Is Dark Chocolate Bad For Gout?
Chocolate is a brown sweet food prepared from roasted and ground Theobroma cacao seeds. It contains carbohydrates, fats, vegetable proteins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron in trace amounts.
Chocolate can be beneficial for those who suffer from gout. But it’s important to choose a type that doesn’t contain added sugar and sweeteners.
HCFS ( High Fructose Corn Syrup ) should be avoided if you are worried about suffering an attack. If you suffer from gout but still want to eat chocolate, you should focus on finding pure, unsweetened chocolate with as little sugar as possible.
The antioxidant qualities of dark chocolate also improves the functioning and health of the kidneys which are essential in eliminating uric acid and preventing gout attacks.
Cocoa is the powder left over after the natural, healthy fat (cocoa butter) from the cacao beans has been removed.
Sadly, this very healthy cocoa butter is usually sold off to the cosmetics industry, and other completely unhealthy fats are put back in to make chocolate.
Antioxidants are a group of plant compounds that have the ability to neutralize free radicals, or oxidative species. These include the flavonoids found in chocolate and green tea, as well as vitamin C and beta-carotene.
The antioxidants in dark chocolate are primarily polyphenols, which are associated with a variety of health benefits. These include lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and improving kidney function.
Another type of antioxidant in dark chocolate, epicatechins, may help reduce uric acid crystallization, which is a risk factor for gout. In addition, these antioxidants increase the activity of proteins that protect your cells from oxidative damage.
These antioxidants are also good for your skin, as they may protect it from UV rays. They also increase the elasticity of your skin, which makes it less likely to crack or break.
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that can cause flare-ups. High uric acid levels in the blood form sharp crystals that settle in your joints and cause pain and swelling. A low purine diet can help reduce gout and prevent new crystals from forming.
Certain foods, like red meat, sugar and some seafood, contain a chemical called purines that your body converts into uric acid. Eating a lot of these foods can make your gout worse, so it’s best to avoid them.
Alcohol, especially beer, can also worsen gout symptoms. It blocks your kidneys from eliminating uric acid, so it builds up in your body.
Fructose-sweetened drinks and sweets also increase the risk of gout, so you should avoid them as much as possible. Instead, drink water with lemon and lime slices or unsweetened seltzer.
Low in Sugar
You probably already know that eating a lot of sugar can make your gout flare-ups worse. That’s why most prevention recommendations call for limiting the intake of sweeteners like fructose, sucrose, and high-fructose corn syrup.
The good news is that dark chocolate isn’t a bad addition to your diet as long as you don’t go overboard. A small bar or two a week is enough to satisfy your cravings and increase the amount of potent antioxidants in your diet, which will help improve your gout symptoms.
What’s more, the flavonoids in dark chocolate help reduce insulin resistance and improve how your body metabolizes glucose. This is important for reducing your risk of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
High in Cacao
Chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and minerals that are beneficial for your health. Dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids, a group of plant chemicals that help prevent oxidative stress and may reduce cancer risk.
However, it’s important to choose chocolate with a low sugar content. Most commercial chocolates contain added sugar, which can be harmful for people with gout.
Cacao is an excellent source of flavonoids (catechins, proanthocyanidins, epicatechins and Flanvan-3-ols). These antioxidants are effective in lowering uric acid crystallization.
This is important for people with gout, as it can help lower blood pressure and prevent inflammation. It also improves the functioning of your kidneys, which are essential in eliminating uric acid.
Chocolate is also a mood-lifter and can improve your mental well-being. In fact, some studies show that the flavonoids in dark chocolate can stimulate neural activity in areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
Does Eating Chocolate Help With Your Gout?
Around 1500 AD a Spanish soldier who was able to assist the conquering of Mexico who witnessed the Emperor Montezuma II said he drank only chocolate served with a golden goblet. Does this sound delicious? It was the first time cocoa was introduced to European people in the mid-17 century and became quite the popular drink by then : the remainder, as we’ve said. Cocoa comes from Theobroma cacao tree native to North America. It grows the fruit and contains around 200-350 bean.
