Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on September 30, 2021
Eat: Low-Fat Yogurt
Top a nice plain low-fat yogurt with some berries for a gout-friendly breakfast or snack. Certain proteins in milk help tell your body to get rid of uric acid, the culprit behind your condition.
Avoid: Certain Seafood
Not all coastal fare is bad for gout, but it’s best to only dabble in dishes of mussels, scallops, squid, shrimp, oysters, crab, and lobsters. Overindulging could raise uric acid levels and make gout symptoms worse.
Eat: Citrus Fruits
Grapefruit, oranges, pineapples, and strawberries are all great sources of vitamin C, which lowers your uric acid levels and helps prevent gout attacks. But if you take colchicine for your gout, skip the grapefruit. It can interact with your meds.
Avoid: Organ Meats
Meats like liver and tongue are chock-full of purines, compounds that your body tends to turn into uric acid. Leave these out of your diet.
Shore up those healthy fats while getting your antioxidants, too. Avocados are high in vitamin E, an anti-inflammatory that can help curb gout flares.
Avoid: Red Meat
Red meat isn’t as high in purines as organ meats are, but they have enough that it’s wise to eat beef, venison, and bison only on occasion to keep your uric acid levels lower. Your safest picks are white meats like pork and chicken.
The pigments that give cherries their deep purple-red color are called anthocyanins. They give you an antioxidant boost and help reduce inflammation in the body.
Avoid: White Bread
The quicker a food raises your blood sugar, the worse it is for uric acid levels. Refined carbs like white bread, cookies, and cake can send your blood sugar soaring and aren’t great for gout.
Since many meats are (mostly) off the menu, you can get your protein from plants such as peas, beans, and lentils. They’re uric acid-neutral and may even help ward off gout attacks.
Honey is high in fructose, a natural sweetener that releases purines when it breaks down in your body. A spot here and there is OK, but keep your fructose-filled eats to a minimum.
Drink: Water and Coffee
Chug your water to help flush uric acid out of your system. Down eight glasses a day, or 16 if you’re having a gout flare. And coffee can help, too. Regular, caffeinated coffee can help lower gout risk.
A glass of wine every once in a while is fine, but beer isn’t great for gout. It raises uric acid by 6.5%. Even nonalcoholic beer bumps it up by 4.4%.
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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Milk- and soy-protein ingestion: acute effect on serum uric acid concentration.”
Arthritis Foundation: “Gout Diet: Dos and Don’ts,” “Fructose and Gout: What’s the Link?”