Foods That Trigger Gout and How To Prevent Flares

Foods That Trigger Gout and How To Prevent Flares

Dietary Diversity April, 24, 2023

Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, leading to inflammation, pain, and swelling. Certain foods are known to increase levels of uric acid in the blood, which can trigger gout attacks.

Here are some types of foods and drinks that can trigger gout:

High-Purine Foods:

Purines are natural substances found in many foods, and your body breaks them down into uric acid. Foods that are high in purines can increase uric acid levels and trigger gout. These include organ meats (like liver and kidneys), red meats, game meats, seafood (especially shellfish and fish like anchovies, sardines, mackerel, and herring).


Beer and liquors like whiskey and rum can increase uric acid levels and trigger gout attacks. Wine, in moderate amounts, may not have the same risk, but excessive consumption can still contribute to gout.

Sugary Drinks and Foods:

Drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, like many sodas, can increase uric acid levels. The same goes for foods high in fructose.

Processed Foods:

These often contain high levels of fructose and other additives that can contribute to gout.

Here are some ways to prevent gout flares:

Stay Hydrated:

Drinking plenty of water can help flush uric acid out of your body and reduce the risk of gout attacks.

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight can increase your risk of gout, and losing weight can help lower uric acid levels. However, rapid weight loss can temporarily raise uric acid levels and trigger gout, so it's important to lose weight gradually and healthily.

Eat a Balanced Diet:

A diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy can help lower uric acid levels.

Limit High-Purine Foods:

As mentioned above, try to limit your intake of high-purine foods like organ meats and certain types of seafood.

Limit Alcohol:

Try to limit your alcohol intake, particularly beer and hard liquors.

Avoid Sugary Drinks and Foods:

Try to avoid or limit drinks and foods that are high in fructose.

Remember, everyone is different, and what triggers gout in one person might not in another. If you have gout, it's a good idea to work with your doctor or a dietitian to create a diet plan that works for you. Regular check-ups and blood tests can also help monitor your uric acid levels and manage your gout.

1 Red meat

Purine levels in some meats are high. Purines are converted by the body into uric acid, but an excessive amount might enter the bloodstream and result in gout attacks. White meat contains less purine than red meat, however lamb is the red meat that poses the worst health risk. In order to prevent gout flare-ups, people should strive to limit their intake of beef and pork to three meals per week at most. Those who eat lamb should pick chops rather than the leg meat.