Dark chocolate is rich in cocoa polyphenols which help your body. Numerous foods contain many good polyphenols. An analysis of dark chocolate polyphenols found that their anti-inflammatory properties can reduce symptoms of gout. Scientists have also shown that chocolate can improve cardiovascular health and nervous systems. But like most chocolates dark chocolate contains high amounts of sugars too. It is advisable either to eat the chocolate with moderate amounts of cacao and low added sugar.
So how does cacao benefit gout?
Rather simply cocoa contains flavonoid antioxidant compounds that fight gout symptoms by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and as these antioxidants improve blood circulation, they may also help reduce blood sugar levels that are absorbed. Raw cacao can be a good alternative to gout by inhibiting joint inflammation and preventing inflammation.
Chocolate made with cacao has been regarded as one the best gout nutrients you can eat because of the high amount of flavonoids.
White chocolate is derived from cocoa bean butter. The manufacture makes white chocolate using condensed milk or powdered milk and the sugar content can be 55% or less. Because its high levels of calories and fat makes it more nutritious to eat. High sugar foods may cause gout. The enlarged abdomen and the abdominal wall also have positive effects. If people gain weight mainly around their abdomens, they might want snacks that contain less fat than normal calories or fat. White chocolate contains no cocoa solid that creates flavors like Milk chocolate and Dark chocolate.
Cacao can improve immune health
Cocoa has proven beneficial to the body’s immunity. Second, flavonoids in cocoa can help reduce inflammation. Your immunity system will therefore be more sensitive to threats.
How Chocolate Helps Gouty Arthritis
The word “arthritis” is a Greek term for joint or inflammation. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, all for different reasons, and the most common one is “gouty arthritis”. Chocolate has two advantages when used to treat gout flares after their occurrence as well as for preventing future gout.
Baking chocolate and pure cocoa powder were confirmed to have the highest concentrations and chocolate syrup as having the least.
Chocolate as a COX-2 Inhibitor for Gout
This study was carried out on cacao flavonoids and found to reduce inflammation and reduce platelet activation and blood vessel cell expression. The flavonoids in chocolate can reduce inflammation as follows: Flavonoids or phytoflavonoids (the old name is “the antioxidant”). There are three color variations: deep red and violet, mauve red and blue and red.
Why are chocolate and gout related? According to a study published in the journal Nature, antioxidants found in chocolate may help to protect one’s health. Furthermore, chocolate raises uric acid levels in the body, increasing the risk of gout.
The Science behind the Cacao bean
Several studies conducted at Harvard Medical School in 2007 have looked into cocoa consumption and Flavonols’ effects. Cocoa and Chocolate are mainly rich in antioxidants and flavonoid that improve the cardiovascular system and may help limit stroke. The abundance of theobromines in cocoa is known to decrease urine formation.
Cacao can help regulate blood sugar
Generally speaking, gout causes low glucose levels. Cacao helps to reduce blood sugar because it contains antioxidant compounds that reduce blood sugar. Increases blood glucose levels in the blood.
Cacao can help reduce cancer risk
Since cacao is a high antioxidant it helps fight off cancer cells from spreading. These are called epicatechin and catechin antioxidant compounds. A study of animals shows that consuming cocoa helps prevent cancer cells from spreading among rats. Furthermore, this drug may be beneficial for preventing lung or prostate cancer. In human studies cacao was shown to be a risk factor for certain cancers.
Cacao nibs and unsweetened cocoa powder contain zero sugar and can act as a tasty treat without having the risk of a flareup.
What Dark Chocolate is Best?
Dark chocolate is a treat that’s high in antioxidants and has a lot of health benefits. The best way to get the most out of it is to choose a quality brand and eat in moderation.
The highest quality dark chocolate is made with 70% or more cocoa solids, which yields the most antioxidants and heart-healthy flavonoids. Also look for products that are free from added sugar and alkali processing, or Dutching.
