Avocados for gout. Avocados are heart healthy, but how good are they for gout?


This page about avocados for gout was last reviewed or updated on 27 July 2015

Avocados are known in some countries as an avocado pear and indeed most types are shaped liked a pear. Like pears, but unlike money, they grow on trees.  The three main varieties are Mexican, Guatemalan, and West Indian, names which also describe their places of origin but their real origins are also in South America. And there are hybrid (mixed) origin types. If you have bought avocados in just one country you probably won’t know the other types.  

Their names do not mean they only grow in these areas – somewhat like cheddar cheese, which is made everywhere but whose real origin is in England. In the U.S. they grow mainly in California, also Florida. The Hass avocado, popular in the U.S., is the Guatemalan type.

Do avocados cause gout? A few people wonder but fruit and vegetables are very unlikely gout causes because most are low purine. Avocados are low purine too – just 19 mg of created uric acid from 100 grams. Unless there is an as yet unknown cause of gout triggered by one of avocado’s nutrients, it is not the case that avocados are bad for gout. However, they do not lower uric acid directly so they are not brilliant gout food, just reliably healthy and heart healthy.

You usually don’t find much fat in fruit but the avocado is different. Like olives, they contain a chunk of the monounsaturated fat which makes them heart healthy (the Hass has the most) and very suitable for low carb diets because they are low carb. Up to 30% is fat, of which nearly 10 grams/100 grams is the heart healthy monounsaturated fat. In studies, avocados have lowered both total and LDL cholesterol. LDL is the type that needs to be lowered.

Since people with high blood uric acid are prone to heart diseases any food which can lower LDL cholesterol is de rigueur for those who are serious about using diet to fight heart diseaseBut the health benefits of avocado for gout patients don’t stop there.

WHY ELSE EAT AVOCADOS FOR GOUT?

Because they are low carb, (that includes low in sugar), they are not going to help cause gout through the insulin resistance route. If you replace carbs with fats in your diet you’d burn ketones and lose weight. The avocado is a perfect fruit for this strategy – high in monounsaturated fats, low in carbs. Because they are low in sugar they are low in fructose. There is much evidence that fructose is a direct gout cause. i.e. it raises uric acid which leads to gout. But for a calories controlled diet they are not so hot because their fat makes them high energy.

                                                                                                                                                       Split Hass avocado

Research has found that avocados are helpful in regulating your blood sugar,

Flavonoids in foods are gout positive but avocados have just three flavonoids listed in in the USDA database. (1) Here are the numbers for avocados, raw, all commercial  varieties 100 grams – cyanidin 0.33 mg,  epicatechin 0.37 mg, epigallocatechin 3-gallate 0.15 mg. These are not significant amounts but both cyanidin and epigallocatechin 3-gallate have lowered uric acid in test tubes, and the cyanidin in cherries may be one reason why cherries have lowered blood uric acid. But other flavonoids which have lowered uric acid in studies e.g. quercetin, apigenin and luteolin, are absent.

Eating tip More of its nutrients are found in the greener avocado body next to the skin.

AVOCADO’S NUTRITION

Low carbohydrate Avocados have 8.53 grams of carbs per 100 grams. But net carbs (the real number) is 1.83 mg because there's 6.7 grams of fibre (fiber) per 100 grams and you deduct the fibre (fiber) to get the effective carbs amount. 1.83 is another good score.

Calories 160 kcal (calories) per 100 grams. It’s the fat that’s the reason and this is high for a fruit. Bags-full of energy but if you are doing a low calorie diet that could be 1/10th of your daily calories’ limit from just one avocado.

Glycemic Index/Glycemic Load (GI-GL)  GI is probably low/medium  because the  Glycemic Index (GI) website shows that two dishes with avocados are low/medium. And an estimated Glycemic Load (GL) of 3 at nutritiondata.self.com is low. That’s good for low carb dieters, people with high blood sugar, diabetics. What does GI-GL mean?  Visit our Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load page

Acid-Alkaline(pH) Avocados  an alkaline-effect food. That’s good for gout.

Fibre (fiber)  6.7 grams of fibre (fiber) per 100 grams is a useful amount. See above in carbohydrates.

OTHER AVOCADO NUTRIENTS

According to the USDA National Nutrient database (2) the numbers below are the amounts of vitamins, fats and minerals in avocados raw 100 grams, all commercial varieties. The figures are an average based on California 86% and Florida 14%.

Vitamin C 10 mg

Calcium 12 mg.

Iron 0.55 mg.

Magnesium 29 mg.

Potassium 485 mg.

Zinc 0.64 mg.

Folate (the precursor of folic acid) 81 mcg

Vitamin A 146 IU.

Vitamin K 21 mcg.

Vitamin B6 0.257 mg.

Vitamin E 2.07 IU.

FATShere are the high fat numbers described above.

Monounsaturated fat  9.799 grams

Polyunsaturated fats  1.816 grams

Saturated fat               2.126 grams

In the polyunsaturated fats amount here, the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is 1:10. i.e. much more omega -6. That is not favourable (favorable) . A favourable ratio would be 3:1 Dedicated nutrition enthusiasts would compensate by for example, taking fish oil or eating fish. 

AVOCADOS FOR GOUT SUMMARY

If you have gout you eat avocados because of cardiovascular risk factors. Additionally, they are an all-round healthy food gout sufferers should eat. They are a natural for a low carb diet to lose weight and therefore lower uric acid.

References

(1)  USDA (United States Dept. of Agriculture) Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods.2014.

(2)  USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference 2011.


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Olives also contain much monounsaturated fat. How good are they for gout ?

Coriander (cilantro) lowered uric acid quite significantly in a study. Read about it here.

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