Before talking about oatmeal and its effect on gout, it will be wise to first look at what gout is.
What is gout? It is a type of arthritis that occurs when too much of uric acid forms needle-like crystals in joints. The symptoms of this condition, including redness, swelling and pain may occur suddenly, and this sudden flare-up is known as gout attack. Although gout can affect different joints in the body, the most likely joint to be affected is the one in your big toe. This is according to a report from the University of Maryland Medical Center. Aside using medical treatment to tackle this condition, eating healthy foods such as oats may go a long way in managing your symptoms.
The benefits of oatmeal on gout
Using dietary treatments for gout helps to prevent and control the accumulation of excess uric acid in the body, which can stimulate symptom flare-ups. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommend that you limit foods that contain excess of a natural substance called purine, which triggers the production of uric acid. While oily fish, yeast and organ meats all contain high levels of purine, it is not so with whole grains, including oats. Oats are fiber-rich foods that help in appetite control and may aid weight management process, fighting against joint strain that’s caused by too much body weight.
From calculations, 1 ½ cup of dry oatmeal offers 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Oat also provides antioxidants such as selenium. What is the importance antioxidant? It helps the body to fight and heal from disease and infections.
Oatmeal is healthy
Oatmeal is arguably the healthiest cereal you can find in the market and it’s highly rich in phosphorous, copper, chromium, fiber, manganese, magnesium and a list of other essential nutrients. It also supplies the body with vitamin and minerals to help it function properly.
The question most people keep asking is that since proteinous foods help to lower the level of uric acid in the system, how then is oatmeal a good choice for gout. Yes, oat is cereal, but it also contains a reasonable amount of protein that can help combat gout.
There are other health benefits of gout most people are not aware about. Below are they:
- For diabetic patients, oat is a good choice of food that should be greatly considered. It is true that diabetes can’t be cured, but it is also true that it can be treated. So taking oat can help control blood sugar to a reasonable level.
- Oatmeal can play an important role in lowering blood pressure. The fiber of oat has been medically proven to help control hypertension ( a medical term used to describe high blood pressure)
- The fiber of oats also help in lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body. This bad cholesterol causes havoc in the body by attacking the heart and cardiovascular system.
What are the potential risks of gout?
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that folks that suffer from gout should stay away from potential food allergens such as gluten – a proteinous substance found in rye, wheat and barley. It is true that oat doesn’t contain gluten, but commercial ones are often mixed with wheat or barley. The way you go about the preparation of oats also determines its nutritional value.
Instant oatmeal, which is potentially less nutritious and more processed than steel-cut and old fashioned oats, should not be taking with brown sugar because all it adds is just empty calories that adds no nutrients. Sugary foods can also raise blood sugar levels, increases appetite and in turn causes weight gain. Furthermore, taking oats with whole milk adds a high amount of cholesterol and saturated fat, which may cause an increase in the risk for heart disease and inflammation.
If you want to have an optimum nutritional value, go for steel-cut or old fashioned oats. Foods that are rich in antioxidant, particularly cherry, may help fight against gout attacks, this is according to University of Maryland Medical Center. To boost antioxidant level in the body, take oat with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or cherries.
Low-fat milk also helps to reduce the level of uric acid in the body, so make oats with low-fat or skim milk instead of whole milk or water. Stevia is a nutritional substitute to brown sugar, and it is a naturally sweet herb that is rich in antioxidants. If you notice that your gout symptoms are worsening probably due eating foods that contain high amount of yeast, simply switch to oats.
Other foods that may help
If you want to beat down your uric acid level, New York University Langone Medical Center recommends eating plant-based protein such as lentils, tofu and beans. Go for fresh fruits instead of juices, dried fruit and canned, which typically has less fiber and huge amounts of artificial or natural sugars. For general wellness and decreased inflammation, replace high-fat cheese, margarine and butter with seeds, nuts and vegetable oils that provides essential fatty acids. For more nutritional whole grains, go for pearled barley, air-popped popcorn, wild rice and brown rice. Popcorn and rice contain no gluten. When buying pasta, cereals and breads, ensure to go through the nutritional labels to see if whole grains are among the list of ingredients.