Gout is a type of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the body. At low levels, uric acid is useful, but when it builds up it can crystallise in the joints and cause severe pain and inflammation.
Uric acid is produced from purines (building blocks of DNA). It stands to reason that any unrefined food, containing whole cells, will contain a little DNA – it’s digested in the same way that the rest of our food is.
The amount of purines in food varies widely. High-purine foods include: meat (especially kidney, liver, veal, turkey and venison) and fish (especially anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, fish roes, mussels and scallops).
Cutting down on high-purine foods can help. Replace meat and fish with other sources of protein; pulses (peas, beans and lentils), wholegrain foods such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta, nuts and seeds and eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Other lifestyle changes that can help include losing weight and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.
Find out what you need to eat each day here.