What is Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate is a type of chocolate made by adding fat and sugar to cocoa. It differs from milk chocolate in that it contains little to no milk solids.
It’s important to choose a high-quality dark chocolate that is made without unnecessary ingredients. Check the ingredients list to make sure it doesn’t contain trans fats.
The best dark chocolate should have a 70% or higher cocoa percentage. This will ensure you’re getting the most of your nutrition and health benefits.
Besides being rich in antioxidants, dark chocolate can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce your risk for diabetes. It also may help lower your blood pressure and increase your nitric oxide levels.
It may also boost your immune system and promote healthy skin. Flavanols, a type of polyphenol found in cocoa, can protect your skin from UV damage. They can also improve blood flow to the skin, increase hydration and improve your complexion.
Choosing the Right Dark Chocolate
The best dark chocolate is the one with the highest percentage of cocoa, a quality ingredient list and a good source of antioxidants. It also shouldn’t contain a lot of extra ingredients like vegetable oil, butter oil, artificial sweeteners or milk substitutes.
It’s a good idea to look for chocolate made with fair-trade and organic ingredients. This is because these types of chocolates are usually produced in countries that have sustainable farming practices and fair trade business models.
Some people also find that eating dark chocolate makes them feel happier. It’s believed that chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is released in the brain during moments of emotional euphoria.
Choosing the right dark chocolate is a lot like buying a fine wine or coffee. The ingredients, sourcing and process are all important to the final product’s taste.
Getting the Most Out of Dark Chocolate
Many people have a difficult time accepting the bitter taste of dark chocolate, but it is possible to make it more palatable. This is done by changing the percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter in the mix.
You can also use sweeteners to increase the sweetness of your dark chocolate mixture. However, it is important to choose the right kind of sweetener for this task.
To avoid adding sugar to your chocolate, look for a natural sweetener that does not contain fructose or glucose. Examples of popular natural sweeteners include maple syrup, honey and agave nectar.
Another way to get the most out of your chocolate is to pair it with a variety of foods and drinks. Some pairings include chili pepper, fruit, wine and cheese.
Keeping Dark Chocolate Healthy
In moderation, dark chocolate is an enjoyable treat that can add healthy antioxidants and nutrients to your diet. But it also contains calories and saturated fat, so you should watch your portion size.
The key to keeping dark chocolate healthy is to choose quality brands. Look for one that has a higher cocoa content and less added sugar and fat.
It’s also important to read the nutrition label and choose chocolate that has been minimally processed. This means it won’t have been “dutched” or processed with alkali.
Research shows that eating cocoa beans, which are the main ingredient in chocolate, can lower blood pressure and improve heart health. It can help increase your body’s production of nitric oxide, which causes your blood vessels to relax and reduces inflammation.
It also contains phenylethylamine, which helps you feel relaxed and happier. Plus, it contains anandamide, a fatty acid neurotransmitter that improves mood and increases energy.
What Snacks Are Bad For Gout?
If you have gout, there are some foods that should be avoided. These can cause a flare-up of your symptoms and may worsen the condition.
Processed foods contain flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate or MSG that metabolize into purines and increase uric acid levels in the body. These can lead to painful gout flares.
A diet that’s low in purines (the food groups most commonly associated with gout flare-ups) can help prevent and manage gout. In addition to avoiding meat, many studies have found that eating a healthy amount of vegetables can also help keep uric acid levels down.
Meat can be part of a healthy, balanced diet if it’s cooked thoroughly and eaten in moderation. However, it’s important to remember that all meat contains purines and that some types of meat are more prone to triggering gout flare-ups than others.
Processed meats, such as salami and other sausages, are a particularly bad choice for gout sufferers because they’re higher in purines than fresh, uncured meats. To avoid the negative impact of cured meats, consider cooking your own meat and limiting your consumption to about 4-6 ounces of leaner beef, pork or lamb per week.
