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Recently, a study led by researchers at the Boston University College of Medicine reported that gout — a form of inflammatory arthritis — has risen by 1 percent over the past two decades, affecting about 4 percent of adults in the U.S.
The authors reported that the hike in gout rates is likely due to an increase in obesity and hypertension, as the disease has a strong link to metabolic syndrome.
According to scientists at the Mayo Clinic, eating excessive amounts of meat — especially processed animal protein and seafood — and over-consumption of alcohol are known to cause gout, which occurs when uric acid in the blood crystalizes and settles in the joints.
Luckily, a gout-preventing diet has a lot in common with a heart-healthy diet.
The Mayo Clinic recommends limiting meat and eating more plant-based sources of protein, like soy, beans and legumes. Additionally, individuals should choose whole grains and complex carbohydrates over items like white bread and sweets.
Eating low-fat or fat-free yogurt each day may help reduce the risk of gout. Also, some research has indicated that drinking four to six cups of coffee per day may help prevent the disease in men.