Gout and Atkins Diet

Gout and the Atkins Diet

Is the Atkins diet good for gout patients?

Another popular fad diet that you may have heard of is the famous Atkins diet developed by Robert Atkins M.D. and one time or another you may have had a friend or family member tell you that they were on the diet and losing the pounds. Many people find the Atkins diet the easiest way to lose weight fast.

Nowadays you don’t hear it go by that name, the diet has been recycled into different names, the major player in the game is Ideal Protein with numerous centers across North America. I’ve personally got some family members that do the diet ever so often praising its benefits only to regain the weight they lost within a few months, and then go back again to redo it over and over again. What’s the point? Ya I know high protein/low carb diets are more filling making you less hungry and this helps you lose weight but this is not obviously healthy. Humans cannot live long eating a high protein diet, it’ll wreak havoc to your health putting you at an increased risk of developing disease(s). Gout sufferers should know, a diet in high protein like eating lots of meat is a one of the most common reasons one develops gout and linked to painful gout attacks.

Experts will tell you that our modern meat-heavy western diet is one of the reasons gout is on the rise in the West. As gout sufferers we know that we should limit foods high in purines, compounds that are converted in the body to uric acid. Many of the high purine foods are meats that are dense in cells which break down into lots of purines resulting in higher uric acid levels in the blood causing one gout. Like the Paleo diet which I’ve written about that is also a high protein diet, gout sufferers should also avoid the Atkins diet like the plague.

Since we have a history of gout when it comes to eating protein:

  • Limit protein intake to 4 to 6 ounces a day, if eating only meat for that day try and limit it to 4 ounces only
  • Avoid all the organ meats I’ve previously written about like kidneys, hearts, brains, liver and other meat extracts
  • Avoid processed meats like the ones you find at the deli
  • Avoid seafood like lobster, crab, shellfish, shrimp, mackerel and anchovies
  • Don’t forget you can also get protein from eggs, beans, dairy products, tofu and nuts. But please don’t go eating eggs and meat in the same meal cause that is too much protein

Tart Cherry Extract for Gout

The danger of the Atkins diet

Remember that losing weight too quickly can also trigger a gout attack. Gout sufferers are more prone to wild uric acid fluctuations than regular folk when losing weight since it causes the body to burn muscle over fat. If you suffer from gout and need to lose weight you need to make sure you lose it gradually like 1-2 pounds a week. Remember from my ebook to eat the majority of your daily calories in complex carbohydrates limiting protein and fat intake. Fat can trap uric acid in your kidneys causing worse health issues down the road. Drinking plenty of water on a daily basis will help your body rid of excess uric acid. High protein diets like the Atkins diet increases the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, gout, osteoporosis and renal disease.

So is it worth it at the end to ruin your health for the sake of a few pounds? These high protein diets like Paleo and Atkins remove the importance of eating fibre and nutrients found in complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, pastas and rice, considered necessary for maintaining good health. I mean come on! You can’t be eating bacon on a daily basis! That is so stupid! Although there hasn’t been any studies on the subject of gout and the Atkins diet per say, if you’ve read all of my blog posts and the evidence presented from other studies evaluating meat intake with gout, you don’t need common sense to know that you are harming yourself by eating more meat than you are supposed to. Especially red meat. Those gout sufferers suffering from health issues with their kidneys should definitely be not on a high protein diet in fact Dr. Atkins himself heeded the warning in his book as well.

One last point about the Atkins diet and all other high protein/low carb diets, they’re basically a lazy man’s diet. What do I mean? Well for the past century we’ve shifted from working on the farm where we as humans were very mobile, fit and in shape to sitting on a desk for 8 hours a day, obese and basically unhealthy. What the Atkins diet allows you to do is lose the weight by eating all this protein and not exercising whatsoever. Whereas eating a diet high in complex carbohydrates which I advocate, is all about foods that provide you energy but if you do not use that energy, well ya then you’ll gain some weight. My point is here is that if you want to live a long healthy disease-free life, you must eat the majority of your daily calories in complex carbs limiting protein and fat and exercise a few minutes a day. If you don’t want to hit the gym that’s fine. Take 20 minute walks each day, try the 7 Minute Workout or do some gardening. The important part is to move your body. Use it or lose it like the saying goes.

Finally, did you know that Robert Atkins weighed 258 pounds when he died in 2003 and was considered quite an obese man?Actually his death is quite controversial since his death certificate claims he fell on ice and died but many are saying that it was probably a heart attack that caused the fall in the first place. It was also revealed in the Wall Street Journal that his doctor, Dr. Joseph Fratellone stated that Mr.Atkins was indeed overweight and speculation started stating that he may have died from his own diet. Even the American Medical Association has said publicly that the Atkins diet poses a serious threat to health.

All these diet doctors and authors these days of this low carb craze depend on this money-making machine of bars, shakes, TV dinners, best-selling books and Atkins was no exception, if anything he is the father of the fad diet. Please make sure to read this great article from the Hippocrates Health Institute about the Atkins diet. Whatever you do, do not try the Atkins diet and if you have loved ones that mention they’re on it, point them to this post.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

Gout and You Banner

CHECK OUT OTHER RELATED POSTS:

Suffering gout from a young age

What the Singapore China Health Study teaches us

Cayenne Pepper and Gout

Help somebody with GOUT! Be Sociable, Share!

11 Comments

  • Mitch

    Reply Reply July 10, 2016

    I read your article on drinking. However, if out with friends or at an event,other than beer, is there any other type of adult drink that is less harmful on gout sufferers?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply July 11, 2016

      Hi Mitch!