Alcohol isn’t a good thing for most people, but it can be especially problematic if you have gout. A single serving of beer, wine or liquor isn’t linked to recurrent gout attacks, but drinking more than one drink in a 24-hour period increases your risk by 36%, according to a 2014 study.
Alcohol also prevents the kidneys from removing uric acid, which can exacerbate your gout symptoms. If you have gout, it’s a good idea to stay away from all types of alcohol — except for white wine.
If you do enjoy alcohol, it’s a good idea to limit your intake to moderate amounts. You can also lower your risk by avoiding foods that are high in purines. These include organ meats, such as liver, sweetbreads and kidneys, as well as certain seafood like sardines, herring and scallops.
3. Sugary Drinks
Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the bloodstream. It’s a chronic condition that affects men and women.
Traditionally, the dietary advice for gout has focused on avoiding foods high in purines. These are found in rich food, meat and beer, as well as alcohol.
But new research suggests that drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit juices may be a gout risk trigger too.
Among the more than 46,000 men in this study, those who drank two or more sugar sweetened soft drinks a day had an 85 percent higher risk of developing gout. However, diet soft drinks did not increase the risk.
If you have gout, you’ll be well aware that it’s best to avoid foods that raise your uric acid levels in the blood. You’ll want to focus on consuming a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
Eating a high-fiber breakfast may help lower uric acid levels, research suggests. It may also help you lose weight, which can reduce the number of gout flare-ups.
Bread can increase uric acid levels if it contains too much purine. You’ll want to choose whole grain bread that is not processed with added sugars.
Nuts are good sources of protein, and they contain healthy fats that help reduce uric acid levels in your blood. They also lower inflammation, which is a common trigger of painful gout flare-ups.
However, there are certain types of nuts that may cause an allergic reaction in some people. If you suspect that you have a nut allergy, check with your doctor for testing options.
Other foods to avoid with gout include organ and glandular meats (liver, kidney and sweetbreads), red meat and alcohol. Choosing a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables and low-purine foods can also help to manage gout.
10 Foods That Trigger Gout
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes swollen and painful joints. It occurs when the body has too much uric acid in its bloodstream.
Keeping uric acid levels low can help reduce gout flares and prevent future attacks. Changing your diet can be one of the best ways to do this.
1. Red Meat
Red meat, such as beef, lamb pork and venison, is high in purines. These substances break down to uric acid in your body, raising your risk of gout.
Avoid consuming large servings of red meat and other meat products. Instead, eat small amounts of meat a few times per week.
2. Organ Meat
While many organ meats are incredibly tasty and high in nutrients, they also carry some risks. In particular, they are often higher in purines than muscle meats, which can overload your system with uric acid.
But it’s worth trying to incorporate more organ meat into your diet. The liver is the most nutrient-dense of all offal, and it’s a great source of iron, vitamin A, folate, B12 and niacin.
Seafood includes fin and ground fish (haddock, plaice, cod), gastropods (periwinkles, sea-snails), crustacean shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp) and bivalve molluscan shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels).
Fish and shellfish are good sources of protein and nutrients. But they also contain high amounts of purines, which your body breaks down into uric acid.
Alcohol can increase your risk of developing gout by preventing your kidneys from excreting uric acid. Instead, it pulls it back into your body, where it can form crystals that cause painful gout attacks.
People who have a history of gout should talk with their doctor about the best way to control it. They may need to avoid certain foods, limit their alcohol intake and take medication that helps regulate uric acid levels.
5. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages are one of the biggest sources of added sugar in the diet, contributing a significant proportion of the calories adults consume daily. They have been linked to weight gain and a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Drinking a lot of sweetened beverages also increases the risk of gout. So, limit your intake to less than a serving a day of soda, fruit juice and other sugary drinks.
6. Processed Foods
Uric acid is the byproduct of digesting foods that contain chemical substances called purines. High levels of uric acid can build up and lead to gout attacks.
