Compared to fresh fish, dried or canned fish varieties such as sardines, mackerel, tuna, and anchovies are often linked to the worsening of gout symptoms. Shellfish is also notorious for increasing uric acid.
Shellfish like prawns and shrimp are considered to have the highest amount of purines. Despite being very low-calorie and small in size, just a few pieces can elevate your purine and uric acid levels. For reference, a 100-gram serving of medium shrimp is approximately 10 pieces. This 100-gram serving can produce more that 320 mg of uric acid.
#3: Organ meat
Organ meat such as liver, heart, and tripe (tuwalya) are not typically the main ingredients of a dish, but they do impart unique characteristics and flavors. Organs or offal are generally more affordable than cuts of meat and are richer sources of iron, which may be favorable for some people. However, it does come at a cost.
Liver is probably the worst of the worst food for gout and is a prime example of food high in uric acid. In both humans and animals, the liver is responsible for metabolizing most of the purines. This is why eating liver can greatly increase your purine and uric acid levels.
#4: Soft drinks and beer
Lastly, no meal is complete without some refreshing beverages. While downing an ice-cold beer or soda may seem harmless, they may trigger more joint pain in people with gout. While most of the food on this list are rich in protein, alcohol and sugar can aggravate existing gout pain, making them some of the worst food for gout.
Beer is usually pinned as one of the worst alcoholic beverages as it contains a lot of empty calories and contributes to the infamous “beer belly.” However, studies have shown that other types of alcoholic drinks, like wine and liquors, can also trigger gout flare-ups. Aside from containing purines, alcohol also reduces the excretion of uric acid from the kidneys. One drink per day may not worsen symptoms, but several servings or binge drinking are more likely to cause recurrent attacks.
On the other hand, soft drinks contain plenty of sugar which can also increase uric acid production. Types of sugar to look out for on nutrition labels are fructose, corn syrup, cane sugar, and the like. Sugary sodas are a bit easier to spot, but be wary of fresh fruit and juices as well. While still considered healthy, certain fruits like grapes and mangoes are especially rich in fructose.
Gout is definitely a big pain for anyone who has to live with it. Not only does it limit your movement, it also limits what you can and can’t eat. Aside from avoiding the worst food for gout on this list, you should continue to take your prescribed medications. If experience worsening of symptoms despite changing your diet and regularly taking your medicine, consult your doctor.
Learn more about Healthy Eating here.