The Relation between Diets and Gout

imagesGout is a very common disease among the elderly and people with weight problems. The disease predominantly affects men and it has the highest incidence among people with ages over 50. Although gout has a pronounced hereditary character, people who follow “unhealthy” diets are very susceptible to developing the disease as well.

For years, medical scientists have been trying to reveal conclusive evidence regarding the contribution of diets in the occurrence and the progression of gout. Thanks to the abundance of accumulated data upon this matter, nowadays we know for a fact that gout is most likely to strike among the people who follow fatty meat and seafood diets. Meat products and seafood have been confirmed to greatly increase the levels of uric acid in the blood, thus facilitating the occurrence of gout. However, research studies have also revealed the fact that inappropriate diet isn’t the only cause of the disease, as many people with high uric acid levels due to unhealthy food regimens aren’t affected by gout. It seems that the occurrence and the progression of gout are strongly influenced by genetic heritage, the consumption of alcoholic beverages, inactive lifestyle and body weight.

Recent findings have revealed the fact that low-fat dairy products have an important role in both preventing and overcoming the undesirable effects of gout. It seems that milk proteins help the body excrete the excess of uric acid, the primarily responsible substance in the occurrence of gout. Statistics indicate that people who follow low-fat dairy regimens are two times less likely to develop gout than people who don’t consume dairy products at all. In order to prevent the occurrence of gout, nutritionists recommend drinking around two glasses of skim-milk each day.

People who are at risk of developing gout are advised to limit the intake of meats such as pork, beef, lamb and duck. Seafood also contains high levels of purines and thus it should be avoided as much as possible. Organ meats such as liver, heart and kidney should be permanently excluded from one’s diet, as they considerably increase the risk of gout. In addition, people at risk of gout should limit the consumption of alcohol, as it greatly contributes to the development of the disease.

Although vegetables are a lot healthier than meat products, as they contain non-saturated fats and natural fibers, they can sometimes increase one’s risk of developing gout, as they also contain purines, which add to the body’s production of uric acid. However, a regimen based on fresh salads and vegetables is a lot healthier than meat-based diets. In order to help the body excrete the excess of uric acid, people at risk of developing gout are advised to drink at least two liters of water each day.

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