How Fiber Can Benefit Your Gout Diet
We all know how important fiber is for us and in this post we will learn about gout and fiber. You can find fiber in fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods like bread, pasta and rice. Fiber’s main health benefit is to relieve and prevent constipation making sure you have a good stool. In addition, fiber allows you to maintain a healthy weight lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. The evidence now shows that fiber may also help people suffering from gout.
A small Taiwanese study published in 2003 of 92 gout patients showed a statistically significant reduction in the risk of gout amongst the gout sufferers who consumed the highest intake of total and soluble fiber! Another study published in 2010 analyzed the fiber intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 9,384 adults during the period of 1999-2004 noticed how the higher the fiber intake of a person, the lower the risk of that person suffering from hyperuricemia which is a precursor to gout. Yet, another 2004 study conducted by Dr. Koguchi stated how fiber may inhibit purine absorption in the digestive system.
2 Types of Fiber
What is interesting about fiber is that it isn’t digested by your body but instead it remains intact while travelling through your stomach, colon and out of your body as poop. You got 2 types of fiber, soluble fiber which dissolves in water to form a gel-like material and is found in beans, oats, barley, psyllium, apples and citrus fruits.
You also got insoluble fiber which promotes the movement of all types of food through your digestive system helping you go to the bathroom and avoiding constipation or irregular stools. Good sources of insoluble fiber are potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, whole wheat bread or pasta, wheat bran, nuts or seeds. Do note that most plant-based foods contain a certain amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber like beans for example.
The Health Benefits of Fiber
There are many health benefits for the gout sufferer by eating a high fiber diet. Firstly, it helps keep normal bowel movements and maintain good bowel health preventing colon-related diseases like colon cancer or hemorrhoids. Secondly, it may help lower cholesterol in the blood by promoting the good cholesterol (HDL) over the bad (LDL).
Thirdly, a high fiber diet may help control your blood sugar levels decreasing your risk of developing diabetes later in life. Soluble fiber actually slows the absorption of sugar helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. We also know how sugar is also bad for us gout sufferers increasing uric acid levels in the blood.
Finally, a high fiber diet helps you maintain your ideal weight which is very healthy to do so since high fiber foods make you full longer and have less calories. For the gout sufferer, look into eating a high fiber diet rather than eating lots of meat (protein) to feel full. Try and replace your meat (protein) with more foods high in fiber like whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and vegetables or a nice whole wheat bread sandwich, put whatever you like in your sandwich except meat!
You’ll quickly notice better stools, you’ll shed some pounds if you are overweight and you’ll feel full, just as if you ate a steak! You can learn more in my ebook Gout and You: The Ultimate Gout Diet & Cookbook. Make sure to check it out!
It is recommended that if you are under the age of 50 and male to eat around 38 grams of fiber a day and for women under the age of 50 around 25 grams. For males over the age of 50, strive for 30 grams of fiber and for women over the age of 50 about 21 grams. Make sure to not eat white breads, pastas and non-whole grain cereals which remove the outer coat or bran from the grain and where all the nutrition is derived from.
This lowers the fiber content in mostly refined and processed foods. If you really like your sugary cereals, I recommend you quit them all but if you do want to try or keep one, make it Cheerios, the whole grain Cheerios which is a complex carbohydrate and is a healthy choice for your gout diet clocking in at just 100 calories per 1-cup serving. Any other whole grain cereal will do as well, make sure to read the nutrition label as well as the ingredients.
Breakfast foods are an important start to your day but the hidden ingredients and high sugar in processed breakfast cereals can destroy your gout diet. Stick to mother nature’s products like oatmeal and whole wheat bread which I personally eat every single morning, either one or the other.
If you notice that you haven’t been eating much fiber in your gout diet and now you want to increase your dietary fiber intake, make sure to begin gradually and increase it over a period of a few weeks to avoid gas, bloating or cramping. You need to give the natural bacteria in your digestive system enough time to adjust to the change. When eating lots of fiber, make sure to also drink plenty of water, so it can absorb all the fiber, making your stool nice and soft, as well as bulky.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris