Food & Drink Magazine

Really?! A Paleo Diet Can Help Manage Gout?!

By Paleo4beginners

Hope you are enjoying the steady stream of Paleo Indian Recipes? My friend, Bert over at has been kind enough to share his ideas on how a Paleo diet can actually help manage Gout if you are smart about it. There is a lot of press out there saying Paleo is bad for gout but a few tips and tricks shared by Bert here can actually help you manage Gout.

Don’t take it from me, take it from the man himself, without further ado, please enjoy…

New To Paleo?

If you are a gout veteran but new to Paleo, you might be surprised, (or relieved!) to know it’s ok to eat meat again!

Very quickly, “paleo” refers to “Paleolithic” and The Paleo Diet is often also called, The Caveman Diet.And what have we always been told about what cavemen ate?That cavemen ate meat. (gasp!) As gout folks, we’ve all been admonished (brainwashed) into believing that meat – especially red meat like beef – is sure to bring on gout.You will be happy to know, nothing could be further from the truth. 

It is true however, that if you’re inner biochemical terrain is weak due to poor diet and lifestyle choices, red meat and almost any type of serious protein may help trigger a gout attack. 

But this is important to know:Cavemen did not ONLY eat meat.In fact, I would venture to guess, (and studies are now starting to talk more about this) that in fact, during the Paleolithic Era, there were plenty of plant materials being consumed as nourishing fuel as well. 

What you didn’t find Paleo Man doing was growing grains and baking bread, or trying to milk cows or goats or oxen or, or….wooly mammoths. 

Plants and animals…that’s what they ate, just like your grandmother and grandfather used to eat. 

Why the Paleo Way of Eating Is So Powerful

A more paleo style way of eating is powerful for several reasons. The first and most obvious explanation is: Eating plants and animals is what our bodies are biologically adapted to best make use of. 

For millions of years, food was food.We were gatherers, and hunters.If you take a commonsense approach to it, and picture yourself out there running around the landscape in prehistoric times, if you couldn’t club a rabbit or a deer, bring it down and start gnawing on it, what did you eat?Plants!Green leaves, roots and tubers, nuts and berries, bark and stems, blossoms and seeds – in some environments, they were plentiful!And tasty!And nutrient dense, full of phytochemicals that the human body needed and made full use of.

But by instinct, you did chase down that rabbit or boar or large hooved animal, and you did start gnawing it; all of it – precious internal organs, muscles, brains…..everything. 

  • Now Let’s Bring This Back to Gout. 

It was probably WAY easier to catch some tasty plants than it was some wily beast.So doesn’t it stand to reason that our paleo ancestors ate a lot more plant material than animal material?We should too.

But do we forego or avoid the power-packed, nutrient dense protein sources of high quality, well-raised animal products?Absolutely not!But because of our susceptibility to gout, we need to be cautious and careful until we improve the function of our tissues, organs, and body systems.

How to Be a Modern Day Gout Free Caveman! 

In regards to gout, what many people are mistaken about in consuming meat and animal products, and The Paleo Diet in general, is that the dietary purines that metabolize into uric acid, are only one portion of those purines and metabolic processes – and the smaller portion at that. 

There are “exogenous” purines – the purines that come from the foods we eat, and “endogenous” purines – the purines that come from the natural turnover of our body’s own cells.Purines are part of the cell structure of every cell of every plant, animal, and…human being.Two-thirds of the purines that we process into uric acid come from endogenous sources.

Dr. Loren Cordain, thought of as the Father of the Paleo Movement, explains very well the real problem of what could easily be called our modern day gout epidemic.

To paraphrase Dr. Cordain:

The root cause of gout can be considered part of metabolic syndrome (high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, large waistline) and insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes). Uric acid levels depend on how much uric acid is entering the bloodstream and how much is leaving the bloodstream.How much uric acid enters the bloodstream depends on how much is being produced by the liver, and how much leaves the bloodstream depends on the kidneys.

Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance reduce the kidneys ability to eliminate uric acid. A high glycemic diet (such as a grain-based diet, especially low quality, highly refined carbohydrates as in the Standard American Diet – SAD) cause the liver to produce excess uric acid.Fructose, and particularly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), enormously exacerbate this condition. 

The Solution:The Paleo Diet

  • Generous amounts of fresh, properly prepared vegetables of all types and colors
  • Some fresh fruits –especially the “dark-meated” ones like strawberries and blueberries, opposed to the “white-meated” ones like pears, bananas, and apples
  • Careful amounts of clean meats and animal products from high quality sources; grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild-caught salmon

The paleo way of approaching your nutrition intake is THE way to successfully overcome gout – the polar opposite of the low quality, high glycemic, Standard American Diet.Avoid the gimmicks and experiments in battling gout – properly prepared, nutrient dense, real whole food, from high quality sources, IS The Ultimate Gout Diet.

About The Author:

Bert Middleton is a former, long-time gout struggler (not sufferer, no victims here!) and a certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant.  Bert maintains a private nutritional therapy practice and has been helping people through the confusing and painful condition of gout for over 7 years. Online, he is known as The Gout Killer, and together with his wife Sharon, they maintain the health & wellness website and practice,  Bert lives in Denver, CO, and when not fervently killing gout, he spends as much time on his skis and mountain bike as possible. 

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