What Foods Cause Gout?

Certain foods can alleviate the symptoms of gout, while some can make them worse. You must choose your food wisely and plan your diet accordingly. Diet is the most powerful tool by which you can manage the condition well and reduce the risk of complications.

A substance known as purine is broken down by the body to make uric acid. When uric acid is present in excess amounts in the blood, it solidifies or crystallizes and accumulates around the joints. Certain foods are rich sources of purine and people with gout must avoid consuming such foods.

Instead, one must include specific foods in their diet that contain low amounts of purine. In that way, the rise in the level of uric acid will not happen and the body will be able to get rid of the excess uric acid through excretion.

Foods that increase the risk of gout

Purine-rich foods can speed up the accumulation of uric acid crystals around the joints and give rise to symptoms such as joint pain, inflammation, lack of movement, and discomfort. To alleviate the symptoms or prevent the formation of gout, one must either limit or avoid the consumption of foods that contain high amounts of purine. According to the Cleveland Clinic website, these foods are:

  • Sweetened and sugary foods – Foods and beverages such as cakes, pastries, candies, cold drinks, doughnuts, packaged drinks, energy drinks, etc. are usually laden with excessive amounts of sugar.Consuming such foods can spike the levels of uric acid in the blood. With the rise in uric acid, the accumulation of uric acid crystals speeds up and the symptoms may worsen.
  • Alcohol – Excessive intake of alcohol can potentiate the risk of gout. Some types of alcohol such as beer or distilled liquor contain higher levels of purine, which gets broken down within the body to be stored as uric acid. A rise in the levels of uric acid can further cause its crystallization and aggregation at the joints, leading to gout. Different kinds of alcoholic beverages contain different concentrations of purine. One can switch to alcohol that has less amount of purine.
  • Fish – Some types of seafood like crabs, lobsters, scallops, codfish, tuna, haddock, mussels, herring, trout, mackerel, etc. contain very high amounts of purines. Even though they are consumed in small amounts, there is still a risk of gout. One must try to eat them in moderation. Those with a severe form of gout must avoid consuming seafood altogether.
  • Organ meat –Liver, brains, kidneys, and sweetbreads are loaded with high levels of purines. Its excessive consumption can give rise to a gout attack. Therefore, one must either limit its consumption or stop its consumption.
  • Red meat – Lamb, beef, and porktend to be associated with gout glares. Eating them only occasionally, that too in moderation is okay, otherwise if you consume red meat often, it can spur gout flares. So, to be on the safer side, try to limit its consumption.
  • Turkey – One must eat turkey in moderation. Controlling the portion will not trigger a flare-up of gout. Although turkey is considered to be somewhat safe, that does not mean that they can have a big turkey anytime they wish. One must never consume it frequently and have it only occasionally, but in moderation.

Best foods for gout

Now that you have seen the types of foods that you need to avoid as they can trigger uric acid in the blood and spur gout flares, you must know what kind of foods are actually gout-friendly. The way certain foods potentiate the risk of gout and its complications, several foods can alleviate the symptoms or eliminate the risk of gout altogether.

One must follow a diet that is gout-friendly. For that, it is necessary to include foods that reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood and are helpful to eliminate it through excretion. Foods that have low levels of purine must be included in this diet. These foods are:

  • Low-fat or skimmed milk – It can bring down the levels of uric acid in the body and also prevent the risk of gout or its complications. You can also have low-fat yogurt, which can be equally beneficial.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits – Including more vegetables and fruits in your diet will prevent the risk of gout and those already having gout will experience a decrease in symptoms and recurring gout flares. All types and kinds of vegetables and fruits are great for this diet.

Even if some vegetables such as spinach and asparagus are high in purine, studies suggest that they might not cause a spike in uric acid. Lastly, make sure you include cherries too, as cherries are power-packed with anti-inflammatory properties, which can alleviate pain and inflammation to a great extent.

  • Nuts – All types of nuts and seeds are great for a gout diet.




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