Too much bread or alcohol can be a problem if you have gout, a condition in which uric-acid crystals form in the joints, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Add purine-rich foodssuch as seafood and red meatto the list and it can seem hard to find something you can eat. (Purine gets broken down into uric acid in the body.)
Still, gout shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your food. Stick to low-purine fare, like that in the following recipes, to have a tasty meal without triggering an attack or making a flare-up worse.
Curried Carrot, Sweet Potato, and Ginger Soup
Pureed root vegetables make for gout-friendly comfort food that warms you up on cold winter days.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, and spices are a few of the foods with the lowest amounts of purine. To make this soup even better for avoiding gout, try using vegetable stock instead of chicken broth.
Try this recipe: Curried Carrot, Sweet Potato, and Ginger Soup
Updated Waldorf Salad
Use low-fat mayo mixed with apples, grapes, dried cranberries, celery, and walnuts for this chunky salad that renews a classic and curbs mid-afternoon hunger.
This dish delivers a serving of low-purine nuts and fruits. Plus, apples, grapes, and cranberries all contain malic acid, which may counter gout-promoting uric acid in your body.
Try this recipe: Updated Waldorf Salad
Photo: Karry Hosford
Warm Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
Eggplant and tomatoes are low-purine foods that blend deliciously with creamy goat cheese for a savory sandwich that packs anything but boring for lunch.
To boot, veggies tend to be alkaline (the opposite of acidic), meaning they may help neutralize uric acid.
Try this recipe: Warm Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
Choose this tasty recipe to serve hungry guests as they arrive; it won't ruin their appetite or leave them in major gout pain.
What's more, this simple appetizer uses plum tomatoes, which are better than most other varieties in the winter.
Try this recipe: Tomato Crostini
Lemon-and-Sage Roasted Chicken
Although meat is generally a no-no food for people with gout, you can’t always avoid it, especially when you’re cooking for a group. But you can choose chicken or duck, which have less purine than red meat, pork, and turkey.
This easy recipe enhances the flavors of roasted chicken with lemon and sage. The roasted parsnips, carrots, and turnips on the side are rich in flavor, not purine!
Try this recipe: Lemon-and-Sage Roasted Chicken
Blood Orange and Duck Confit Salad
Here’s an extra-special salad that will satisfy your craving for meat without aggravating your gout. Duck is one of the better meat options, and oranges are chock-full of vitamin C, which research suggests could reduce uric-acid levels. Top it all off with low-purine oil, vinegar, and hazelnuts for a decadent, yet sensible, dish.
Try this recipe: Blood Orange and Duck Confit Salad
Zesty Zucchini Spaghetti
Pasta makes a great, low-purine way to get full without the meat. The shredded zucchini and chipotle chiles (roasted jalepeños) give this dish a helping of zest without the purine.
Just be sure to stick to the serving size so you don’t get too many caloriesbeing overweight is a risk factor for gout.
Try this recipe: Zesty Zucchini Spaghetti
Rosemary-Roasted New Potatoes
Potatoes make for another yummy, satisfying, and low-purine food that is also rich in uric-acid-reducing vitamin C. The fresh rosemary adds a punch of flavor, and is thought to improve circulationa benefit that could ease gout-related pain and inflammation.
Try this recipe: Rosemary-Roasted New Potatoes
Vanilla Bean Pudding
Many recipes for traditional milk chocolate pudding call for thick whole milk, but by substituting it with fat-free skim milk (much better for those worried about gout) in this creamy vanilla option, you decrease the fat without sacrificing the flavor.
Try this recipe: Vanilla Bean Pudding
Peaches With Berry Sauce
Instead of the usual chocolate syrup, pour this berry sauce over low-fat vanilla ice cream for a twist on a classic dessert. Dark berries, like the blackberries in this sauce, have been found to lower uric-acid levels in the body.
Plus fruits like peaches and berries are a delicious, low-purine way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Try this recipe: Peaches with Berry Sauce
Mini Raspberry Tarts
A tiny dessert that packs some big flavor! Low-fat dairy, like the cream cheese used in this pasty, is perfect for enjoying a tasty tart while still watching out for gout. The raspberry on top is another gout-friendly food.
Try this recipe: Mini Raspberry Tarts
You can only eat so many dense, high-calorie slices of pumpkin pie before your waistline expands. That’s bad news for many reasons, including the one that being overweight can increase your risk for gout. To get that pumpkin flavor, try this 90-calorie alternative.
With these pumpkin pancakes, you can have your "cake" and eat it too!
Try this recipe: Pumpkin Pancakes
Cornflakes, Low-Fat Milk & Berries
Start the morning off right with this healthy bowl of cereal. Keep a bag of mixed berries in your freezer and drop them into cornflakes for a morning meal that is not only high in antioxidants and fiber, but that could also help ward off gout.
Research suggests that low-fat dairy may decrease your risk of getting gout, not to mention that dairy products are a good, meat-free source of protein.
Try this recipe: Cornflakes, Low-Fat Milk & Berries