      Alcohol is alcohol, avoid it if you can. If not, some studies suggest red wine is the preferred alcoholic beverage due to its’ polyphenols.

  • Ron

    Reply Reply June 11, 2016

    Actually the Atkins diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low sugar and starch diet. The aim of the diet is to reduce insulin, and both protein and carbohydrate stimulate insulin production. Leafy greens, psyllium and Chia provide fibre without digestible carbohydrate. The best definition of the New Atkins diet (Phase 1) is “A Low Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet Manual No Sugar No Starch Diet” by Dr Eric C Westman. Westman was the first to rigorously investigate Dr Atkins protocols, followed by Stephen D Phinney & Jeff S Volek. Most arguments against Atkins are straw man arguments, they falsely claim Atkins is high protein, low fibre, then criticize that obviously bad diet.

    Grains like wheat should be avoided by many people, as wheat gliadin can cause leaky gut syndrome, which, in genetically susceptible people, can lead to autoimmune diseases like: Celiac disease, diabetes type 1, thyroiditis, gluten ataxia, psoriasis, vitiligo, autoimmune hepatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis, primary sclerosing cholangitis etc. The starch in wheat has very high GI, and can lead to diabetes type 2, heart disease and all the other consequences of metabolic syndrome.

    People who suffer from gout should avoid fructose. Following a properly formulated low sugar and starch diet will usually help avoid gout.

  • Bruce Mitchell

    Reply Reply February 18, 2016

    This is not to criticize, as your site is a valuable resource and I’m signing up for the newsletter… but the information about the death of Dr. Atkins is incorrect.

    His weight at the time of the fall was 195, at the high end of normal range, not obese. The underlying cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head resulting in an epidural hematoma, which caused coma of 9 days from the time of the fall until death. The immediate cause of death was complications of surgery to relieve the hematoma. Fluid retention caused severe bloating and weight gain of 63 pounds. That is why he appeared grossly obese at death.

    The wife objected to autopsy, so the Medical Examiner only examined the body externally, noting appearance and weight, as well as the history of heart attack some years earlier. Therein lies the misunderstanding.

    Dr. Atkins was not obese in life.

    Having said fhat, I do not favor his diet, as high protein consumption can be deadly for someone like myself with asthma and kidney problems as well as arthritis and gout. I wrote this correction just to set the record straight.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply February 19, 2016

      I hear you Bruce, but the evidence suggests and if you look at the Wikipedia entry, it states: “A medical report issued by the New York medical examiner’s office a year after his death showed that Atkins had a history of heart attack, congestive heart failure and hypertension.” I’m sure the Atkins diet had something to do with his medical problems. As for cause of death, it shall remain in controversy forever since his wife didn’t allow a proper autopsy.

  • Andie

    Reply Reply February 7, 2016

    This information is so out of date. As a gout sufferer I have been through the problems and tried many diets. 2/3 of the purines in our body are manufactured by the body the remaining 1/3 from diet so the problem could come from within. Latest research has found that gout is strongly associated with diabetes and insulin resistance and that fructose i.e. sugar and alcohol (beer)is likely the main culprits and not purines in meats as previously thought. Higher intake of Vitamin C is believed to combat high uric acid levels (worked for me). So increase leafy greens and red/orange fruit & vegies which also have potassium which works synergistically with the Vit. C. For us gout sufferers ketosis and extreme low carb diets should be avoided. So enjoy average amount od red meats and seafood as they have been exonerated – I eat them all the time and have not had a gout attack since changing to the above recommendations.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply February 8, 2016

      Hi Andie!

      What you are saying is totally off the mark! I know the carnivore eaters hate me but there is no real research showing that eating meat in such abundance is good for your health in any way. I’m sorry the science is against you on this one. Also outside of science, common sense should also tell you that! Come one, seafood being healthy? A diet high in animal protein is what is causing most of the diseases we have to deal with today. Read research papers not only from North America but from Asian studies as well.

  • Joe

    Reply Reply June 12, 2015

    I’d love to talk to a doctor and ask, “Do you know if spinach is safe?” And he’ll say, “No!” Instead, you get a shrug, he opens the window, jumps out and runs away. Or he’ll give you the name of a rheumatologist who’s almost as useless.

    I’ve spent nine years educating my doctors, instead of the other way around.

  • Joe

    Reply Reply June 9, 2015

    Dear Spiro,

    I was on the Atkins diet for years and never lost an ounce. I remember reading people were starting to develop gout from it back in 1980s, but it was still a strange disease you’d only hear about in Gothic novels from the 1800s. So none of it made sense to me.

    Back then, I was having more trouble with sugar and yeast (hypoglycemia and candidiasis from antibiotics). It took years to figure that one out, but that’s another story. Gluten and celiac sprue was another one.

    Anyway, gout sufferers have the worst diet restrictions because almost nothing is safe, including our own bodies. 70% of the uric acid is from processing us.

    We can’t have much fruit because fructose = uric acid. Spinach, broccoli, asparagus, beans, peas, eggs, tofu, tomatoes and cauliflower have to be watched too. Oh yes, let’s not forget that nightshades are supposedly bad for arthritis. So what’s left? Styrofoam?

    Despite all this horrendous deprivation, I’m still overweight. Gout meds all stink too. I had a stroke in one eye, five weeks of hemorrhaging from the nose and bleeding gums from allopurinol, and everyone talks about that like it’s jelly beans.

    Thus far, talking to doctors has proven useless. They know less about gout than we do. There are no goutologists and, God knows, if ever there was a disease that requires a specialist, it’s gout. Why are there no goutologists???

    Best wishes,

    Joe

Leave A Response

*

* Denotes Required Field