Cheese in Gout Diet: Safe or Not? Explore Here

March 15, 2024

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Gout is a common form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid buildup in the blood. This buildup leads to the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints, resulting in sudden and severe attacks of pain, swelling, and tenderness. Cheese and gout is an important topic for those needing to watch their diet. But can you enjoy your favorite cheeses if you have gout? Let’s take a closer look.

How Dairy Affects Gout

Dairy was long thought to worsen gout due to its purine content. Purines are broken down into uric acid, which contributes to gout flare-ups. However, recent research indicates that dairy may actually have a protective quality.

The proteins found in low-fat dairy help boost uric acid excretion from the body. One study showed that eating more dairy led to lower blood levels of uric acid. Participants who consumed the most dairy had a 34% lower risk of developing gout than those who consumed the least.

So while eating huge amounts could be problematic, incorporating moderate portions of low-fat dairy into your diet may actually fight gout.

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Can You Eat Cheese With Gout?

The answer is yes—cheese can be eaten in moderation if you have gout. Cheese contains less purines than other dairy products. Hard cheeses like cheddar and parmesan tend to contain less than soft cheeses.

Low-fat versions, like reduced-fat cheddar or part-skim mozzarella, are the best options. These provide the benefits of dairy without excessive calories or fat.

Aim to limit your daily cheese intake to 1-2 ounces at most when managing gout. Track serving sizes carefully, as it’s easy to overeat cheese without realizing. Pay attention to signs of worsening symptoms, reducing your portions or avoiding cheese if flares occur.

Best Cheeses For Gout

These types of cheese are safest for gout diets:

✔️ Cheddar
✔️ Parmesan
✔️ Swiss
✔️ Mozzarella
✔️ Low-fat cottage cheese
✔️ Low-fat ricotta cheese

Stick with harder, low-fat varieties over soft, high-fat types like brie for the most benefits. Prioritize low-sodium options to support heart health as well.

Role of Diet in Managing Gout

Along with medications to reduce uric acid levels, diet plays an important part in controlling gout. Paying attention to which foods raise or lessen risk can help minimize painful flares.

Foods That Help Fight Gout

  • Cherries: Contain antioxidants that lower uric acid levels and reduce inflammation. Tart cherry juice may be especially beneficial.
  • Beans: Packed with fiber, beans may promote uric acid excretion.
  • Gout-friendly meats: Skinless chicken, turkey, plant-based meat alternatives.
  • Low-fat dairy: As mentioned earlier, can lower gout risk.
  • Water: Helps flush excess uric acid from the body. Aim for at least 64 ounces per day.

Foods to Avoid With Gout

  • Organ meats like liver or kidneys.
  • Shellfish such as lobster or shrimp.
  • Fatty red meats like beef or pork.
  • Sugary drinks and foods.
  • Excess alcohol, especially beer.Choosing gout-friendly foods, keeping portions balanced, and staying hydrated are key to managing gout along with medication prescribed by your doctor.

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FAQs About Cheese and Gout

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about eating cheese with gout.

Is cheese actually bad for gout?

No, cheese is not necessarily “bad” for gout. As mentioned earlier, eating dairy may even lower gout risk. Just opt for low-fat versions in sensible portions.

What cheese has the lowest purines?

Hard, aged cheeses like cheddar, parmesan and Swiss tend to be lower in purines than soft cheeses. Ricotta cheese and low-fat cottage cheese also rate well.

What about blue cheese?

Most blue cheeses like gorgonzola, stilton and Danish blue are not recommended for gout diets due to higher fat and purine content. But small amounts of milder blue cheese every so often are unlikely to cause issues.

Can you eat mozzarella with gout?

Yes, fresh mozzarella in particular makes a great addition to a gout-friendly diet. Part-skim, low moisture mozzarella is also a good choice over traditional whole milk mozzarella.

Is goat cheese a bad option for gout sufferers?

Goat cheese is relatively low in purines, so having it occasionally should be fine. But the high saturated fat content makes it less ideal than part-skim cow’s milk cheese.

Key Takeaways on Gout and Cheese

  • Recent evidence indicates dairy may lower gout risk, not raise it.
  • Hard, low-fat cheeses are the best options for gout diets.
  • Eat cheese in moderation, limiting to 1-2 ounces daily with gout.
  • Pair cheese with cherries, vegetables, whole grains and other gout-friendly foods.
  • Work with your doctor to create a balanced gout diet and treatment plan.

Controlling gout requires attention to diet, exercise and medication use. By incorporating gout-fighting foods like low-fat dairy and avoiding purine-rich foods that can trigger painful flares, you can help keep this condition under better control.

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