Are Nuts Good for Gout?
We all eat nuts, and we all have a favorite nut like I personally love almonds and usually eat mostly almonds although I like to eat peanuts from time to time and cashews. But I usually buy the big bag of almonds at Costco and mix it up with dried cherries which you know is great for your gout.
Kinda create my own trail mix that way instead of buying nutbars mixed with dried fruit at the store which has many additives and lots of sugar which is not healthy for us, just buy your own raw nuts and mix them yourself with some dried fruit for a healthier snack.
I also love and I mean love peanut butter. I buy it naturally of course and love to spread it over 2 slices of 100% whole grain wheat bread for breakfast. So, are nuts healthy for us gout sufferers?
The answer. Yes they are!
Can they trigger a gout attack?
Nuts are high in fat and are a high-calorie food but don’t contain much in purines. On average depending on the nut, they will contain less than 50 mg per 100 grams. Peanuts have about 79 mg of purines per 100 grams and almonds as well as pecans are at the lower end of the scale with about only 10 mg of purines per 100 grams.
High-Protein Foods and the “Rich Man’s Disease”
Because it was much more prevalent among the wealthy due to their diet and lifestyle, gout was once known as “the disease of kings” or “rich man’s disease.”
High-protein, animal-based foods were previously only accessible to the upper classes of society. This category frequently includes foods like game, red meat, fish, shellfish, and other fatty foods. Of course, large quantities of wine and other alcoholic beverages were also frequently consumed.
Uric acid production is generally higher in high protein foods. As a result, the accumulation of excess uric acid tended to affect the wealthy far more than the less fortunate.
The less wealthy, on the other hand, ate a more modest (and healthier) diet. This was mostly made up of plant-based foods like vegetables, fruit, grains, and legumes, as well as dairy and eggs. Meat and fish were consumed in very small quantities, if at all.
Fortunately for those who weren’t as wealthy back then, these foods don’t contain a lot of purine, which is the building block of uric acid.
The Impact of the Modern Diet on Gout
Foods that were once only available to the wealthy are now available to everyone. This is because of large-scale food production and the ability of large supermarket chains to negotiate lower wholesale prices.
As a result, the average person today suffers from gout in the same way that the wealthy did in the past. Gout now affects 41 million people worldwide, including more than 8.3 million in the United States.
But compared to then, we now know a lot more about gout. For instance, we are aware that a diet high in purines raises the possibility of recurrent gout attacks.
Furthermore, preventing recurrent gout attacks is crucial because they are linked to a number of very serious health issues in addition to being excruciatingly painful and incapacitating.
Recurrent gout has been linked in studies to permanent joint damage, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, kidney stones, heart disease, and even a higher risk of death.
That’s why, as was already mentioned, doctors frequently advise gout patients to switch to a low-purine, gout-friendly diet.
The Evidence of Eating Nuts and Gout
Our rockstar rheumatologist H.K. Choi who’s been involved in numerous gout studies stated in a 2010 study that nuts along with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and dairy products are a healthy food choice for gout sufferers. A healthy gout diet that includes these foods may help prevent the recurrence of a gout attack. But like everything in life, eat nuts in moderation.
Don’t be a glutton because eating too many nuts every day will cause you to gain weight. Eat 10 to 15 nuts per day to get a boost in protein, which will fill you up, and fiber, which will help control your blood sugar levels. Think of it as a snack rather than a meal substitute.
Another study that looked at nut consumption in people who ate 20% of their daily calories in nuts like cashews and walnuts found that eating all of those nuts had no effect on uric acid levels. Although the subjects didn’t suffer from gout per se, they did have metabolic syndrome and gout is a metabolic disorder so do take note.
Remember that nuts typically grow on trees and are referred to as “tree nuts,” whereas peanuts are classified as legumes because they grow underground. The oils in nuts contain a high percentage of poly and mono-unsaturated fats, which help reduce inflammation and pain in the body caused by gout. Did you know that as much as 80% of a nut is fat?
Peanuts and Gout
High quality protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vital vitamins and minerals may all be found in abundance in peanuts. They are undoubtedly a very wholesome, nutrient-dense food.
This is supported by research that demonstrates a decreased risk of coronary disease, heart disease, and stroke in people who regularly consume nuts and peanuts.
It’s interesting to note that for a long time, people believed that peanuts—which are actually legumes, not nuts—were responsible for elevated uric acid levels and needed to be avoided at all costs.
However, given that they are so widely available and can be found in a variety of fillings and snack foods, completely avoiding peanuts can be very difficult.
The good news is that those who have gout shouldn’t worry too much about eating peanuts — provided they don’t have a peanut allergy, of course!
