By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Gout is caused by accumulating levels of uric acid, a breakdown product of purines. A diet rich in purines can increase the uric acid levels and patients with gout are advised to avoid purine-rich foods.
Some examples of foods that are rich in purines include:
- Red meat including beef, pork, lamb
- Offal including liver, kidney and heart
- Game meats such as rabbit and venison
- Seafoods such as shellfish, mussels, crab, shrimp
- Oily fish such as herring, mackerel, sprats, whitebait, anchovies, sardines and trout
- Dried beans and peas
- Foods or supplements containing yeast such as Marmite
People with gout are also advised to take the following measures:
- Certain vitamins and medications should be avoided such as niacin and aspirin.
- Patients should drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. This also help ensure uric acid is removed from the body.
- Alcohol can raise the level of uric acid in the blood and should be avoided.
- Weight loss is important in reducing the symptoms and effects of gout. However, crash diets with a low carbohydrate and high protein content should be avoided as they can precipitate gout. A low carbohydrate intake can increase the release of ketones, as fat is then burned to provide energy. This leads to ketosis, which can increase uric acid levels.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc
Last Updated: Jul 24, 2014