Meat and meat products are rich in purines. Reduce your intake of red meats (beef, lamb and venison), as well as organ meats such as liver and kidney.
Legumes, including beans, peas and lentils, are a great source of plant protein. They also contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals that can reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
They also help control your weight, as legumes are low in calories and offer a satiating source of protein. Plus, they have a lower glycemic index than other carb sources.
Soy is high in purines, but it does not seem to increase the risk of gout. This goes against the common belief that people who have gout should avoid soy products.
If you do decide to eat soy, make sure it is minimally processed and low in saturated fat and salt. The more processed soy is, the higher the chance it contains added sugars and fats and other unnecessary additives and fillers.
Gout is a painful condition that can affect many joints throughout the body. Painful flares can disrupt your sleep, cause anxiety and increase stress.
Eating a low-sodium diet and including fruits, vegetables and nuts in your diet can help lower your uric acid levels. These foods also provide a healthy dose of antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation and swelling in the joints.
Coffee is a popular beverage, but some people with gout find it can trigger an attack. Drinking too much caffeine can cause uric acid to build up in the blood, so it’s important to limit your intake.
Alcohol is also known to increase uric acid levels. It may be best to avoid alcoholic beverages altogether.
What Sweets Are Bad For Gout?
While you should be eating a variety of foods to keep your body healthy, some types of sweets can actually trigger a gout flare. This is especially true when a food contains high-fructose corn syrup.
Luckily, there are plenty of other healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without making your gout worse. Read on to learn what sweets you should avoid and what’s OK for a gout-friendly diet.
Chocolate is a delicious treat, but you should be aware that it isn’t a good choice for gout sufferers. It is high in fat and sugar, and can lead to weight gain. It also raises your uric acid levels, which can aggravate the condition.
The best way to reduce your risk of gout is to cut out the foods that are high in purines, which can increase your uric acid levels. Red meat, including beef and lamb, organ meats, such as liver and kidneys, and certain seafood (such as shellfish, scallops, mussels, herring, sardines and mackerel) are all high in purines.
You should also avoid alcohol as it prevents your kidneys from flushing uric acid out of your body, which can make gout worse. It’s important to stay well hydrated, so try and replace your regular soft drinks with sparkling mineral water rather than fruit juice or soda.
Generally, milk chocolate is considered to be a bad sweet for people who suffer from gout. It contains too much sugar and can aggravate the condition.
In contrast, dark chocolate is considered to be a healthy food. It’s rich in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
It also has great anti-inflammatory properties which help interrupt the inflammatory response cycle during an active gout attack.
It also helps maintain kidney function and flushes out purines from the body, preventing a build-up of uric acid. It also has antioxidants, including catechins, proanthocyanidins and epicatechins that have a powerful antioxidant effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a common sweetener in many foods and beverages. It’s made by breaking down corn starch into glucose, then adding enzymes that change half the glucose molecules into fructose.
This man-made sweetener has been linked to gout. Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruit and honey, but it’s different from glucose in that it breaks down differently in the body.
When you eat high-fructose corn syrup, your body quickly breaks down the fructose into chemical compounds called purines. These chemicals are then broken down further to form uric acid, the substance that can cause gout.
As a result, people who consume HFCS-sweetened sodas have a higher risk for gout than those who don’t. They also have a higher risk for developing hyperuricemia, a condition that causes excessive uric acid in the bloodstream.
High-sugar diets can cause weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. They also raise blood uric acid levels, which is a major risk factor for gout.
Uric acid builds up in the joints, leading to painful crystal formation. The best way to lower your uric acid level is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that limits the amount of purines you eat and eliminates certain foods from your diet.
Avoid foods high in purines, including organ meats, such as liver, kidneys and sweetbreads. Red meats, particularly beef and lamb, and leaner poultry such as turkey should also be restricted.
Fruits and vegetables should be eaten in moderation as well. Fruits with low to moderate fructose contents, such as pears, apples, plums and peaches, should be preferred.