Gout is a painful condition caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, which can lead to inflammation and joint damage. As a result, people with gout are often advised to avoid foods high in purines, which can increase uric acid levels.
Soy products, which contain moderate amounts of purines, have been a topic of controversy when it comes to gout. Some believe that soy should be avoided, while others suggest that it may even have a protective effect.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the relationship between soy and gout, and answer the question: can you eat soy sauce with gout?
Can You Eat Soy Sauce With Gout?
Soy sauce is a popular condiment used in many cuisines, particularly in Asian dishes. It is made from fermented soybeans, wheat, and salt, and has a rich, savory flavor.
When it comes to gout, the concern with soy sauce is its high sodium content. People with gout are often advised to limit their sodium intake, as high levels of sodium can increase blood pressure and lead to fluid retention, which can worsen gout symptoms.
However, in terms of purine content, soy sauce is relatively low. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one tablespoon of soy sauce contains only 1.3 milligrams of purines.
This means that, in moderation, soy sauce is unlikely to trigger a gout attack or worsen symptoms. However, it’s important to keep in mind that soy sauce is often used in dishes that may contain other high-purine ingredients, such as meat or seafood.
If you have gout and are concerned about your sodium intake, you may want to consider using low-sodium soy sauce or reducing the amount of soy sauce you use in your cooking.
Understanding Gout And Purines
Gout is a metabolic disease caused by disordered metabolism of purines. Purines are organic compounds found in many foods, including meat, seafood, and some vegetables. When purines are broken down in the body, they produce uric acid. In people with gout, uric acid accumulates in the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and swelling.
Therefore, it is typically suggested that people with gout must keep their intake of foods high in purines at low levels. High intake of purine-containing foods can raise your uric acid levels and make your gout worse. Organ meat, wild game meats, shellfish, and meat are known to be high in purines and should be avoided to prevent gout attacks.
Soy contains moderate amounts of purines. The purine content in soy is approximately 137 mg/100 g. Soy foods are generally considered to have moderate purine content, at 50–150 mg/100 g. High-protein foods also have high purine content. Soy contains 35–40% protein by dry weight. Because soy proteins contain all essential amino acids, soy products have essentially equivalent protein value to that of animal sources but have less saturated fat and no cholesterol.
However, due to the relationship between protein and purine, soy protein is usually associated with increased serum or plasma uric acid. This has led to the common belief that gout sufferers should avoid eating soy and legume products as they are high in purines.
But a new local study has found that soy products do not increase the risk of gout, and people who already have the condition can eat them. The study found that those who consumed the most soy products were at lower risk of gout than those who ate the least. The finding confirms six other studies done in places like Japan and Taiwan, which show that consuming soy does not increase uric acid in one’s blood.
Scientists have yet to confirm why soy, though high in purine, is not associated with higher uric acid retention. But they suspect that soy may increase uric acid excretion and thus play no role in increasing the risk of gout.
Soy And Purines: What You Need To Know
Soy is a plant-based protein source that is often recommended as a healthy alternative to meat for people with gout. However, soy also contains purines, which can raise uric acid levels and trigger gout attacks.
According to a local study in Singapore, soy products do not increase the risk of gout and can be consumed by people with the condition. The study found that those who consumed the most soy products were at lower risk of gout than those who ate the least.
While soy does contain moderate amounts of purines, it appears to have a different effect on uric acid levels compared to other purine-rich foods like meat and shellfish. Scientists suspect that soy may increase uric acid excretion and play no role in increasing the risk of gout.
However, it’s important to note that consuming large amounts of soy-based products can still increase the risk of gout. Therefore, people with gout should keep their intake of foods high in purines at low levels and consume soy in moderation.
If you have gout and are considering incorporating more soy into your diet, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to determine the appropriate amount for your individual needs.
The Benefits Of Soy For Gout Sufferers
Despite the common belief that soy products increase the risk of gout, recent studies have shown that soy may actually have a protective effect against the condition. Soy isoflavones, found in soy-based products, have been found to reduce serum and plasma uric acid levels. This is good news for gout sufferers, as high levels of uric acid can worsen symptoms.
