Skip to content

    Arthritis Health Center

    Font Size

    Diet and Gout - Topic Overview

    Purines (specific chemical compounds found in some foods) are broken down into uric acid. A diet rich in purines from certain sources can raise uric acid levels in the body, which sometimes leads to gout. Meat and seafood may increase your risk of gout. Dairy products may lower your risk.

    Foods to limit (very high in purines):

    Recommended Related to Arthritis

    Understanding Gout -- Basics

    Without warning and, for some reason, in the middle of the night, gout strikes -- an intense pain in a joint, most often the big toe, but sometimes other joints, including knees, ankles, elbows, thumbs, or fingers. Attacks of gout can be unexpected and excruciatingly painful. With prompt treatment, the pain and inflammation usually disappear after a few days, but they may recur at any time. More than 2 million Americans suffer from gout. Gout occurs more often in men than in women. Men usually...

    Read the Understanding Gout -- Basics article > >

    • Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and brains
    • Meats, including bacon, beef, pork, and lamb
    • Game meats
    • Any other meats in large amounts
    • Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, and scallops
    • Gravy
    • Beer

    Foods to eat occasionally (moderately high in purines, but may not raise your risk of gout):

    • Fish and seafood (other than high purine seafood)
    • Oatmeal, wheat bran, and wheat germ

    Foods that are safe to eat (low in purines):

    • Green vegetables and tomatoes
    • Fruits
    • Breads and cereals that are not whole-grain
    • Butter, buttermilk, cheese, and eggs
    • Chocolate and cocoa
    • Coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages
    • Peanut butter and nuts

    Dairy products that may lower your risk of gout:

    • Low-fat or nonfat milk
    • Low-fat yogurt

    If you have experienced a gout attack or have high uric acid in your blood (hyperuricemia), it may help to reduce your intake of meat, seafood, and alcohol.1

    Changing your diet may help lower your risk of having future attacks of gout. Doctors recommend that overweight people who have gout reach and stay at a healthy body weight by getting moderate exercise daily and regulating their fat and caloric intake.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Mature woman exercise at home
    Hint: Warming up first is crucial.
    feet with gout
    Quiz yourself.
    woman in pain
    One idea? Eat fish to curb inflammation.
    senior couple walking
    Can you keep your RA from progressing?
    xray of knees with osteoarthritis
    close up of man wearing dress shoes
    feet with gout
    close up of red shoe in shoebox
    two male hands
    Woman massaging her neck
    5 Lupus Risk Factors