If you have gout, you can still enjoy a nice, cold glass of milk.
In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, studies show that drinking low-fat milk won’t only reduce your uric acid levels and risk of a gout flare, but will also promote excretion of uric acid in your urine.
This actually applies to all low-fat dairy, so you can also enjoy a refreshing frozen yogurt.
Low-fat dairy products to add to your diet include:
- low- or no-fat milk
- low- or no-fat yogurt
- low- or no-fat cottage cheese
There are also a number of low- or no-fat versions of popular cheeses available, including:
- cream cheese (Neufchatel)
When considering fat-free dairy, check the label to ensure the product actually contains dairy and not a substitute.
Also check for ingredients that might affect other conditions. For example, some brands of fat-free yogurt have more sugar. Some brands of fat-free cheese have more sodium.
Purine is a chemical that naturally occurs in your body. It’s also found in some foods. When your body breaks down purine, uric acid is produced.
If there’s excessive uric acid in your body, it could form crystals. Those crystals can cause pain and inflammation in your joints. This is the metabolic disorder called gout.
One way to maintain healthy uric acid levels in your body is by limiting or avoiding foods that are high in purines.
According to a
Keeping uric acid levels below the 6.8 mg/dL saturation point reduces chances of a gout attack by preventing formation of new crystals. It also encourages existing crystals to dissolve.
Now that you know that low-fat dairy is good for gout, here are some other foods to consider adding to your diet:
- Vegetable proteins. Peas, lentils, beans, and tofu are among the protein choices that don’t raise uric acid levels.
- Coffee. There’s evidence that drinking a moderate amount of coffee per day, especially regular caffeinated coffee, can reduce gout risk.
- Citrus. Vitamin C decreases uric acid levels. Stick with options that have less sugar, such as grapefruit and oranges.
- Water. Stay hydrated with eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to help flush uric acid from your system. According to the Arthritis Foundation, double your intake during a flare-up.
Need help meal-planning? Check out our one-week gout-friendly menu.
Limit or entirely avoid the following foods and drinks:
- Alcoholic beverages. Beer, wine, and hard liquor can raise uric acid levels. Alcohol can also trigger gout flare-ups in some people.
- Organ meats. Organ meats, such as liver, sweetbreads, and tongue, are high in purines.
- Seafood. Some seafood is high in purines. This includes oysters, scallops, lobsters, mussels, shrimp, crabs, and squid.
- Sugary drinks. Soda and fruit juices release purines.
Too much uric acid in your system can lead to gout and gout flare-ups.
Low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat milk, can help reduce your uric acid levels and support the elimination of uric acid in your urine.
If altering your diet isn’t helping manage your gout, talk to your doctor. They may prescribe medications to help alongside other lifestyle changes.