Foods to Avoid with Gout Inflammation

Updated on March 28th, 2020
Foods to avoid with gout

Gout is an excruciatingly painful inflammatory form of arthritis. It occurs due to high levels of uric acid in the blood. The uric acid crystals deposit in joints such as toes, fingers, and wrist.

The condition is either due to excessive production of uric acid or the body’s inability to process and excrete uric acid hampering kidney function. Painful attacks of gout usually occur during the night time and are tough to manage. Gout can be caused due to poor dietary choices and even genetics in some cases. A combination of a strict plan and medications help relieve gout pain.

List of Foods to Be Avoided with Gout

  • Pulses
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Some Vegetables
  • Seafood
  • Alcohol
  • Sweets
  • Full fat milk
  • Oil
  • Caffeinated items
  • Refined carbohydrates

Here’s a list of foods to be avoided with Gout

While it is extremely restrictive to have low fat, low in purine and uric acid diet, dietary changes are crucial to reducing gout. Foods not to eat with gout are majorly derived from animal fats, sugary, and processed foods and alcohol. Many high purine foods(1) such as below must be avoided.

1. Pulses

Pulses such as kidney beans increase uric acid levels in the blood.

What is the Alternative?

You can opt for all other pulses such as red or green lentils, as they are crucial in maintaining Vitamin B, folic acid, and iron in the body.

[Read: Celery Seed for Gout]

2. Meat

Meats such as red meat, duck, bacon, veal, turkey, pork, ham, and poultry reduce the body’s ability to dilute uric acid levels and make the urine more acidic in nature increasing gout pain. Even organ meat such as heart, kidney, liver, or brain of animals is harmful to people with increased uric acid levels.

What is the Alternative?

You can choose low-fat plant-based proteins or add egg in your diet to meet your daily protein requirements.

3. Fish

mackerel fish

Types of fish such as sardines, mussels, trout, anchovies, and mackerel are banes for gout patients are foods high in uric acid. Not only the fish but even spicy condiments used in the preparation of such dishes can cause inflammation.

What is the Alternative?

Switch to low purine fish options such as salmon seem to be the only fish option for gout patients.

[Read: Black Cherry Juice for Gout]

4.  Vegetables (Beans, Peas)

Some vegetables like beans, peas, brinjal, spinach, custard apples, mushrooms, and cauliflower are high purine foods.

What is the Alternative?

Limiting salt intake in the preparation of these dishes and reducing spicy foods will help the body heal quicker. Remember to add turmeric- the miracle anti-inflammatory natural remedy to reduce gout pain(2). Nowadays, pure organic turmeric is also available in capsule form for a patient who suffers from arthritis or gout.

5. Seafood

All seafood, such as shrimp, oysters, crabs, and scallops, are high in protein. Since gout occurs due to the inability of the body to breakdown protein, it is recommended to avoid seafood altogether until the gout pain eases.

What is the Alternative?

Look for alternate protein options derived from plants such as soy protein or tofu to meet your daily protein requirements.

[Read: Using CBD Oil for Gout Relief]

6. Alcohol

Alcohol such as beer, whiskey, and vodka are strictly prohibited due to the presence of brewers yeast and other fermenting agents.

What is the Alternative?

Wine is a safer alternative. However, it must also be consumed within limits. Alcohol altogether avoided is best as it increases blood ph levels and makes the dissolution of uric acid crystals much more difficult.

7. Sweets

Image: Shutterstock

Sweets, sodas, and sugary syrups such as honey and maple syrup along with ice-creams and juices are also best avoided as they contain high fructose. The National Institute of Health conducted a study of 125,000 people and conclusively established a 65% higher chance of gout amongst people who consumed fructose(3).

What is the Alternative?

People with a sweet tooth can opt for a healthier sweet dish, making options such as chia seed pudding using low-fat yogurt.

[Read: Turmeric Helpful in Treating Gout]

8. Full-Fat Milk

A high-fat diet increases a person’s weight, which results in increased pressure on joints. There are also higher chances of a gout flare-up in obese patients. Increased body weight makes it difficult for the body to break down uric acid crystals that deposit along the joints.

What is the Alternative?

Full fat milk should be replaced by low-fat milk or vegan milk options such as almond milk.

9. Oil

Oil-based cooking must be avoided as they increase calorific value and increase body weight.

What is the Alternative?

Opt for steamed vegetables/foods instead. You can also use oil sprays, especially plant-based oils such as canola oil or olive oil, to reduce oil intake. For spreads such as cheese or butter, switch to healthier options such as hung curd or hummus with a dash of paprika.

[Read: Apple Cider Vinegar for Gout]

10. Caffeinated Items

Caffeinated Items
Image: Shutterstock

Highly such as tea, coffee, and even chocolate must be consumed in limits. While many studies show that drinking tea or coffee is not an issue in controlling uric acid, however, it is not recommended to continue consuming caffeine with gout.

What is the Alternative?

It is best to switch to non-caffeinated drinks(4) like green tea or jasmine tea.

11. Refined Carbohydrates

Processed carbohydrates are present in cakes, biscuits, pretzels, pasta, and gout patients must not consume the bread. These foods high in purine raise uric acid levels in the blood and are best avoided to prevent gout.

What is the Alternative?

Switch to completely homemade meals, preferably with wheat-based products to cut down carbohydrate intake. However, ensure that carbohydrates are not completely cut-off from the diet as it leads the body to a state of ketosis, which increases uric acid.

[Read: Role of Vitamins in Preventing Gout Attack]

Along with a low purine diet plan, ensure you consume sufficient Vitamin C, exercise well, reduce alcohol consumption, and stay well hydrated to relieve gout pain. A body with an alkaline ph will never suffer from gout. It is recommended to consult with a nutritionist to manage your diet plan as managing gout is a challenging task due to uric acid and protein restrictions in foods.

With the help of a dietician, reduce your weight inching closer towards your ideal BMI to minimize strain on already inflamed joints. While many may choose to switch to Mediterranean diet plans, the above comprehensive list of foods to avoid with gout will aid in quick recovery.

[Also Read: Tart Cherry Juice for Gout ]


1. Can only dietary changes relieve gout pain?

A combination of a healthy diet, a well-hydrated body and non-inflammatory or corticosteroid medications will help relieve gout in 7-10 days time. Connect with your doctor to get prescribed medications considering all bodily parameters.

2. Should non-vegetarians switch to being vegetarians to prevent gout?

A single factor is not responsible for gout; however, consumption of non-vegetarian food does increase the chances of gout, especially when coupled with alcohol. Choose eggs as a healthy alternative to non-vegetarian toppings in dishes.

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