Diet and Nutrition

What to Avoid if You have Gout

What to Avoid if You have Gout

Key Takeaways

  • For centuries, gout had been considered a disease that affected the wealthiest individuals who could afford to consume meat, seafood, and alcohol.
  • Gout is caused by crystals of uric acid that are formed within the joints of the body.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol can also lead to increasing levels of uric acid in the blood.

For centuries, gout has been considered a disease that affected the wealthiest individuals who could afford to consume meat, seafood, and alcohol. Gout is caused by crystals of uric acid that are formed within the joints of the body, which scratch and irritate surrounding tendons and bone. Uric acid crystals form as more uric acid is deposited in the joints instead of being eliminated by the kidney. An individual's diet can influence the cause of this disorder.

Foods to Avoid with Gout

Purine-rich foods

Purines are chemical substances found in many foods that are essential for the development of DNA. Even so, the digestion of purines in the gut lead to the creation of uric acid as a by-product, which can ultimately lead to gout. Because purines are important for the body’s development, they should not be completely avoided; however, foods with a high level of purines should be avoided, or eaten in small doses.

Purine-rich foods include:

  • Meats, such as the liver and kidneys
  • Seafood
  • Vegetables, such as mushrooms and asparaus

Alcohol and sugary beverages

Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to increasing levels of uric acid in the blood. The same goes for beverages filled with sugar, such as soda.

Who is at risk of gout?

There are other risks, besides food and drinks, that contribute to the development of gout. Gout is common in people who are obese or overweight, as well as in individuals who have a family history with this condition.