5 Things People with Gout Should and Shouldn’t Eat

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that can suddenly flare up and cause immense pain, rendering you immobile. It usually affects one joint at a time (often the big toe) and can even affect the quality of your sleep because of its suddenness.

As of the moment, there is no permanent cure for gout. Only the symptoms and the actual flare-ups can be relieved with proper medication and, just like many other diseases in the body, proper diet. Let’s take a look at the foods people suffering from gout should and shouldn’t eat!


Foods You Should Eat

While gout may, unfortunately, be untreatable, you can prevent flare-ups from attacking you or lessen the severity of it. Here are some foods that either don’t raise your uric acid levels or reduce them.


1. Yogurt

Yogurt, and just other dairy products in general, are naturally low in purines. They’re packed with protein and are perfect substitutions for purine-laden proteins such as meat and seafood. While all dairy products should be fine and dandy, keep in mind that the low-fat versions are generally better.


2. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are incredibly rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is well-known to prevent gout by removing uric acid from all over the body, making it less likely for gout attacks to occur. Indeed, a study of 47,000 men over two decades found that regular vitamin C intake led to a 44% decrease in gout risk.


3. Avocado

Avocados are considered superfoods in the food world, and for good reason!

Firstly, they’re chock full of healthy fats. It helps to lower the bad cholesterol in your blood without affecting the good cholesterol. This is good news for those with gout as a higher good cholesterol level in your blood is directly correlated to lower levels of uric acid levels.

Additionally, avocados are full of vitamin E. This can help fight off the inflammation that people with gout frequently go through.


4. Cherries

The antioxidant that gives cherries their vibrant, sometimes deep red color is called anthocyanin. It is a powerful antioxidant that has antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial effects. It can help reduce inflammation typically associated with gout.

In one study, researchers had 633 participants eat 10 cherries per day. They found out that doing that reduced the risk of a gout attack by 35%, which then increased to 75% when combined with allopurinol, a common medication for gout.


5. Beans

As you’ll see in the next section, many of the foods you’ll need to avoid when suffering from gout are meats. That means you’re going to have some other way to get your daily recommended intake of protein.

That’s where beans come in. These little things are every vegan and vegetarian’s best friends as they’re plant-based sources of protein that are uric acid neutral. In fact, they might even prevent gout attacks!

So, try to eat less animal-based protein and replace it with things like beans, lentils, chickpeas, and more.


Foods You Shouldn’t Eat

On the other hand, these are the foods that heighten your uric acid levels, leaving you prone to joint pain and gout attacks.


1. Seafood

While seafood is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, some of them also contain moderate to high levels of purine in them. So, eating seafood can trigger a painful gout attack that can quickly make movement difficult for you.

Thankfully, many kinds of seafood can be eaten in moderation. Some of them also have lower levels of purine in them, so it’s not the end of the world for the gout-suffering seafood lovers out there!


2. Organ Meats

Sadly, many organ meats from livestock are full of purines, which your body tends to turn to uric acid in your body. This includes livers, kidneys, tongues, tripes, and more. This also includes dishes that have a little bit of these organs mixed in like meatballs, hot dogs, and meat pies.

Be careful with the dishes in particular—you may not even realize these have organ meats in them as they’re not very noticeable.


3. Red Meats

Red meats like beef, venison, pork, and bison aren’t as high in purines as organ meats are but are still high enough to consider avoiding regularly. Just save them for special occasions or one small serving once a day. Otherwise, your best bets would be white meats like chicken, duck, and turkey. Make sure to go for the breast, legs, or wings and cut off the skin!


4. White Bread

One important thing to note about uric acid levels is that it generally rises more the higher your blood sugar levels get. Thus, you also need to keep your blood sugar levels in control.

This means avoiding refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, cookies, cakes, chips, and more. These foods have been stripped of all their fibers, vitamins, and minerals, which means they’re essentially just empty calories. They get digested and absorbed into your bloodstream quickly and leave you feeling hungry for more, leading to overeating and raising your blood sugar even more.


5. Honey

Honey is extremely high in fructose, a type of sweetener that breaks down into purines when ingested by the body. As we already know, avoiding purines is essential when it comes to reducing gout attacks, so it’s best to keep honey and other fructose-high foods like corn syrup and certain fruits to a minimum. Like all other foods on the avoid list, they can be eaten in moderation, such as eating Beeman Honeystix instead!