Gout is a type of arthritis that is complicated and painful. It’s caused by high levels of uric acid, a compound that your body makes while breaking down purine. Thankfully, you can prevent pain by avoiding purine-rich foods! Skip these seven foods and drinks if you have gout.
7 Foods To Avoid
Avoid eating seafood that’s high in purine. Examples include sardines, anchovies, mussels, scallops, tuna, haddock, and mackerel.1 They can increase gout risk by 50%, so it’s a good idea to avoid them if you already have it.2
2. Organ Meats
Avoid eating liver, kidney, and sweetbreads. These are high in purine and can make your uric acid levels spike.3 In fact, organ meats can increase the risk of a gout attack by five times.4
3. Red Meat
Don’t just focus on organ meats. Red meat is also full of purine and can up your risk for gout pain.5 Examples include beef, pork, and lamb.
Drinking alcohol makes your body produce more uric acid.6 Beer has the biggest impact and should definitely be avoided.7 But if your doctor says it’s OK to drink, do be sure to ask what kind is the safest for you.
5. Sugary Drinks
Beverages that have been sweetened with fructose should also be avoided.8 This includes many of the “fruit” drinks that you see in the grocery. Instead, try to drink as much water as possible. It will decrease the chances of uric acid turning into the crystals that hurt your joints.9
6. Candy And Cakes
Sweet treats like candy, cakes, and other products full of high-fructose corn syrup should be avoided. This artificial sweetener has the ability to raise uric acid levels, making a gout attack more likely.10 Make sure to read labels carefully.
7. White Bread And Pasta
Like candy and sweetened drinks, many white breads and pastas are full of high-fructose corn syrup. So you should also avoid them! Keep in mind that wheat bread may have it, too. Your best bet is to eat whole grain bread instead.
If you have a hard time remembering these foods, make a list. Keep it on your phone so you always have it in hand. It will be useful whenever you’re eating out or grocery shopping.
|↑1, ↑3, ↑6, ↑8||Gout, Mayo Clinic|
|↑2, ↑4, ↑5||The Best Diet Advice for Gout: Eat Less Meat, Arthritis Foundation|
|↑7||Choi, Hyon K., Karen Atkinson, Elizabeth W. Karlson, Walter Willett, and Gary Curhan. “Alcohol intake and risk of incident gout in men: a prospective study.” The Lancet 363.9417 (2004): 1277-1281.|
|↑9||Gout – Treatment, NHS Choices|
|↑10||Angelopoulos, Theodore J., Joshua Lowndes, Linda Zukley, Kathleen J. Melanson, Von Nguyen, Anik Huffman, and James M. Rippe. “The Effect of High-Fructose Corn Syrup Consumption on Triglycerides and Uric Acid.” The American Institute of Nutrition 139.6 (2009): 1242-1245.|