Gout is caused by high uric acid levels in the blood, but they usually go unnoticed. It is estimated that around one in three people with high uric acid levels have gout. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood (instead of being excreted) and gets deposited as crystals in one or more joints, triggering sudden swelling and pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the risk factors for gout?
Risk factors for gout include:

  • Age: Men between 40 and 50 years old and post-menopausal women are more likely to develop gout.
  • Gender: Men are more likely than women to develop gout.
  • Family history: If you have someone in your family with gout, you may be more likely to develop it as well.
  • Diet: Eating too much purine-rich food raises your risk for gout. Red meat, organ meat, and certain fish contain a lot of purines.
  • Drinking alcohol: Drinking more than two drinks a day puts you at higher risk of gout.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as diuretics and cyclosporine, can put you at risk of gout.
  • Other health conditions: High blood pressure, kidney disease, thyroid disease, sleep apnea, and diabetes can all raise your risk of gout.
How is Gout Treated?
Food choices plays an important role in managing gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the United States. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purines, naturally occurring compounds in the body and in certain foods, which is why diet can be important for controlling gout attacks.
What foods can trigger a gout attack?
[Excess] alcohol and purine-rich foods, particularly red meat and seafood.
If I have gout, should I avoid high-purine foods or are they OK in moderation?
Generally, moderation is sufficient, particularly if you are effectively treated with a uric acid-lowering medication.
What is a healthy diet for people with gout?
We recommend the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which involves high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products and whole grains, and low intake of sodium, sweetened beverages and red and processed meats. The DASH diet also is recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease, which often accompanies gout.
High levels of hypertension [high blood pressure] are present in 74 percent of gout patients


Avoid if Possible

  • Organ Meats –  liver, kidney, heart, sweetbreads, tripe, brain and tongue
  • Fish/Seafood – anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, sprats, whitebait, trout, scallops, fish roe, caviar, crayfish, lobster
  • Game – pheasant, rabbit, venison, quail
  • Goose
  • Mincemeat
  • Meat-based Liquids – gravies, broth, consumes, bouillon

In Moderation

  • Oysters, Mussels, and Most Other Shellfish, Prawns, Shrimp, Scampi
  • Beef
  •  Chicken
  •  Turkey
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Duck

List of food you can focus on if you have gout :

  • Skim milk
  • Low-fat dairy products (yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese)
  • Whole-grain products (look for the Whole Grain stamp or check product labels for ingredients such as “whole wheat flour.”)
  • Plant oils (olive, canola, sunflower)
  • Vegetables
  • Cherries
  • Vitamin C supplements (One study showed that 500 mg or more per day decreased gout incidence in men.)
  • Coffee (if you drink it)
  • Water bottles (good for always having water handy, but tap water is fine, too)