21 Nov 2020

Have gout? Avoid these foods.

You know it; food plays a role in uric acid aggregation, and that’s a fact. The intake of purine-rich foods and alcohol may increase the frequency of recurrent gout attacks, as one survey from 2012 finds out1. And while there is no doubt that the medical treatment approach is the most effective way of managing gout conditions, some foods’ restriction is highly recommended. Let’s take a quick look at these:


Yes, the spirits and especially the widespread beer are not your friends. If you can limit alcohol intake and maintain it at the lowest possible level, this will reduce the gout attacks. 


All animal organs shall be avoided. Yes, the tastiest parts: liver, kidneys, brains, tongue, tripe, and sweetbreads. Wild animals, gravy sauces, or bullion are neither beneficial. Always choose boiled vs. roasted or fried. Red meat is no good. You can eat pork, chicken, rabbit, lamb, turkey, veal, or venison in moderation, but try to limit the daily intake to 120g. or around 4 ounces. 

Fish and seafood

In general, the seafood is rich in purines, and the same is with the fish. Few of these are extremely rich in purines – mackerel, an example, has one of the highest levels of purines from all foods. Sardines, herring, anchovies, and scallops are the other purine-rich foods that you shall forget. Almost all edible seafood is rich in purines – crabs, oysters, shrimps – try to avoid these, and eat rarely. It’s hard to forget entirely about fish, but even tuna, salmon, trout, carp shall be consumed with moderation as they are also moderately high in purines. Try to limit the fish or seafood intake to once a week and in small quantities.

Sugars and Sugary drinks

Sodas and juices rich in corn syrup or fructose may trigger flare attacks and increase the uric acid. Additionally, these may prevent losing weight, one of the main goals in the fight against gout conditions. Finally, sugars may trigger additional conditions like diabetes. Try to replace sugars with a moderate amount of fruits – some like the cherries or the pineapple are particularly beneficial to reducing the gout flares. Soda – replace it with pure water or citrus juice. Drink 3 liters of water every day. 

We will take a closer look at whole grains and vegetables in a separate article since some contain a moderate amount of purines. Still, their consumption comes with a plethora of benefits, and at the same time, there are no studies that relate their consumption to cause gout flares, except white bread, pasta, and white rice2 – limit the consumption of these.

References to this article:
1) Purine-rich foods intake and recurrent gout attacks (NCBI, PMID: 22648933, DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201215)
2) The interplay between diet, urate transporters and the risk for gout and hyperuricemia: current and future directions (PMID: 23253231 DOI: 10.1111/1756-185X.12010)

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Free 7-day Low Purines Diet

Hey, did you know that we've developed easy to follow 7-day Diet? Grab it for free here: