Thanksgiving With Gout — What You Need to Know
When my father was first diagnosed with gout, I remember he was initially prescribed a strong narcotic because of the intense pain caused by the uric acid buildup, a daily medication to manage his new diagnosis, and he was given a hand-out of do’s and don’ts in regards to his diet.
This handout helped immensely when it came to everyday life — but how is a person with gout supposed to manage their gout triggers on a major holiday, such as Thanksgiving?
Know Your Triggers
You probably know by now that a diet rich in purines can increase uric acid buildup in the joints, exacerbating gout symptoms. It is recommended to avoid foods that are rich in purines.
Not everyone with gout needs to avoid all foods that are rich in purines; you may find, through trial and error, that certain purine-rich foods do not cause your symptoms to exacerbate.
Foods that are rich in purines include avocados, whole milk, sour cream, fried foods, organ meats, gravies, fish such as herring, anchovies and mackerel, stock-based soups, alcohol, and high-fat desserts.
Stick to Your Plan
When faced with a major meal, such as Thanksgiving, it is tempting to think, “It’s only one day!”
However, one day of eating high-purine foods can set you up for days of pain. Although it may be hard, stick to your plan — your joints will thank you when you go do that Black Friday shopping!
It’s possible to still enjoy a typical Thanksgiving dinner. Many of the dishes can be modified to be lower in purines.
For example, select a whole-wheat roll or slice of whole-wheat bread and top it with one teaspoon of butter. Butter should be limited to three teaspoons per day, and wheat bread should be limited to two servings per week, so watching bread intake throughout the week prior to the meal is important.
Make mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes with a small amount of butter and skim milk. Omit the gravy completely, or use a very small portion.
Keep the serving of turkey to six ounces. Fill the rest of the plate with vegetables!
Omit the typical pies and serve angel food cake topped with strawberries or raspberries.
Alcohol increases purine production and isn’t recommended for people with gout. If you can’t get through a Thanksgiving meal without a glass of wine or a beer, limit it to one 12-ounce can of beer or one five-ounce glass of wine.
Provide a Dish or Two
If you have control over some of the food options, make it a low-purine option — then you know it will be something that will be good for you and something you enjoy.
Below are two recipes that are low in purines that can be made for your Thanksgiving dinner.