Cooking For Gout Part 1
For some people cooking for gout can be a troubling / difficult thing. After all there are a hell of a lot of websites out there that contradict each other about which ingredients trigger a gout attack. For some people tomatoes are their nemesis, other people get gout pain from spinach, etc. Most of all though, it is the idea of minimizing purines and therefore reducing uric acid levels that give people a headache. A lot of people just stick to the same old boring recipes, which are useful but not that thrilling!
Because, lets be honest, the great tasting food, the main event – meat is basically a gout sufferer’s headache.
So let’s dive into this realm and examine a few things that you can do to improve your cooking for gout and reduce the frequency of your gout attacks. These posts are not meant as a definite list of do’s and dont’s but more a general set of guidelines that can help reduce gout causing actions we take when cooking.
After all most people focus on limiting purines and watching uric acid levels rather than learning how to still enjoy their food in a freer way. Gout diets themselves are quite restrictive and difficult to stick to all the time.
By learning about how you cook and developing a clearer understanding of different ingredients you can hopefully make better choices in the kitchen and have less gout attacks!
Choose a Method
When cooking for gout, you have to think not only about whether it is a purine rich food, or a gout friendly food, but also how is it being cooked?
You can basically use 3 methods when you cook anything:
Heat – spit roast / barbeque
Heat & Fat – fry / saute / deep fry / pan fry
Heat & Water – steam / boil / poach
Of these 3 different cooking methods, the main one you should avoid is using heat & fat.
Whenever you cook something using fat, you are not only loading it with extra calories, but also giving your body a lot more work to do. Your body processes fat and as it does so it causes and acidic reaction inside your body. This in turn puts pressure on your kidneys to remove this acid and may well cause the gout attack that you don’t want!
So instead of picking up the frying pan, get a little more creative!
Ideas for Cooking for Gout
Instead of deep frying potatoes to make fries, make wedges in the oven – a great way to limit the oil here is to chop up the vegetables (or whatever you are cooking) put them in a plastic bag, add a little oil close it and then shake it around.
By adding the oil to the bag rather than the pan, you can use a lot less oil to achieve the same goal.
Now fat is not your enemy here, but excess fat is. Vitamins A,D,E & K are all fat soluble, in other words you need the fat as a key to unlock those vitamins for your body to be able to use them. The idea here with your cooking for gout is that you want to try and get all the goodness that you can out of the food and minimize any gout friendly (gout causing) possibilities.
So ideally you want to choose heat or heat and water where possible.
- With fish for example, you can simply wrap it in cooking foil with your preferred spices and then cook it in the oven – this way you get a lot of flavor, and the natural moistness of the fish replaces the fat.
- Consider poaching eggs rather than frying them.
- Boiling bacon may not taste or smell exactly the same, but in this way a lot of the salt it also removed from the meat.
- Sausages are another thing that can be boiled or even bathed in boiling water before you cook them in a pan, this will melt a lot of the fat and you’ll see it floating in the water.
- If you want meat or any other vegetable, try steaming it. This not only is a very clean way of cooking food, keeping flavor in but adds no calories whatsoever.
- Boil chicken breasts before putting them into the pan with whatever sauce you are serving them with.
- Try making big hearty soups part of your diet – you can basically boil up all your ingredients together, big chunks of vegetable and meat that will help to re-hydrate you as well as satisfy your hunger.
- Roast meats and vegetables in the oven rather than pan frying them.
Please add your own ideas / experiences in the comments and share it if you find it useful.