Does chocolate aggravate gout? This is a question every chocolate lover will have who’ve had gout in the past as they prefer to keep the disease to its bay.
Chocolate is made from cacao, rich in nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, fatty acids, etc. It has several health benefits, including improved heart and brain function, better blood flow, etc. All these factors make you wonder whether it is the right choice for people with gout. Unfortunately, it is a matter of more than a simple yes or no.
The effect of chocolate on gout is more about what is added to the chocolate than the chocolate itself. The right kind of chocolate can prevent gout and knock down the inflammation of active gout. Usually, chocolate in candy bar form is not a good choice if you have gout.
When we say that the right kind of chocolate can help heal gout, we don’t mean that you leave all medication and load bar after bar of chocolate. Especially if you have milk chocolate, it will only aggravate your gout.
Hundreds of people with gout are severely concerned about their chocolate consumption since chocolate and gout have a weird relationship. We consulted the best medical experts on the matter. This guide will help you understand how, when, and what type of chocolate you can have if you have gout.
Gout - A Brief Introduction
Several factors can trigger and aggravate gout. Alcohol, purine high foods, and certain medical conditions are the most common reasons, but it varies from individual to individual. As chocolate falls in the food category, it might race your heart a bit if you love chocolate and consume it daily. However, you must consider whether you should keep away from chocolate. If it contains purine, it will probably have a high impact on gout, and you will see a considerable change soon after leaving it.
Below, we mention a list of foods that do not consume purine so you can continue consuming them without a doubt hanging over your head.
- Ice Cream
- White Bread
- Carbonated Beverages
- and Chocolate!
As you can see above, chocolate is one of the foods that does not contain purine, and you can have it guilt-free. Isn’t this great news for chocolate enthusiasts? However, you still need to explore more as there are different types of chocolate with varying ingredients, and you can’t just have any of them.
Can I Eat a Standard Chocolate Bar?
While milk chocolate is the most popular kind of chocolate bar, these are the most dangerous for gout. Experts highly recommend reducing the amount of daily sugar intake if you have gout. While the amount of sugar in a chocolate bar depends on its brand, size, and type, an average-sized milk chocolate bar can contain up to eight teaspoons of sugar.
However, the sugar restriction not only limits the standard type of sugar but also applies to all other sweeteners found in chocolate, including high-fructose corn syrup. According to research from 2013, sucrose found in chocolate also affects gout. In a candy bar, milk chocolate is the most harmful as it contains high amounts of sugar, and a person would typically eat a whole candy bar at once. Other forms of chocolate, such as truffles, contain comparatively less sugar due to their smaller size.
What About Other Types of Chocolate?
Chocolate is made from cacao which is highly bitter in its original form. It has several health benefits, but manufacturers add loads of sugar to make it edible. You might be aware of the several benefits of dark chocolate due to its high cacao content, such as better blood flow, improved heart and cognitive system, and antioxidant properties. Due to its health benefits, dark chocolate is the best kind of chocolate to have to heal and keep gout at its bay.
However, this does not mean you can have bar after bar of dark chocolate. It still contains a moderate amount of sugar, and you will increase your sugar intake if you consume more chocolate.
White chocolate is an absolute no-go if you have gout. It is the only type of chocolate that does not have cocoa, so it is often regarded as not real chocolate. White chocolate is made primarily from cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids. With no benefits of cacao and huge amounts of sugar, white chocolate will inevitably aggravate gout.
Health Properties Associated with Gout
These qualities of cacao are directly associated with health benefits in healing and preventing gout.
A Potent Source of Antioxidants
High blood pressure is a potential factor contributing to gout. Cacao contains the highest amounts of antioxidants in all foods, known to lower blood pressure and help gout. Moreover, antioxidants have some evidence of improving kidney function. Better functioning kidneys eliminate uric acid better, keeping it from affecting gout.
Chocolate as a COX-2 Inhibitor for Gout
The COX-2 enzymes in your immune system produce and spread free radicals in your body that can cause joint pain and crystallization - a common sign of gout. Fortunately, cacao is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids that inhibit the COX-2 in your body and block them, forming a similar anti-inflammatory action induced by anti-inflammatory prescription medicines.
Chocolate Reduces CRP Levels
Chocolate rich in bioflavonoids is highly anti-inflammatory, helping in reducing the CRP levels. CRP (C-reactive protein) is a marker in the blood that indicates the inflammation levels in the body. A high CRP level means that the body has some kind of inflammation, whether the symptoms are tangible. According to a study, dark chocolate contains the most flavonoid-enriched cocoa, resulting in lower CRP levels.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore