Bologna & Gout

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Sliced bologna on cutting board.
Sliced bologna on cutting board. (Image: razmarinka/iStock/Getty Images)

More than 8 million adults in the United States have gout, reported a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey published in "Arthritis and Rheumatism" in October 2011. A type of inflammatory arthritis that causes uric acid crystals to build up in joints, gout is typically managed with medication and a diet that excludes certain foods, including bologna. Talk to your doctor if you're having trouble controlling your gout symptoms with diet.

Effect of Bologna on Gout

The uric acid that forms the joint crystals characteristic of gout is a by-product of the breakdown of purines, compounds that occur naturally in a wide variety of foods. When your diet includes a large number of high-purine foods, your body's uric acid level rises. This can increase your risk of gout or exacerbate symptoms in people who already have the condition. A low-purine diet can reduce your uric acid level. Bologna is high in purines and is not recommended for people on a low-purine diet.

Purine Content of Bologna

A high-purine food is defined as one that contains 150 to 825 milligrams of purine compounds in every 100 grams. Organ meats, such as the heart, liver, kidney and brains of pigs or cattle, are included in this list of foods. While some types of bologna are made exclusively from choice cuts of beef or pork, the "Journal Times" reported that most commercial brands contain some amount of organ meats in their ingredients. Because of this, bologna is considered a high-purine food.

Recommended Intake

If you've been diagnosed with gout, you need to limit your purine intake to 100 to 150 milligrams per day. To do so, avoid processed meats like bologna. A diet rich in any type of meat product, even if it's not high in purines, will raise your uric acid level and increase your risk of gout symptoms, according to an "Arthritis & Rheumatism" study published in 2005. When you do choose to eat a purine-rich food like bologna, drink a glass of water before and after consumption, because fluids can help remove uric acid from your body.

What to Eat Instead

You can still eat meats like chicken, turkey, fish and lean cuts of beef or pork when you have gout, but you should have no more than 4 to 6 ounces per day. Instead of having bologna on your sandwich, look for low-sodium 100 percent white-meat poultry lunch meat, or cook your own and slice it thinly for an unprocessed substitute. If you can't resist the bologna cravings, look for kosher bologna that doesn't include by-products. Contact the manufacturer to get detailed information about what is used to make the bologna.

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