What Foods Should Be Avoided In Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis that can be incredibly painful and debilitating, but did you know that your diet plays a significant role in managing the symptoms? If you're looking to prevent gout flare-ups or simply want to alleviate the discomfort, it's important to be mindful of the foods you consume. In this article, we will explore the key foods that should be avoided when you have gout, helping you take steps towards better managing this condition and improving your overall quality of life.

What Foods Should Be Avoided In Gout?

High-purine foods to avoid

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when there is an excessive buildup of uric acid in the body, leading to painful and swollen joints. One of the main triggers for gout flare-ups is the consumption of high-purine foods. Purines are natural substances found in certain foods, and when they are broken down in the body, they produce uric acid. To manage your gout and reduce the risk of flare-ups, it is essential to avoid or limit the intake of high-purine foods. Here are some foods in this category that you should be mindful of.

Red meat

While red meat is a great source of protein, it is also high in purines. This includes beef, lamb, pork, and veal. When consumed, red meat can lead to an increase in uric acid levels in the body, triggering gout symptoms. If you have gout, it is recommended to limit your consumption of red meat and opt for leaner alternatives such as chicken or fish instead.

Organ meats

Organ meats like liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads are extremely high in purines. These parts of the animal accumulate uric acid, which can exacerbate gout symptoms. While organ meats may be considered a delicacy in some cuisines, it is best to avoid them if you have gout. There are plenty of other protein sources that can be included in your diet without triggering a gout flare-up.


Seafood is another category of food that needs to be monitored if you have gout. Certain types of seafood, such as anchovies, sardines, mussels, and herring, are particularly high in purines. These purines can lead to an increase in uric acid levels and worsen gout symptoms. However, it's important to note that not all seafood is off-limits. Fish like salmon and trout are generally lower in purines and can be enjoyed in moderation.

Processed meat

Processed meats like sausages, hot dogs, and bacon should be avoided by individuals with gout. These meats often contain high levels of purines, as well as additives and preservatives that can further contribute to inflammation and gout flare-ups. When it comes to meat products, it's best to choose fresh, lean options instead of processed alternatives.

Game meats

Game meats, such as venison, rabbit, and wild boar, are also high in purines. These meats come from animals that typically roam freely and have a different diet compared to farm-raised animals. As a result, they tend to have higher purine levels. If you enjoy game meats, it is important to consume them sparingly or avoid them altogether if you are prone to gout.

Foods high in fructose

Fructose, commonly found in many sweet and sugary foods, can contribute to gout by raising uric acid levels. Avoiding or limiting the intake of fructose-rich foods can help prevent gout flare-ups. Here are some common culprits in this category to watch out for.

Sugary beverages

Sodas, energy drinks, and fruit-flavored juices often contain high amounts of fructose and should be avoided if you have gout. These sugary beverages not only contribute to weight gain and obesity, which are risk factors for gout, but they also increase uric acid production in the body. Opting for water, herbal teas, or unsweetened beverages is a better choice for managing gout.

High-fructose corn syrup

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener commonly used in processed foods and beverages. It is important to read food labels carefully, as HFCS can be found in surprising products like condiments, salad dressings, and even bread. Minimizing your consumption of HFCS can help control uric acid levels and reduce the likelihood of gout attacks.

Fruit juices

While fruits are generally considered healthy, some fruit juices can be high in fructose. Orange juice, apple juice, and grape juice are examples of juices that may contribute to gout symptoms. It's important to consume whole fruits instead, which contain fiber and other beneficial nutrients that can help regulate blood sugar levels and lessen the impact of fructose on uric acid production.

Sweetened snacks

Sweetened snacks like candy bars, cookies, and cakes are not only high in fructose but are also often packed with refined carbohydrates. These double whammies can lead to weight gain and an increase in uric acid levels. Opt for healthier snack options like fresh fruits, unsalted nuts, or homemade treats made with natural sweeteners in moderation.


Desserts like ice cream, pudding, and pastries are commonly loaded with sugar and fructose. These indulgences should be avoided or limited if you have gout. Instead, try satisfying your sweet tooth with healthier alternatives such as fresh fruit salads, homemade frozen yogurt, or dark chocolate, which has lower sugar content.


Alcohol consumption can significantly impact uric acid levels and increase the risk of gout attacks. It is advisable to limit or avoid alcohol entirely if you have gout. Here are some types of alcohol that are particularly troublesome for gout sufferers.


Beer, especially dark beers like stout and porter, is high in purines and can raise uric acid levels. Additionally, beer contains a high amount of brewer's yeast, which also contributes to gout symptoms. If you must consume alcohol, choose options like light beer in moderation or explore alternatives like low-alcohol or alcohol-free options.


Hard liquors like whiskey, vodka, rum, and tequila also have the potential to trigger gout attacks. Similar to beer, spirits can raise uric acid levels due to their alcoholic content. Cocktails made with sugary mixers should be avoided as they can exacerbate the effects of alcohol on uric acid production.


While wine is generally considered to have health benefits, it can still contribute to gout flare-ups due to its alcohol content. Some studies even suggest that wine, particularly red wine, may have a slight association with increased uric acid levels. It's important to consume wine in moderation if you have gout and be aware of any personal triggers.

