Gout is a very painful inflammatory arthritis, caused by uric acid crystals forming in the joint. This happens when there is too much uric acid in the blood, and it can enter into the joint. Then the joint becomes swollen, red, and excruciatingly painful. Often the big toe is affected.
More Americans are now experiencing this painful condition than previously, and it is likely that the large amounts of extra sugar added to our diets from sodas and processed foods helps to explain this increase.
Gout sufferers are advised to cut back on alcohol. Interestingly, sugar affects our bodies in similar toxic ways to alcohol. Uric acid is a by-product of sugar metabolism. People who consume more sugar have higher levels of uric acid in their blood.
To lower your risk for getting gout, (and if you are a current sufferer) consider reducing your added sugar intake. A good way to start is to stop drinking sodas or fruit juices. If you like orange juice, keep a jug of water in your fridge with a couple of slices of fresh orange added to it. You will have a delicious orangey drink without added sugar. Or eat a fresh orange and drink a glass of water.
On average we each eat 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. We don’t need any added sugar in our diets, and American Heart Association recommends less than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Start reading labels when you buy processed or pre-made foods. Manufacturers of food add sugars to all sorts of unlikely things like mayonnaise and tomato sauce, you will be amazed how many places you find it once you start to look out for it.