In Victorian times, gout only affected well-to-do people who feasted hungrily and drank heavily. Today there is an egalitarian epidemic, visiting excruciating joint pain on a growing number of men and women, thanks to the obesity epidemic around the world – and the fact that people are consuming more food , drinks and drugs that increase uric acid levels in the blood. Here’s how to avoid Gout them and circumvent another attack if you already have gout.
1. Lose weight and get in shape
In a California study of 228 men, those who were leaner and fitter were less likely to develop gout than men who could only claim one of these healthy attributes.
- In the study, men who ran six miles a day were able to reduce their risk by 50%, but any form of aerobic exercise – such as brisk walking, swimming or cycling – helps, regardless of duration.
- Similarly, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston report that losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kg) can lower your chances of gout by 40%.
2. Reduce your consumption of red meat
A daily serving of red meat increased the likelihood of developing gout by 45% in a study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California of 228 men. Meanwhile, guys who ate the most seafood (including oily fish) increased their risk by 51% in another study.
- Why? Purines, found in foods (game, organ meats, and seafood, including anchovies, sardines, and scallops, have particularly high levels) and in body tissues.
- When purines are broken down, levels of uric acid in the blood rise.
- Instead, try chicken or beans, and limit meat and seafood to 75 to 125 grams (three to four ounces) a few times a week.
3. Indulge in coffee
Enjoying four or five small cups of coffee reduced the risk of developing gout by 40% compared to people who rarely drink coffee, according to the same study of 228 men in California.
- Decaffeinated coffee also reduced the risk, but tea had no effect, which is why researchers speculate that a powerful antioxidant in coffee, called chlorogenic acid, is the ingredient in action.
4. Eat two servings of fruit a day
Eating two servings of fruit a day reduces the risk of gout by 50% compared to eating less than half a serving a day, say researchers at Berkeley National Laboratory.
- Fruit may just be a sign of a healthy diet, or fiber may help prevent gout. Eating up to 45 red, ripe Bing cherries for lunch is said to be particularly excellent.
- Researchers at the University of California, Davis have found that it can lower blood uric acid levels by up to 30 points.
- If you already have gout avoid, however, it may be best to avoid fruits that have higher levels of fructose, such as apples, pears, dates, grapes, and watermelon.
5. Drink wine instead of beer
A little alcohol can protect your heart, but it also increases the risk of gout.
- In one study, men who drank two or more 350-milliliter (12-ounce) beers a day increased their odds 2.6 times compared to those who abstained.
- But two small glasses of wine did not increase the risk.
- Beer contains more purines than most wines.
6. Skip the skim milk and serve yogurt
Two servings of dairy products a day can reduce the risk of gout by around 45% – as long as it’s low in fat, researchers report.
- Proteins in dairy products called casein and lactalbumin may offer protection against this painful problem by promoting the excretion of uric acid in the urine.