The Gout Diet: Best and Worst Foods

Gout is a type of arthritis that causes painful joint swelling and inflammation. It happens when too much uric acid builds up in the blood, which forms crystals in the joints. Ouch! Uric acid exists when we break down a chemical called purine. Although purine occurs naturally in the body, it’s also found in certain foods. So a gout diet should limit purine-rich foods to avoid uric acid highs and lower the risk of flare-ups.

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Low-purine foods vs. high-purine foods

Low-purine foods have less than 100 mg of purines per serving. The rule of thumb for a gout diet is to avoid foods that contain more than 200 mg of purines per serving. Try not to go over 400 mg per day.

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Avoid alcohol

Female hand rejecting glass with alcoholic beverage on blurred background

Gout diet guidelines say to limit alcohol intake, especially beer. Beer (and distilled liquors) are linked to an increased risk of gout and repeated flare-ups. Wine doesn’t appear to have the same amount of risk. Still, the recommendation is to avoid all alcohol during bouts of gout and limit it in between attacks.

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