Gout and Portion Sizes
The knowledge about the right portion size for your meals should not just be a concern for gout sufferers, but for every individual keen on having a healthy lifestyle. Portion sizes are vital because they contribute directly to the amount of specific elements that are nutrients which may or may not be desirable for the body, especially in instances when one is suffering from gout.
It should be understood that the knowledge and practices of portion sizes with regards to food is quite a tricky one, since not everyone has a direct access to the specific rations they should take and at what particular times.
However, it is vital to gain some basic knowledge of portion sizes, especially if you have a condition like gout or if you are keen on reducing your chances of getting other diseases later in your life.
A Little Background About Gout and Diet
For very many years, gout was associated with overindulgence in alcohol, seafood and meat, especially red meats. At the very initial stages, it was considered a disease for the wealthy because they were the ones who could afford such lifestyles. But even during those times, doctors observed the need to have of a restricted diet in managing gout.
Previously, treatment for gout or the primary remediation measure involved the elimination of all foods with moderate to high amounts of purines. As such, one had to be very keen on the portion sizes regarding the identified foods, and overindulgence in such foods was highly discouraged.
Current Understanding On Gout and Portion Sizes
With more research on gout, a clear picture is now seen on the role of diet in both avoiding the condition and managing it, in instances where one already is a victim. There are foods that should be avoided, but this is not a blanket cover as it used to be in the past that all foods rich in purines should be avoided.
The goal of gout and portions today is to address all the risk factors related to the condition and its management, and most importantly, maintaining a healthy weight and sticking to healthy diets and the right portions.
Why Portion Control Is Important In Gout Management
The chief aim of portion control in weight or gout management is to simply ensure that you are getting the right amounts of foods with the desired nutritional components. For instance, with portion control, you make it possible to gauge how many calories and carbohydrates you are consuming and how they may affect your blood sugar levels and the levels of uric acid amongst others.
People are notoriously poor when it comes to estimating the amount of, say carbohydrates contained in a cup of breakfast cereals. Here are some of the reasons why many still grapple with the idea of the right portions in weight as well as for managing your gout:
- Sheer ignorance about portions and how they affect the overall lifestyle
- Lack of knowledge about what a healthy portion constitutes
- Restaurants offer extras such as chips, bread, and other appetizers which does nothing but add extra fat, calories and sodium which are of no nutritional value to us.
- Certain meals have portions that are enough for two or more people
- Most of the processed foods in the market today are priced low and packaged in large portions to sell you more.
Portions to Limit
When you suffer from gout, or you want to reduce your chances of being a victim in the future, here are some food portions you should be keen on with every meal you take:
Chicken, beef and other meats – chicken, beef and other seafood are prime suspects when it comes to increasing the amounts of purines, which will be ultimately converted into uric acid in the body. They are considered as high-purine diets and they should never take the largest section of your platter if you are suffering from gout. Remember my 10% rule on protein.
Organ meats – also known as offal, organ meats contain the most purines of any food known in the world. These meats include brain, liver, kidneys, and heart. The consumption of these foods should be avoided if you are suffering from gout.
Soft drinks and fruit juices – processed drinks, such as soft drinks and fruit juices are known to contain high amounts of fructose, and fructose is strongly linked with gout. As such, such drinks and fruit juices should also be avoided and instead substituted with water, whenever convenient.
Alcohol – alcohol is a definite no go zone for gout management. It is recommended to do away with alcohol completely if you are a sufferer of or if you wish to avoid the condition in the future.
Tips to help you control portion sizes
Though there is no definitive guide on how you can control portion sizes as part of gout management, here are a few tips to help you get it right with the sizes-:
Consciously limit your portions – have a conscious awareness at all times that you need to limit the foods known to trigger gout attacks. Be sure to avoid them or take them in the least amount of sizes all the time.
Don’t skip meals – if you skip meals, you may starve and this may lead to you taking large portions when you finally have a chance to eat. Make it a habit of eating moderate portions regularly and don’t skip any of three meals recommended in a day. Ideally, you should not go for more than five hours without eating.
Learn to measure and weigh foods – if you make your own foods, then you should start measuring and weighing the foods before you cook them. All you need are the measuring cups and a guide on the nutritional content of each portion so that you have a better understanding of the value you will be deriving from your foods.
Use portion control plates – portion control plates will help you measure sauces, carbohydrates, proteins, cheese and other servings. Indirectly, they will help you manage gout in the sense that they promote eating the right amounts of foods and in the correct proportions.
Eat right when eating out – If you love eating out, then you should learn to do it right. The first thing is to avoid fast foods and processed fruit juices. Then when serving, fill up your plate with green veggies, and clear them first before landing on the meat and other delicacies. In this manner, you will already be full before you consume lots of the other dishes on the menu.
It will not be easy to work out the correct portion sizes with regards to gout management, but it is an endeavor worth trying and whose results will be tremendously beneficial. As always, I recommend you eat 10% of your daily calories as protein, so lean chicken breast, lean turkey, lean beef, lamb and fish. 10% of your daily calories should then be fat as in eggs, butter, milk, cheese and yogurt. Finally, 80% of your daily calories should be complex carbohydrates, food as grown from the earth! That includes fresh vegetables, whole grain breads, whole grain pastas, whole grain rice and some fruit. No refined carbs whatsoever. So if you can visualize your empty plate and add 80% complex carbs in it, 10% lean meat and 10% fat as in a piece of cheese for example, then you’re off to a good start!
Posted by Spiro Koulouris