Do you experience joint pain, inflammation, and swelling? Do you avoid certain foods because you're afraid of triggering an attack?
If you're living with gout, you know how debilitating and restrictive it can be. And soy might be one of the foods you're avoiding. But does soy really increase your risk of gout?
What Makes Up a Soybean?
Soybeans are a type of legume that is native to East Asia. They are part of the Fabaceae family, which includes other plants such as peanuts, lentils, and beans. Soybeans are a key ingredient in many Asian cuisines, and they can be used in a variety of dishes.
Soybeans are high in protein and fibre, and they also contain a range of vitamins and minerals. Soybeans are a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, and zinc. They also contain vitamin B6, folate, vitamin K, and thiamin.
Does Soy Intake Increase Uric Acid Levels?
Soy is a well-known source of protein, but it's also a common ingredient in many processed foods. There is a widespread belief, that gout sufferers should avoid soy and legume products because they are high in purine.
Uric acid is a waste product produced when the body breaks down purines. Purines are found in many foods, including soy. If uric acid levels become too high, it can lead to gout, kidney stones or can even lead to cardiovascular issues.
Contrary to the popular belief, a Singapore study done of over 50,000 Chinese in the country discovered that those who ate the most soy products had a lower risk of gout than those who ate the least.
In another study conducted in Hong Kong, soy consumption did not increase urate levels among Chinese postmenopausal women with prehypertension or prediabetes.
Purine Rating for Your Favorite Soyfoods!
Soy foods are generally listed as having a moderate amount of purines, ranging from 50 to 100 mg/100 g on purine content lists. The recommended daily amount of purine in the context of gout or hyperuricemia (high uric acid level in the blood) should not exceed 400mg/day.
It is to take note that different soy products may exhibit different purine content:
Bean curd lees (Okara)
Green soybean (edamame)
Tofu (Momen, chilled)
Fermented soybean (Natto)
Despite the fact that studies have shown that soy does not significantly increase uric acid levels or gout attack incidences. It is generally recommended that people suffering from gout limit their intake of purine-rich foods.
Thus, it is still recommended to consume soy-based products in moderation.
So, How Much Soy Can I Consume?
The amount of soy you can eat depends on the serving size. A serving of tofu, for example, is about ½ cup. A serving of tempeh is about 1/3 cup. And a serving of soy milk is about 1 cup.
So, if you're eating a diet that consists mostly of soy-based foods, you should aim for 3-4 servings per day. This will help ensure that you're getting all the nutrients your body needs, without overburdening it.
Soy Is Okay for Most Gout Patients
Based on the study, soy does not seem to increase your risk of gout. However, if you are already at risk for gout, it is still advisable to have soy foods in moderation.