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Natural Remedies for Gout, Part 2: The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

This is not a diet in the typical sense of the word – it is not intended as a weight-loss plan, though some people do lose weight on it. Instead, it is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on scientific research of how they can help your body be healthy while reducing inflammation and the risks of having gout flares. It will provide your body with steady energy and plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids, and protective phyto-nutrients. Adapting some of your favorite recipes to be friendlier to your condition is possible, so do a bit of research and follow these anti-inflammatory principles to keep your flares to a minimum

General Tips

  • Aim for variety.
  • Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
  • Include as much fresh food as possible.
  • Minimize your consumption of processed foods and fast foods.

Calorie Intake

  • Most adults need to consume 2000 to 3000 calories daily; smaller and less active people need fewer calories, while larger and more active people need more.
  • Your diet should be divided as follows: 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent protein. Try to have some of each of these at each meal.

Carbs

  • On 2000 calories daily, adult women should eat about 180 grams of carbs each day, whereas adult men should eat about 270 grams of carbs each day.
  • Most of your carb choices should be in the form of unprocessed, unrefined foods that have a low glycemic load.
  • Eat less wheat flour and sugars. Especially avoid bread and processed snack foods like chips, pretzels, cakes, etc.
  • Eat more whole grains like brown rice and bulgur wheat, in which the grain is intact.
  • Eat more beans, winter squashes, and sweet potatoes.
  • Cook pasta al dente (firm to the bite) but not hard, and consume it in moderation.
  • Avoid all foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.

Fat

  • Daily intake should be about 600 calories – about 67 grams –from fats.
  • Reduce intake of fatty meats, unskinned chicken and turkey, and products that contain palm kernel oil.
  • Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking. If you want oil with a more neutral taste, use expeller-pressed canola, sunflower, or safflower oil.
  • Avoid corn oil, cottonseed oil, mixed vegetable oil, margarine, shortening, and all products that contain them.
  • Eat more avocados, walnuts, cashews, almonds, and nut butters made from them.
  • Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon (preferably fresh or frozen wild or canned sockeye), tuna, herring, black cod (butterfish), omega-3 fortified eggs, hemp seed, and flax seed, or take a fish oil supplement (store in the freezer to avoid the fishy burps and aftertaste).

Protein

  • Daily intake should be about 100 grams. Eat less if you have liver or kidney disorders, allergies, or an autoimmune disease.
  • Reduce intake of animal protein, except from fish, natural cheese, and yogurt.
  • Eat more vegetable proteins, especially beans.

Fiber

  • Daily intake should be forty grams. Eat more fruit (especially berries), vegetables, and whole grains.
  • If you choose ready-made cereals, read the label to be sure that what you choose has at least five grams of bran per one ounce serving.

Phyto-nutrients

  • To maximize your natural protection against gout and other age-related diseases (like cardiovascular disease, cancers, and neuro-degenerative disease) and environmental toxicity, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose fruit and veggies from all over the world and from across the color spectrum. Make most of your choices from the various berries (especially strawberries and cherries), tomatoes, yellow and orange fruit, and dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Make organic produce purchases whenever you can. Learn which conventionally grown produce is most likely to carry residue from chemical fertilizers and pesticides and avoid them.
  • Eat members of the cabbage family (like Brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc.) regularly.
  • Include soy products from time to time.
  • Drink tea instead of coffee, especially green, white and oolong teas.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and choose red wine over white wine, mixed drinks, or hard liquor.
  • Enjoy plain, dark chocolate with a minimum cocoa content of 70 percent, but do so in moderation.

In closing, let me just remind you that before making any changes to your regular diet and supplement regime you should always consult your doctor or health care provider.

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