Gout and Seafood

Gout and Seafood

Is seafood safe to eat if you have gout?

In this post we will closely examine if seafood like lobster, shrimp, crab, clams, oysters, mussels, scallops are a healthy choice for a gout diet. As always, let’s talk a little history beforehand. In the 1800s lobster was known as poor man’s food and during that time and before seafood was shunned upon and people were embarrassed to eat it. Poor families, servants, children and prisoners usually ate seafood due to its high abundance and easy accessibility for those who lived on the eastern coast like the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The wealthier people were able to afford healthier meats like cattle and beef but seafood like lobster were seen by the poor as a cheap way to feed hungry mouths, they even had nicknames like “Poor Man’s Chicken” and “Scavengers of the Sea”. It is actually a scavenger because it lives on the bottom of the ocean and eats the waste, yes the poop of other animals even the pollutants that man dumps into the ocean, hence why lobster is also nicknamed “the Cockroach of the Ocean”.  By the late 1800s the industry was thriving and seafood hit the mainstream where it was being served at the fanciest restaurants. Today lobster is one of the most expensive items on the menu and the perception is that seafood is high quality and nutritious food!

Tart Cherry Extract for Gout

What is the evidence that seafood is to be avoided in a gout diet?

The 12 year study completed by the American College of Rheumatology which observed 47,000 men over that period had provided these men with a questionnaire to record their daily food intake. Data from the study discovered that men who ate the most meat had 1.41 times the risk of developing gout then those men who ate the least amount of meat. Likewise, men who ate seafood had a 1.51 times the risk of developing gout compared to those men who ate the least amount of seafood and seafood does increase your uric acid levels. That’s a 51% increased risk my fellow gout sufferer! Each additional weekly serving of seafood led to a 7% increased risk. On a side-note, the same study concluded that vegetables high in purines like peas, beans, cauliflower and spinach did not increase the risk of getting a gout attack. That is spot on, you can eat all the vegetables you like even the ones that are high on the purines scale but we will look at this more closely at a future post.

Other risks of seafood consumption

Seafood is a simply a dangerous food to eat for so many valid reasons and should be avoided at all costs. It is simply one of the dirtiest foods you can eat and can cause you so many different ailments.  I mean the reason lobster is cooked while alive is due to the bacterial problem which takes place immediately upon their death needing to release astaxanthin for it to be safe for you to consume. Shrimp is a scavenger that thrives off of eating the flesh of dead creatures, so if you like to eat shrimp be aware that you are eating feces as well. You like shellfish? Watch out cause you can be poisoned a bacterial or viral contamination. You must adequately cook it to make sure you don’t get sick but is it really worth the risk? Poisoning can also come about from heat-stable toxins derived from the food that the shellfish have been eating. If you suffer from gout, just cross out any type of seafood, I hope to help you avoid any gout flares or triggers for an attack.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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  • Daniel

    Reply Reply April 24, 2017

    Also, read up on tuna and mercury: no need irresponsibly bashing an industry and claiming you know, because you apparently do not: “No consumption advice is necessary for the top ten seafood species that make up about 80% of the seafood sold in the United States: canned tuna, shrimp, pollock, salmon, cod, catfish, clams, flatfish, crabs, and scallops.

    The methylmercury in these species is generally less than 0.2 ppm, and few people eat more than the suggested weekly limit of fish (i.e., 2.2 pounds).” -CDC (and that’s out of a 650 page report from a decade-long study)

  • Daniel

    Reply Reply April 24, 2017

    Actually, you can’t just blanket it all under one thing. Seafood is defined as food from the sea, i.e. fish, shellfish and other sea life that is eaten by humans. Also, you are wrong about which to eat, many of the crustaceans and shellfish are actually lower in purines than many fin fish, like trout vs. oysters. Oysters have much lower purine levels and many other health benefits. You should know what you are talking about if you want to address diet and gout. Here is a helpful list. Note that uric acid and purine levels can be affected by more than just diet and there are other gout contributing factors in diet other than purine levels. Thyroid issues, for example, can increase the liklihood of gout.

    • Daniel

      Reply Reply April 24, 2017

      At the bottom of the list on the link are three groupings; A, B and C. Eat a balanced diet from mostly A, some B and avoid C.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply April 24, 2017

      Let’s agree to disagree. Many studies have shows how they raise uric acid levels and overall they are not healthy for you, all types of seafood causes more emergency room visits then any other food group. All this from the bacteria that these shells carry and if not cooked properly basically leads to food poisoning. Trout for examples has more nutrients then oysters so is more healthy for you.

  • JUN

    Reply Reply March 11, 2017

    What About Tuna is it Safe to eat for a gout patient?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply March 11, 2017

      Yes it is but problem with tuna is the high mercury count. Since tuna fish live longer than other fish, they accumulate more mercury than other fish, so that can be potentially dangerous. I personally avoid tuna now since it has a high mercury count.

  • Maryann

    Reply Reply December 6, 2016

    Hi Spiro!

    My husband has had many gout-like symptons but the doctor thinks he has Socratic arthritis.

    It is said that his grandfather had gout.

    His gout levels are moderately high. The reason the doctor steers away from gout is because it started in his ankle, this last bout started in his toe…

    We are going to do a gout test and see if he has a reaction to eating shrimp. Do you know how quickly it will turn into painful gout?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply December 7, 2016

      Hi Maryann!

      Thanks for your comment but I have no idea since everybody reacts differently. I wouldn’t be able to tell you unfortunately.

  • Rachel Koo

    Reply Reply September 1, 2016

    can gout patient eat shrimp?

  • Lou

    Reply Reply July 19, 2016

    You say it’s okay to eat certain fish.
    But then you say to stay away from seafood?
    Which one is it ?
    Stay away from all seafood or just shellfish seafood?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply July 20, 2016

      Avoid seafood and any type of shellfish Lou!

      • JBM

        Reply Reply January 4, 2017

        You say any fish with scales is ok, but then you say avoid all seafood. Which is it?

        • Spiro Koulouris

          Reply Reply January 4, 2017

          Seafood is not considered fish with fins and scales. Avoid all seafood, it is one of the worst offenders for gout. You can eat fish like bass, salmon, cod, bluefish, haddock, grouper, halibut, snapper, tilapia, turbot, trout. These are all healthy fish that have fins and scales. Enjoy!

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