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Gout Diet: Which Foods Are Safe to Consume and Which Should Be Avoided

by Huimin Herb 26 Apr 2024 0 Comments

Gout Diet: Understanding Which Foods to Include and Which to Avoid

From the employees of MiracleCare International Medical.

Gout is a painful form of arthritis that occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood cause crystals to form and accumulate in and around joints.

When the body breaks down a chemical substance called purines, uric acid is produced. Purines occur naturally in your body and are also found in certain foods. Uric acid is eliminated from the body through urine.

A gout diet can help lower uric acid levels in the blood. The gout diet is not a treatment method itself. However, it can reduce the risk of recurrent gout attacks and slow the progression of joint damage.

Gout patients who follow a gout diet usually still need medication to control pain and reduce uric acid levels.

The Goals of a Gout Diet:

1. Achieve a healthy weight and establish good dietary habits.
2. Avoiding some (but not all) foods high in purines.
3. Incorporating foods that can help control uric acid levels.

A good rule of thumb is to consume moderate amounts of healthy foods.


Dietary Details:

The general principles of a gout diet follow typical healthy eating recommendations:

1. Weight Loss: Shedding excess weight reduces the risk of developing gout, while weight loss decreases the risk of gout. Research suggests that reducing calorie intake and losing weight (even without restricting purine-rich foods) can lower uric acid levels and reduce the frequency of gout attacks. Weight loss also reduces overall pressure on the joints.

2. Complex Carbohydrates: Consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which provide complex carbohydrates. Avoid foods and beverages containing high-fructose corn syrup and limit the intake of naturally sweet fruit juices.

3. Water: Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated.

4. Fat: Reduce saturated fats found in red meat, fatty poultry, and high-fat dairy products.

5. Protein: Obtain protein primarily from lean meats and poultry, low-fat dairy products, and legumes.


Recommendations for Specific Foods or Supplements:

1. Organ Meats and Glands: Avoid consuming meats such as liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads, as they are high in purines and can lead to elevated levels of uric acid in the blood.

2. Red Meat: Limit the consumption of beef, lamb, and pork.

3. Seafood: Some types of seafood, such as anchovies, shellfish, sardines, and tuna, contain higher purine levels than others. However, the overall health benefits of eating fish may outweigh the risks for individuals with gout. Moderate amounts of fish can be included as part of a gout diet.

4. High-Purine Vegetables: Research suggests that vegetables high in purines, such as asparagus and spinach, do not increase the risk of gout or gout recurrence.

5. Alcohol: Beer and distilled spirits increase the risk of gout and recurrent gout attacks. Moderate alcohol consumption appears not to increase the risk of gout attacks. Avoid alcohol during gout attacks and limit alcohol intake, especially beer.

6. Sugary Foods and Beverages: Limit or avoid sugary foods such as sugary cereals, baked goods, and candies. Limit the intake of naturally sweet fruit juices.

7. Vitamin C: Vitamin C can help lower uric acid levels. Discuss with your doctor whether a 500-milligram vitamin C supplement aligns with your dietary and medication plans.

8. Coffee: Some studies suggest that moderate consumption of coffee, especially caffeinated coffee, may lower the risk of developing gout. Drinking coffee may not be suitable if you have other medical conditions. Discuss with your doctor how much coffee you should drink.

9. Cherries: There is evidence to suggest that consuming cherries may lower the risk of gout attacks.

Menu Sample

Here is a typical daily menu for a gout diet:

- Unsweetened whole grain oatmeal with skim or low-fat milk
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries
- Coffee
- Water

- Grilled chicken breast slices (2 ounces, 56 grams) in a whole grain wrap with mustard
- Green leafy vegetable salad with 1 tablespoon of nuts, dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- Skim or low-fat milk or water

Afternoon Snack
- 1 cup of fresh cherries
- Water

- Grilled salmon (3 to 4 ounces, 84 to 112 grams)
- Steamed or grilled green beans
- 1/2 to 1 cup of whole grain pasta, tossed with olive oil and lemon pepper
- Water
- Low-fat yogurt
- 1 cup of fresh cantaloupe
- Caffeine-free beverages, such as herbal tea


A gout diet can help limit uric acid levels and increase their clearance. While a gout diet is unlikely to significantly reduce the uric acid concentration in your blood, you still need medication to cure gout. However, it can help reduce the number of attacks and their severity.

Following a gout diet, along with calorie restriction and regular exercise, can also help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, thereby improving overall health.

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