Eating to Prevent Gout

Gout is a painful form of arthritis caused by an excess of uric acid. This is a waste product made by the body. It builds up in the body and forms crystals that collect in the joints, causing a gout attack. Alcohol and certain foods can trigger a gout attack. Below are some guidelines for changing your diet to help you manage gout.

Your healthcare provider or a dietician can work with you to determine the best eating plan for you. You can learn which foods affect your gout more than others. Reactions to different foods can vary from person to person. Know that diet is only one part of managing gout. Take your medicines as prescribed and follow the other guidelines your healthcare provider has given you.

Foods to limit

Eating too many foods containing purines may increase the levels of uric acid in your body and increase your risk for a gout attack. It may be best to limit these high-purine foods:

  • Alcohol (beer, hard liquor, and red wine). You may be told to give up alcohol completely.

  • Certain fish (anchovies, sardines, fish roes, herring, tuna, mussels, codfish, scallops, trout, and haddock)

  • Certain meats (red meat, processed meat, bacon, turkey, wild game, and goose)

  • Sauces and gravies made with meat

  • Organ meats (such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and tripe)

  • Yeast and yeast extract supplements

Foods to try

Some foods may be helpful for people with gout. You may want to try adding some of the following foods to your diet:

  • Cherry/Cherry Extract. Cherries and cherry extract contain chemicals that may lower uric acid.

  • Omega fatty acids. These acids are found in fatty fish (such as salmon), certain oils (such as flax, olive, or nut oils), and nuts. They may help prevent inflammation due to gout.

  • Low-fat dairy. Low-fat milk or dairy foods may reduce uric acid levels.

© 2000-2023 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.