Gout Hater’s Cookbook: Recipes Lower In Purines And Lower In Fat, by Jodi Schneiter
One of the interesting aspects of this book is that it is not the first book I have read on the subject. As millions of people (including this reviewer) are afflicted with gout, it is little surprise that there are books like this one that seek to encourage people with gout to eat in a way that lowers uric acid levels. In some ways, this book is superior to other reading I have done on the subject, where there are recipes that include pork or shellfish that are not proper to eat, especially for those who struggle with gout (to say nothing of those who would wish to eat in accordance with God’s laws). This book is not as egregious as that other reading, but it must be admitted that there are still some unpleasant interactions in this book, particularly in the sort of foods it tries to avoid and what it tries to promote. The use of margarine for butter in recipes is something that always bothers me, and this book does it a lot. But at any rate, this book at least provides some worthwhile foods that should encourage one to keep the purine levels down, and that is something.
This book is a short one at around 100 pages or so. The book begins with a little bit of comments about the Gout Hater’s Cookbook, as well as a discussion of foods that are lower in purines, relatively high in purines, and highest in purines, which people with gout are advised to avoid (although this book does contain some such foods in small quantities). After that there are some additional notes before the main part of the book begins. The main contents of the book consist of discussions of appetizers and beverages, main dishes, sides and sauces, and desserts. There are actually not nearly as many recipes here as one would expect, which would have made the book better, and whole categories of food are not included, although at least a few of the recipes included do look tasty and that is enough to make the book worthwhile overall. After the main contents of the book there is an index, bibliography, resources, as well as an appendix that discusses legumes and msg as being harmful to those with gout.
One of the aspects of gout that is particularly interesting is the way that it is so closely connected with weight. This book is written with the assumption that helping people lose weight is a great way to help people deal with gout. That makes this book’s advice on losing weight a bit dodgy, and it should be admitted that this book is not necessarily seeking to give a complete set of recipes, only replacements for foods that gouty people might want to eat but would be best served to eat. It should also be noted that most people do not get gout because they eat too many purines in their food, but rather because their body cannot get rid of the purines. This is something that the book acknowledges, but does not do enough to answer, since the assumption is that by reducing purines one can reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood, although the book does address that many people get gout attacks because of dehydration, which is certainly useful advice. Such advice is not quite as common as one would hope, though.