If you have gout, what can you NOT partake of the Holiday feast?
I asked a doctor-friend and his sense of humor is sick. “Definitely no beer or red wine, because of the alcohol. Especially beer. No ham because of high salt content. The redder the meat the more uric acid there is, so it’s wise to stay off beef. Chicken is okay, but if you’re dipping it in gravy, no. You say your family has menudo as a matter of tradition? If it has liver in it you can’t have it. Anything with high fructose or sugar content is out—so no cakes, no leche flan. No fruit salad because of the sweetened cream. Soft drinks are out.”
“So what else is left?!,” I protested.
“Water na lang in the end,” said my doctor-friend, who is no friend at all. Lucky for me I don’t have gout—yet. I would never want it for myself, but looking at the checklist my doctor-friend gave me of food I should avoid, I might as well have signed up years ago. Everything I love to eat (except liver) is on it: go easy on beef and pork, fruit juices, salt and sugar, gravy and sauces. Avoid alcohol, laman-loob, liver, shellfish like shrimps and crabs, dilis, bagoong, food with high fructose corn syrup found in sweet food.
Why am I being such a killjoy? Because that is exactly what gout is—the ultimate killjoy—and we know you’re getting ready to eat your way through all the parties this season and we think it’s our responsibility to tell you to go easy (Got Gout?, p.58) or else risk getting it, especially if you’re not yet aware that your uric acid levels are high. We talked to two guys who have it, and they told us in no uncertain terms that gout is painful. Gout is also a chronic disease, meaning if you get it, you will have it for a long time, if not for life. We hope this feature gets you to shape up next year.
But you say you’re healthy and young, gout is still out. That’s what some of my now gout-ridden friends thought so, too. One is a triathlete who still drinks beer to his heart’s content; the other, one of my best friends since grade school who was once a beast on the b-ball court, but who recently had to take two weeks off work because he couldn’t walk. Granted, they’re already in their 40s, but they were once in their 20s like many of you.
Having said all these, enjoy your noche buena and media noche!
(With whatever damn good thing is left for you to eat...)