, what can I do about it?

A. Gout occurs due to a build-up of uric acid in the body which is then deposited as tiny crystals in the joints. There are no foods known to dissolve uric acid and treatment for an attack of gout is best managed with medication from your doctor.

Self-help suggestions

However your gout symptoms can be reduced if you:

  • lose weight if you need to
  • cut back on alcohol, especially wine and beer
  • drink lots of water to flush uric acid out via the kidneys.

It may also be worthwhile limiting foods rich in purines, the substances which are converted into uric acid in the body. These include liver, brains, kidneys, anchovies, sardines, meat extracts, gravies and broths. Cut your portions of these by half and see if this helps you. Alternatives to these are eggs, dairy foods such as cheeses and legumes like chick peas, lentils or borlotti beans (cooked or canned).

Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.