The lean meat that could trigger painful gout attack ‘within hours’

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Certain types of arthritis like gout are triggered by a surplus of uric acids in the joints. Once provoked, the acids coalesce into sharp crystals that can trigger painful flare-ups. Worryingly, your dietary choices could be the fuel for these uncomfortable gout attacks.

Whether you’re a fan of a bacon sarnie or bangers on a fry-up plate, you have probably heard that processed meat doesn’t spell good news for your health.

However, turkey is often considered a healthier alternative due to its lean and protein-packed meat.

Rich in B vitamins and minerals, the bird offers some promising health benefits.

However, it also contains chemical compounds known to cause gout – purines.

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Dr Justine Butler, head of research at Viva!, said: “Uric acid is formed from purines which are found in many foods. 

“[This] acid builds up in the body over time and it may be years before symptoms appear.

“However, a flare-up can be triggered by a particularly lavish meal including high-purine foods such as red meat and poultry. 

“So, the message is do not gobble, gobble, gobble up a huge plate of turkey.”

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While the richest sources of purines are organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, heart and sweetbreads, the lean turkey is also high in these chemicals.

The expert explained that people with gout should generally strive to “avoid foods that have a high purine content”.

Worryingly, Dr Butler also shared that turkey shouldn’t be considered “safer” than red meat for patients with gout.

She said: “In an experiment looking at how people with gout reacted to a big meaty meal, researchers were able to trigger gout attacks in six out of the seven patients with just single meals.

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“This suggests a big turkey dinner could trigger a flare-up in someone with gout within hours.”

The good news is that there’s plenty of healthy, plant-based foods that don’t pose a risk to your gout.

The expert added: “Although some foods found in a plant-based diet, such as mushrooms, mycoprotein (Quorn), asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, lentils and soya beans, are rich in purines, evidence shows that they are less likely to lead to gout than meat or fish. 

“It may be that the fibre, folate and vitamin C found in fruit and vegetables, for example, protects against uric acid build-up.”

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