Since peanuts have a low purine content (less than 100 mg uric acid per 3.5 oz serving), gout sufferers may eat them without worrying about an unacceptably high uric acid spike. In fact, according to the Philippine Rheumatology Association (PRA), eating peanuts and beans has nothing to do with high levels of uric acid.
Peanuts and peanut butter, which contain low-to-moderate amounts of purines, are a good source of protein for people with gout, according to the Dial-A-Dietitian Nutrition Information Society of British Columbia.
In a gout diet, nuts are an excellent source of protein because:
- The purine content of most nuts is low. Low-purine foods contain less than 50mg of purines per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).
- Nuts are high in healthy fats, which aid in the reduction of gout inflammation and pain.
- Nuts are also high in the vitamins and minerals required to protect your body from gout.
Before You Start Bingeing on Peanuts…
Peanuts have all the characteristics of a healthy and beneficial snack on their own. They are, however, high in calories and fat (although mostly good fat). But, knowing how supermarkets and brands act these days, you know they’ll take advantage of the opportunity to sweeten their products in order to get you to pay more.
Sugar is abundant in many snack foods. Worse, they tend to use high-fructose corn syrup as well! When consumed in excess, they pose a risk of weight gain. Remember that being overweight is a significant risk factor for gout!
Furthermore, studies have linked high-fructose corn syrup to an increased risk of gout.
Peanuts are also high in oxalate, a naturally occurring compound found in a variety of plant foods. In the body, oxalate may bind with calcium to form painful kidney stones. These may prevent the kidneys from functioning properly and impede uric acid excretion.
Nonetheless, as with most foods that have been blacklisted for many years (such as peanuts), the health benefits of eating these types of foods outweigh the risks.
Simply eating 15 to 20 peanuts per day in moderation may help to balance their undeniable health benefits and drawbacks.
It’s also worth noting how they’ve been prepared. Gout sufferers should consume fresh, raw peanuts with the skin on. This is due to the skin’s high concentration of antioxidants and fiber. Both roasted peanuts and peanut butter are acceptable, but you shouldn’t consume more than two tablespoons of either per day.
A Closer Look at Almonds
Contrary to popular belief, the almond is not a true nut. It’s an edible seed from the fruit of the almond tree. Almonds are grown in many countries, including the United States (the world’s largest producer), Europe, Australia, Turkey, Chile, and Vietnam.
Almonds are high in fiber and protein. And, while they are high in fat, they are mostly healthy fats: monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown in studies to help protect the heart.
Aside from that, the flavonoids found in almonds like catechin, epicatechin, and kaempferol are potent antioxidants that aid in scavenging the body of free radicals that have been linked to several diseases like atherosclerosis (artery hardening), diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancers.
Almonds and other tree nuts are important components of the so-called “Mediterranean diet,” which has been linked in studies to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality.
Nuts, such as almonds, have been shown in studies to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while maintaining HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering the risk of heart disease.
According to one study, regular almond consumption is associated with lower blood sugar levels and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Almonds May Help Reduce the Risk of Recurrent Gout Attacks
According to at least one study, eating almonds may lower serum uric acid levels. The 2016 study looked at the effect of almond supplementation on serum uric acid levels in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Almonds, according to the researchers, protect the vascular systems of CAD patients by lowering blood uric acid levels.
Although this study was conducted on CAD patients, the underlying principle applies to gout patients as well: almond supplementation lowers serum uric acid levels. And, as we all know, lower uric acid levels indicate a lower risk of gout.
The Best Way to Eat Almonds
Almonds are best eaten raw. Avoid roasted, salted, and added flavorings, which may increase calories, sugar, and sodium. However, while almonds are otherwise very healthy, there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t eat too many of them:
- Despite being in the minority, they contain unhealthy saturated fats that, when consumed in excess, may lead to weight gain.
- Some medications, such as blood thinners, antipsychotics, laxatives, and antacids, may be affected.
- Excessive consumption may impair blood clotting and increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
- Overeating may result in abdominal bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Almonds are high in oxalate, and people at risk of kidney stones should follow a low oxalate diet.
My Go-To Gout-Friendly Nuts
Let’s look at some of my favorite gout-friendly nuts:
- Peanuts: Peanuts have a high protein, fat, and fiber content. While peanuts contain a lot of fat, the majority of that fat is considered “good fat.” These fats are beneficial to your cholesterol levels.Peanuts are a legume, but they are considered a nut nutritionally and culinary. They are high in plant-based protein, as are most legumes. Peanuts, in fact, have the highest protein content of any commonly consumed nut.
