Who needs to follow a gout diet? This condition has long been associated with overweight old men drinking too much port, and while it is true that is mostly affects men between 40 and 60 years old, it can affect women (usually after menopause), and even occasionally children and young people.
It is characterised by inflammation and swelling, usually in one joint in the body, most typically the big toe.
The gout diet aims to reduce the symptoms of this painful arthritic condition.
The gout diet is mostly an exclusionary diet - that is, it is more about avoiding certain foods that are known to trigger or exacerbate the condition.
The main compound to avoid is purine. Purine is a component of DNA, and is thus inside every cell. It is found in higher concentrations in proteins, with the highest levels being in red meat, poultry and fish.
However, while it was thought that all foods containing high levels of purine created the high levels of uric acid that bring on the condition, recent research has concluded that it is only red meat and seafood that are a risk factor - purine rich vegetables and total protein are not.
In addition to avoiding red meat and seafood, it's worth bearing in mind that low-fat or non-fat dairy products have been associated with a decreased risk of developing this condition.