In fact, a study conducted in Singapore found that those who consumed the most soy products were at a lower risk of gout than those who ate the least. The study involved over 50,000 Chinese individuals and was the first to draw a direct link between gout and soy. Other studies done in places like Japan and Taiwan have also shown that consuming soy does not increase uric acid in one’s blood.
Soy is an optimal choice on a diet designed for gout, as it supplies protein while keeping purine intake low. This is in contrast to animal protein, which delivers protein but also boosts uric acid levels. Tofu, which is made from soybeans, is particularly good for gout sufferers due to its low-purine content. Soy-based foods like soy milk or soy protein shakes can also be safely incorporated into a gout-friendly diet.
One study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry even found that eating soy sauce can lower levels of uric acid in rats. While soy sauce does contain sodium, its purine content is relatively low. Therefore, in moderation, soy sauce is unlikely to trigger a gout attack or worsen symptoms.
Soy Sauce And Gout: Is It Safe To Consume?
Many people with gout are hesitant to consume soy sauce due to its potential impact on uric acid levels. However, research suggests that soy sauce is relatively low in purines and is unlikely to trigger gout attacks or worsen symptoms.
The main concern with soy sauce and gout is its high sodium content. People with gout are often advised to limit their sodium intake, as high levels of sodium can lead to fluid retention and worsen gout symptoms. One tablespoon of soy sauce contains approximately 902 milligrams of sodium, which is about 40% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
Despite its high sodium content, soy sauce is not a significant source of purines. According to the USDA, one tablespoon of soy sauce contains only 1.3 milligrams of purines. This means that, in moderation, soy sauce is safe for people with gout to consume.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that soy sauce is often used in dishes that may contain other high-purine ingredients, such as meat or seafood. If you have gout and are concerned about your sodium intake, you may want to consider using low-sodium soy sauce or reducing the amount of soy sauce you use in your cooking.
Tips For Incorporating Soy Into A Gout-Friendly Diet
If you have gout and are looking to incorporate soy into your diet, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips for incorporating soy into a gout-friendly diet:
1. Choose the right soy products: Soybean curd (tofu), soy milk, and textured vegetable protein are safe to eat for patients with gout. These products did not raise uric acid levels in studies conducted on Chinese postmenopausal women at risk of high blood pressure or diabetes. Tofu is a great option as it is high in protein and low in purines.
2. Be mindful of portion sizes: While soy products are generally safe for people with gout, it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes. Consuming large amounts of any food can increase the risk of gout symptoms. Stick to recommended serving sizes and try not to overdo it.
3. Avoid soy-based products high in purines: While soy itself is low in purines, some soy-based products may contain high levels of purines due to added ingredients. Avoid soy-based products that contain meat or seafood, as these can be high in purines.
4. Try low-sodium soy sauce: If you enjoy using soy sauce in your cooking, consider using a low-sodium version or reducing the amount you use. This can help you keep your sodium intake under control while still enjoying the flavor of soy sauce in your dishes.
5. Experiment with other soy-based foods: Soy nuts, soy protein drinks, soy milk, and edamame are all great options for incorporating soy into your diet. Experiment with different recipes and find what works best for you.
Incorporating soy into a gout-friendly diet can be a great way to add variety and nutrition to your meals. By following these tips and being mindful of portion sizes, you can enjoy the benefits of soy without worsening your gout symptoms.
Other Foods To Avoid With Gout
In addition to high-purine foods, people with gout should also be cautious of foods high in oxalates, which can also increase uric acid levels in the blood. Beets, okra, rhubarb, and turnips are all examples of vegetables that are high in oxalates and should be avoided or limited in a gout-friendly diet.
It’s also important to limit your intake of foods high in sugars, red and organ meats, processed foods, and alcohol. These foods can all contribute to higher levels of uric acid in the body and increase the risk of gout attacks.
On the other hand, low-purine foods like whole grains and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and foods rich in vitamin C can be beneficial for people with gout. Tofu and other soy-based products can also be a good source of protein without increasing purine levels. However, it’s important to monitor your sodium intake if using soy sauce or other soy-based condiments in your cooking.