Foods to Eat and Avoid for Gout

Karen Frazier
Foot with gout
Expert Fact Checked

Are you looking for a free gout diet? If you or someone you love has gout, then there is something that you can do. Appropriate dietary management can help to control this painful disease.

An Explanation of Gout

Gout is a painful form of arthritis that occurs due to the build up of uric acid. There are two types of gout.

  • Acute gout painfully affects a single joint.
  • Chronic gout involves repeated flare-ups of the condition and typically can affect multiple joints throughout the body.

Symptoms

Gout usually manifests the following symptoms.

  • Sudden onset of acute pain in one or more joints. The most common locations are the foot, ankle, and knee.
  • Gout sufferers describe the pain as throbbing, intense, and very severe.
  • The joint experiencing the pain is typically red, swollen, and warm and tender to the touch.
  • It is typically extremely tender to the touch.
  • Attacks last several days and may return.
  • Fever may be present.
  • Pain frequently starts at night.

Causes

Excessive uric acid build-up causes gout. When the acid builds up in the synovial fluid surrounding joints, it forms crystals, which lead to inflammation and pain. Certain people are at higher risk of developing gout than others.

  • People with a family history of gout
  • People who drink large amounts of alcohol
  • Men
  • Post-menopausal women
  • People on certain medication
  • Diabetics
  • People with kidney disease
  • Obese people

Free Gout Diet

Along with the causes listed above, there are correlations between certain types of food and gout. Following a free gout diet can help you to produce less uric acid and may assist with elimination of uric acid. While a gout diet may help control the frequency and severity of gout attacks, it is not a treatment or cure. If you suspect gout, talk with your doctor before self-prescribing diet, medication, or other treatments.

Foods to Avoid or Limit

Certain foods correlate with gout symptoms and attacks in gout patients. Foods that increase levels of uric acid contain something known as purines. Avoiding these foods may help minimize the frequency and duration of your attacks.

  • Animal proteins all contain purines. Red meat, organ meats, game meats, fatty fish, and seafood, all contain especially high levels of purines. Limit your intake of these foods and try to eat only about four to six ounces of protein per day.
  • The following vegetables contain moderate to high levels of purines and should be avoided: asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, peas, and cauliflower.
  • Legumes such as lentils and dried beans contain moderate levels of purines, and should be minimized.
  • Moderate intake of the following grain foods: wheat germ, oatmeal, and bran, which all contain moderate levels of purines.
  • Avoid alcohol.

What to Eat

The best diet to eat when you suffer from gout is a well-balanced, healthy diet. The United States Department of Agriculture has established the food pyramid, which provides guidelines for healthy eating. Included in the food pyramid are:

  • Four to six daily ounces of whole grains
  • Five to seven daily servings of vegetables
  • Four to six daily servings of fruit
  • Two to three daily servings each of low-fat dairy and lean protein
  • Sparing use of fats and sugar

Keeping Gout Under Control

Eating a healthy, balanced diet while avoiding foods that contain purines can help you control your gout. To learn more, talk to your doctor.

Foods to Eat and Avoid for Gout