Known as a member of the pea family, soy is a common food today – mostly suitable for vegetarians looking for meat alternatives or those who need high amounts of protein. Apart from protein, it is also rich in amino acids that the body simply cannot produce by itself.
These days, millions of people rely on soy for all kinds of benefits, including a top notch nutrition. The food is also known to help against bone related problems, cancer and heart affections. However, if you suffer from gout or you try to prevent it, you might need to discuss with your doctor first.
Soy and gout could go hand in hand, but to a certain point. Soy, for instance, may have certain molecules that could trigger gout flareups. But on the other hand, it is also considered healthy from many other points of view. So, what do you need to know before making a decision?
The composition of soybean
Soy is rich in healthy fatty acids, fiber and protein. It also has high amounts of minerals and vitamins. The soybean oil, for example, is rich in essential fatty acids that your body cannot produce – practically, you have to get them from other sources.
Soy does not have complex carbohydrates – a type of sugar normally found in plants. Therefore, it makes a good choice for diabetics. In other words, soy comes with a lot of benefits, hence its popularity on supermarket shelves – whether you like soy sauce with your stir fry or you like soy milk with your cereals.
Soy and gout – Any connections?
Gout is a type of arthritis – uric acid cannot be eliminated, so it gathers in joints and crystallizes. Inflammation occurs and painful sensations become difficult to cope with. Uric acid is made from purines – some of them are products by the body, but most of them come from various foods.
Normally, the uric acid is removed through urine, but too much of it can be overwhelming for kidneys. As a direct result, it sticks around the body and ends up forming those tiny crystals that can ruin your day or week.
Gout is referred to as a metabolic disease. Your body gets loads of purines from foods, so the uric acid levels skyrocket and cause the annoying gout flareups. While medication can help against pains, you have to work on the cause of the disease – you need to drastically change your diet.
People with gout must implement certain foods into their diets and avoid other foods. Most of these recommendations are based on the levels of purines. Soy has a moderate quantity of purines. While a few soy based products every now and then should be alright, heavy amounts of them can cause gout.
Other potential side effects
Soy is generally considered to be safe, but it can be harmful if eaten in heavy amounts – quite common or pretty much every food out there. Thyroid disorders are often associated with soy. For example, isoflavones in soy could block the thyroid hormone during the biosynthesis.
Body functions will slow down little by little. Those with thyroid related problems should definitely avoid such products. Besides, there are a few people out there with more or less aggressive allergies to soy – again, keep away from soy related products.
Some of the symptoms associated with a soy allergy could involve breathing issues, nasal congestion, dizziness, low blood pressure, swelling and itching or wheezing. Some allergies are mild, while others are quite severe.
As a short final conclusion, soy and gout do not always work together. Generally speaking, you could have soy based meals occasionally. The moderate amounts of purines do not make soy a contraindicated food, but it does require special attention – make sure you avoid heavy meals and pay attention to potential signs.
If you can avoid soy at all, it might be better to do so. An occasional treat every now and then may not always trigger a gout flareup, but why would you take the risk? Ideally, your diet should consist of foods low in purines – loads of fruits and vegetables. Your gout treatment begins with your diet, so careful consideration and medical advice are mandatory.
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