The Gout Diet
While there isn’t a regimented gout diet, anyone who is diagnosed with gout should follow a healthy, balanced diet.
Avoid High Purine Foods
Because uric acid is formed from the breakdown of purines, high-purine foods can trigger attacks. It is strongly encouraged to avoid:
- Beer and grain liquors
- Red meat, lamb and pork
- Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys and sweetbreads
- Seafood, especially shellfish, like shrimp, lobster, mussels, anchovies and sardines
Instead, it is recommended to eat more lower-purine foods, including:
- Low-fat or non-fat dairy products
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruit
A 2004 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, conducted by Dr. Hyon Choi, found that each additional serving of purine-rich red meat was associated with a 21 percent increase in the risk of gout in men over age 40. The study also found that each additional weekly serving of seafood was associated with a 7 percent increase in risk. Protein, purine-rich vegetables and moderate wine drinking were found not as harmful to gout sufferers as once believed. In addition, the study found that low-fat dairy products, specifically skim milk and low-fat yogurt, may actually decrease the risk or provide some protection against gout.
Follow a Low-Fructose Diet
Gout sufferers are also encouraged to maintain a low-fructose diet, since there is a correlation between a diet high in fructose content and gout. Fructose is a naturally occurring simple sugar found in fruit, vegetables and honey. In the typical American diet, high-fructose corn syrup is added to many foods and drinks.
The Gout & Uric Acid Education Society recommends limiting table sugar, table salt and any products with high-fructose corn syrup, including:
- Soft drinks and juices
- Cereals, store-bought baked goods, ice cream and candy
- Processed foods at fast food restaurants
Many fruits have naturally occurring high fructose levels, so they should also be limited to one or two cups per day.