Enjoying Thanksgiving Without Gout

A gout flare up is a good way to ruin your Thanksgiving weekend. It’s impossible to walk and instead of remembering the time with friends and family, all you’re thinking about is the pain you are in.

There are foods on a traditional Thanksgiving menu that have the potential to cause your gout to recur. There are also some that are good for gout and could help prevent a flare up.

The Bad

Giblets: You may not even be aware you’re consuming them, but if you’re pouring on that turkey gravy, you probably just added them to your plate. A lot of cooks use the heart, kidneys and liver of the turkey to make their special gravy. Even if you don’t see the body parts, they’re there and so is the purine.

Loaded Potatoes: Butter, sour cream, bacon and cheese can add a lot of protein to your potato. The bacon is the worst offender, but all of them offer plenty of purine to increase your uric acid production. Throw that gravy on as well and you are begging for a flare up.

Sausage: Some cooks like to use sausage in stuffing, gravy and other applications. Processed meats are up there with organ meats in purine amounts. It may taste good, but it could be a problem later on.

The Good

Cranberries: Like other berries, cranberries can help reduce acidity in the bloodstream. It may also help get rid of uric acid, the waste product that causes crystals to form and drop off into your joints. There are those that claim cranberries could cause a gout flare up, but that hasn’t been proved.

Fruit Desserts: Instead of pumpkin pie, how about a dish of strawberries or cherries? Choosing fruit instead of high fat desserts can help balance some of the gout causing foods eaten earlier in the meal. You may want a glass of cherry juice to go along with it. Many doctors recommend that juice to their patients with gout.

While Grain Breads: One of our most favorite aspects of Thanksgiving dinner were the choices in bread. For me, Boston brown bread was the hands down winner. It’s made with whole wheat flour, rye flour and corn meal. All of them are whole grains.

Whole grain foods are low in purine and contain a lot of fiber. Fiber can help move things like fat and cholesterol through the body rather than allowing them to be absorbed. The same may be true for purine.

You can have a wonderful Thanksgiving feast and not pay for it with a gout flare up. If you have additional questions, you may want to consult a nutritionist. There may be other foods you can add or leave out to help you have a gout free holiday.

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