- Pecans: Raw pecans are high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber, which may help you stay energized and satisfied. Pecans are also high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which help lower blood pressure. Most of the fat in pecans is a healthy type known as monounsaturated fat. Pecans contain 10mg of purine acid per 3.5 ounces and are high in magnesium, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Increased magnesium consumption lowers the body’s inflammatory markers, reduces arterial wall inflammation, and lowers the risk of arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and other inflammatory ailments, according to research.
- Walnuts: Walnuts contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are healthier than saturated fats. Furthermore, walnuts contain alpha-linolenic and linoleic acids, which may have anti-inflammatory properties that help keep blood vessels healthy, as well as lipid-lowering properties.Walnuts are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids and an alkaline protein that is gout-friendly. They have 25 mg of purine acid per 3.5 ounces. Additionally, they possess potent anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, the most secure source for people with gout and arthritis is raw walnuts.According to the National Office of the Arthritis Foundation, their effects might reduce the C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and arthritis.
- Almonds: Almonds contain a lot of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E. The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels. They may also help with weight loss by suppressing hunger.Almonds are high in nutrients and contain 10mg of purine acid per 3.5 ounces. They contain a lot of manganese, magnesium, and vitamin E. The brown Almond skin is high in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals, which destroy and damage human cells.
- Cashew Nuts: Cashews are high in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and plant protein while being low in sugar. They’re also high in copper, magnesium, and manganese, which are essential nutrients for energy production, brain health, immunity, and bone health.Purine content in cashew nuts is 25mg per 3.5 ounces. They are known to lower LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
- Pistachios: Pistachios are high in fiber, minerals, and unsaturated fat, which may help control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Their fiber and protein content can keep you fuller for longer. This fiber may also benefit your gut by promoting “good” bacteria.A serving of pistachios contains the same amount of protein as one egg. When compared to most other nuts, these nuts have a higher ratio of essential amino acids to protein content.
- Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are powerhouses in terms of nutrition, offering good fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Selenium, a mineral with powerful antioxidant properties, is particularly abundant in them. Brazil nuts may improve thyroid and heart health, reduce inflammation, support brain function, and reduce stress.Brazil nuts contain 25mg of purine per 3.5 ounces. They are also fantastic superfoods that contain powerful antioxidants that aid in the reduction of excessive inflammation in the body.According to a study, the researchers reported that individuals who consumed more Brazil nuts as part of their daily diet had a long-term decrease in inflammatory responses.Another study discovered that Brazil nuts are high in fiber, which helps reduce gout inflammation.
Nuts Are Also Good for Your Heart
In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Consuming several small servings of nuts each week may reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Eating nuts as part of an overall healthy diet is also good for your heart since gout sufferers are at an increased risk of heart disease. Nuts help your heart by decreasing LDL or the bad cholesterol level in the blood.
Researchers at Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health studied 210,000 people in three large prospective studies over a 32-year period. People who ate a handful of nuts (about 28g or one ounce) five times a week or more had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, according to the study.
High LDL is one of the main causes of heart disease. Did you also know that eating nuts may reduce your risk of developing blood clots that may potentially cause a fatal heart attack?
Many nuts are also very rich in omega-3 fatty acids which you also find in fish, they are also high in fiber which makes you feel full and eat less. In addition, nuts are high in vitamin E which stops the development of plaques in your arteries which otherwise could lead to chest pain or heart attack.
Is there a nut that is more nutritious than others? Yes, the walnut is one of the best-studied nuts and is very high in omega-3 fatty acids.
A Modern Take on Fats
In recent years, attitudes toward fats and heart health have shifted. It is no longer enough to avoid all fats in order to protect your heart. It focuses on eating the right kinds of fats.
We used to think that total fat was a risk factor for heart disease. More research is showing that the type of fat that is related to heart health. Saturated and trans fats, which are found in beef, pork, dairy, butter, and coconut, are particularly harmful to the heart, whereas monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (fish, chicken, nuts, avocado, and olive oil) are heart-healthy.
Dietary fats, such as those found in nuts, promote cell growth, and provide energy to the body. They also help the body absorb nutrients, produce certain hormones, and protect your organs.
According to a Harvard study, nuts like peanuts, walnuts, and tree nuts like pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews all reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
The Bottom Line on Nuts
Nuts are a good source of plant protein. They make an excellent snack and can be added to a variety of dishes to increase their protein content. Cashews, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts are some interesting protein-rich nut options if you can’t eat peanuts or want to try something different.
Make sure to eat your nuts raw and unsalted. Do not buy them chopped, cooked in oil, or roasted either. If anything, buy them raw and toast them yourself. The nuts that are usually salted in the marketplace are usually high in sodium.
Although not a particular or direct danger to gout, high sodium intake is generally bad for your health, so try and avoid it.
Healthy nuts that you may add to your gout diet include macadamias, almonds, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, pine nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and of course peanuts.