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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):

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  • 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 21, 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.
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