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Ask the Dietitian is not a substitute for a consultation with a professional who can inform you of all the facts of your particular situation. We answer questions in general terms only, to give you information that may used as a starting point.
TOPIC - Gout
Question
I have been diagnosed with high uric acid levels. A vegetarian diet high in fiber is good for this condition and for the ensuing possibility of gout. Yet, one of the items that are high on the list of things to avoid are dried beans and peas. What about fresh, fresh frozen, or canned peas, green beans, lima beans and other non-dried legumes?
Answer
Fresh beans and peas, like dried peas and beans, contan a moderate amount of purine and should be limited to 1-2 servings per day. Since a high protein diet produces high levels of uric acid (which aggravates the gout), a moderate protein intake is recommended. You can get protein from other non-meat sources such as low-fat dairy products, eggs and nuts. Limit overall intake to 2-4 servings per day.
Question
All gout-diet lists I have seen include legumes among the foods high in purines and to be avoided by gout sufferers. I just saw a website that includes nuts among the list of acceptable foods for gout. However, peanuts are legumes. Are there nuts that are not legumes and that are acceptable? Can you tell me if peanuts and peanut butter are high in purine and therefore to be avoided for a person with gout? Thanks.
Answer
That is a good question - nutrition information is abundant on the web and often provides conflicting or confusing information. Although peanut is technically considered a legume, its purine content is low (less than 50 mg per 100 grams) compared to other more common legumes such as lentils, peas & beans which has 50-150 mg purine per 100 grams. Thus it would be acceptable for gout sufferers to include the use of peanut & peanut butter into their diet. However, you need to keep in mind that nuts & nut butters are high in fat, and should be eaten in moderation because of that.
Question
I have gout. Can I drink low fat milk or fresh milk? Is it true that I can only drink buttermilk, condensed milk and malted milk. What about products that contain soya bean oil?
Answer
The current recommendations does not restrict milk and milk products for person with gout. You can drink both low fat and fresh milk if you wish.

You should avoid bean products including soya milk, tofu, beansprouts, bean paste, etc. as they all have fairly high purine content. If the quantity of soya bean oil present is small, it should not be a problem as the purine content extracted in the oil is small.
Question
I have gout. What types of food can I eat and not eat?
Answer
Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the body. The uric acid forms crystals in the joints causing pain and inflammation These crystals can also form stones in the kidney and urinary passages. Painful attacks of gout are brought on by drinking alcohol or eating foods high in purine. Fifty perent of the uric acid in your body comes from the food you eat, the other 50% comes from sources within the body.

General guidelines for gout are as follows:
  • Restrict meat/fish/poultry intake to 180 grams per day;
  • Avoid alcohol;
  • Lose weight if overweight;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day;
  • Eat plenty of fruits & vegetables (except the ones listed below)
  • Have more starchy foods like rice, bread, noodles, etc. to fill you up;
  • Restrict foods high in purine:
    • Organ meats such as liver, kidney, heart, brain, etc.
    • Selected fish and shellfish ie. ikan bilis, sardines, mackerel (including selar, tenggiri & kembong), herring, salmon, fish roe, cockles and mussels
    • Meat & yeast extracts such as Bovril, Marmite, Vegemite, essence of chicken, brewer's and baker's yeast
    • Meat soups & stock cubes especially Bak Kut Teh
    • Game meat ie. venison, black chicken, pigeon, goose, etc.
    • Beans & lentils such as tofu, soya bean, bean fillings, etc.
    • Selected vegetables ie. spinach, rhubarb, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms & peas
    • Strawberry, strawberry jam, durian, tomato & tomato products.
If you have severe problems, I recommend that you see a dietitian to give you a full evaluation and advice you on how to modify your diet. Good luck!



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