Keith’s GoutPal Story 2020 Forums Please Help My Gout! Gout Diet PRAL of General Mills Total ready to eat cereal

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    This discussion about gout and cereal is now closed. Please see my article about Gout & Cereal. If you still have questions, please start a new discussion.


    About a week ago I was diagnosed with gout and researching the condition led me here. My question, as the subject states, is about the PRAL for Total breakfast cereal. Why is it so highly alkaline? Most of the other ready to eat breakfast cereals are listed as acidic with a few being alkaline. This makes me think that it might be in error. Could you possibly review the calculation for Total and verify the numbers?


    BTW: this site has given me some great info. I am glad I found it. Thanks for your work.


    It does look a bit odd. I noticed this, myself.

    Raisins and  certain nuts would affect the alkalinity positively away from acid- but cereals are usually on the acid side in general, one reason why I find the [alkaline] diet tough- as I like them, and home made bread too!

    Additions to grain cereals dont usually go over the top proportion wise- due to price, if nothing else.  Maybe Keith will comment? I don't see the Gen Mills type much in the UK.

    [The name does register ,though]


    First, you must realize that PRAL is only indirectly related to gout, and is way down the list of issues you need to be concerned with. It is only of any value in the context of the severity of your gout including your uric acid level, and the state of your kidneys, and what medication you take.

    Secondly, PRAL is not supposed to be used on individual food items (except to calculate your daily totals). You must list your total food intake and assess that. Both acid and alkaline foods are necessary in a healthy diet. If you have 25-33% acid foods, and the total is alkaline, you are on the right track, but you can only tell if you have achieved your goal by testing the pH of urine (6.5 to 7.5, but 7.5 is only achievable after many months).

    Thirdly, and most importantly, PRAL is not the full story, and you must consider other nutrients. In particular, these cereals are highly fortified. I am particularly concerned with the amount of iron, which is very bad for gout. The cereal section of supermarkets is as big a gout trap as the variety meats (offal) section.

    Finally, to answer your question, protein and phosphorous are the acid producing components of the PRAL calculation, and potassium, magnesium and calcium are alkalizing components. The Total cereal range is loaded with calcium as well as iron and lots of other nutrients. Marketing men will try to persuade you that these added nutrients are good for you – a little research proves that this is not always the case. Highly processed food is NOT the way to eat for gouties – many food additives have a bad effect on gout, so you should try to make food as natural as possible – oatmeal (porridge) is my choice.

    Avoid heavily fortified foods with a host of additives. If an assesment of your diet indicates lack of a specific nutrient, then consider supplementing only the shortages or adjusting your diet.

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