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How can I improve my diet to prevent gout symptoms?

Eating the right kinds of foods is the best way to prevent the onset of gout and avoid symptoms of gout. Of all the forms of arthritis, gout is the most heavily influenced by diet. The cause of gout is the formation of uric acid into crystals, which collect on the joints and result in swelling, inflammation and severe, burning pain. By eating foods that contain little to no uric acid-inducing compounds, called purine, the crystals don't form on the joints as easily and the condition is less likely to set in. The key is knowing which parts of your diet should be revised. Having gout shouldn't mean you can't enjoy a variety of foods, and many

recipes can be altered to be gout-friendly replacements for some of your favorite dishes. 

Gout meal plans should include foods that are low in purines, which include animal products like meat, seafood and poultry. Limiting animal proteins from the diet and cutting back on saturated fats are key to effective gout diet plans. Sugar and other sweeteners should be used minimally, and high-fructose corn syrup eliminated completely, since the common sweetener is linked to an increase in production of uric acid. Alcohol, especially beer, interferes with your body's ability to eliminate uric acid from the body and should be avoided, as well, especially during a gout attack.

Eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as well as consuming low-fat or fat-free dairy products, has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of gout. Poultry, fish and lean meats may be eaten in moderation, and eliminated if gout attacks continue. Drinking plenty of fluids can also help remove uric acid from the body, preventing buildup on joints and reducing the risk of gout attacks. Men who drink four to six cups of coffee may also lower their risk of gout, though the same does not appear to be true for women. 

Use this guide to see how you may begin making improvements to your diet that could help reduce the occurrence of gouty arthritis. Remember to talk with your doctor or a nutritionist before making changes to your regular eating habits.

How much meat do you eat each day?
How often do you eat fresh fruits and vegetables?
What kinds of bread do you usually eat?
Do you eat a lot of fast food?
Do you eat lots of processed foods?
When you prepare food at home, do you rely on butters, sauces or deep-frying to add flavor?
How often do you drink soda?
Do you frequently have fruit juice?
How often do you drink alcohol?
How much water do you drink each day?
Do you continue to experience gout pain, even though you feel that you're making overall healthy diet choices?