Yeast and yeast extracts

Yeast and yeast extracts are commonly found in various food products and can worsen gout symptoms due to their high purine content. Here are some examples of yeast-based foods to be cautious of if you have gout.

Brewer's yeast

Brewer's yeast is a byproduct of beer production and is often used as a nutritional supplement. However, it is also high in purines, which can increase uric acid levels. If you have gout, it is best to avoid or limit the consumption of brewer's yeast-based products.

Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast, often used as a cheese substitute or flavor enhancer in vegan dishes, is another yeast-based product that should be approached with caution if you have gout. While nutritional yeast is packed with nutrients and has a distinctive savory flavor, it is also high in purines and can contribute to gout symptoms.

Yeast extract spreads

Yeast extract spreads like Marmite and Vegemite are popular savory spreads that can be found in many households. However, these spreads are concentrated forms of yeast and should be avoided if you have gout. If you are looking for alternatives to add flavor to your meals, consider using herbs, spices, or low-sodium condiments instead.

What Foods Should Be Avoided In Gout?

Refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates, also known as simple carbs, are processed grains that have had their bran and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. These carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and raise insulin levels, which may contribute to gout. Here are some common sources of refined carbohydrates to watch out for.

White bread

White bread is a staple in many households but should be consumed in moderation if you have gout. It is made from refined wheat flour, which has a high glycemic index and can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Opt for whole grain or whole wheat bread instead, which contains more fiber and nutrients.

White rice

White rice, often found in many Asian cuisines, is another refined carbohydrate that can affect uric acid levels. The refining process removes the outer bran and germ, stripping away much of its nutritional value. Opt for healthier alternatives like brown rice or quinoa, which provide more fiber and nutrients.

White pasta

Similar to white bread and rice, white pasta is made from refined flour and lacks the fiber and nutrients found in whole grain options. Instead of regular white pasta, opt for whole wheat or alternative grain pastas like quinoa or lentil pasta. These options offer more dietary fiber and can help regulate uric acid levels.

Processed cereal

Many breakfast cereals, especially those marketed to children, are heavily processed and packed with refined carbohydrates and added sugars. These cereals can contribute to weight gain and raise uric acid levels. Look for cereals made from whole grains, oats, or other healthy grains as a better option to start your day.

Sugary foods and beverages

Excess sugar consumption can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of gout flare-ups. Foods and beverages high in added sugars should be limited or avoided if you have gout. Here are some examples to be mindful of.


Candy, including hard candies, gummies, and chewy sweets, is a major source of added sugars and should be consumed sparingly if you have gout. These sugary treats can lead to weight gain and raise uric acid levels, increasing the likelihood of a gout attack. If you have a sweet tooth, consider healthier alternatives like fresh fruits or low-sugar options.


Cookies, especially store-bought varieties, are often loaded with added sugars and unhealthy fats. These sweet treats can contribute to inflammation and weight gain, which are risk factors for gout. Baking homemade cookies using natural sweeteners or enjoying an occasional treat in moderation can be a better option for managing your gout.


Pastries, such as croissants, donuts, and danishes, are typically made with high amounts of refined flour, unhealthy fats, and added sugars. These indulgent treats can raise uric acid levels and lead to gout flare-ups. If you crave pastries, consider healthier alternatives like whole grain muffins or homemade versions made with natural sweeteners and healthier fats.


Sodas and other sugary carbonated beverages are not only loaded with added sugars, but they are also often made with high-fructose corn syrup. These drinks can lead to weight gain, disrupt metabolic processes, and increase the risk of gout attacks. Opt for sugar-free or unsweetened alternatives like sparkling water or herbal teas.

Sweetened fruit yogurts

While yogurt can be a healthy snack option, many flavored yogurts contain high amounts of added sugars. These sweetened fruit yogurts can contribute to weight gain and raise uric acid levels. Choose plain, unsweetened yogurt and add your own fresh fruits or a drizzle of honey for a healthier and gout-friendly option.

What Foods Should Be Avoided In Gout?

High-fat foods

High-fat foods can contribute to weight gain and obesity, both of which are risk factors for gout. It is important to moderate your intake of high-fat foods to help manage your gout. Here are some examples of high-fat foods to watch out for.

Full-fat dairy

Full-fat dairy products like whole milk, cream, and cheese are high in saturated fats, which can increase uric acid levels and contribute to gout symptoms. Opt for low-fat or non-fat dairy options instead, or explore alternative plant-based milk and cheese products that are lower in saturated fats.


Butter is a common ingredient used in cooking and baking, but it is high in saturated fats and cholesterol. These fats can promote inflammation and raise uric acid levels. Instead of using butter, choose healthier alternatives like olive oil, avocado oil, or plant-based spreads.


Cream, particularly heavy cream, can add richness and flavor to dishes but should be used sparingly if you have gout. Like butter, cream is high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Consider using lighter alternatives like low-fat milk, yogurt, or coconut milk to achieve a similar effect without the negative impact on uric acid levels.

Fried foods

Fried foods, such as French fries, fried chicken, and onion rings, are often high in unhealthy fats and can contribute to weight gain and inflammation. These foods can increase the risk of gout flare-ups. Instead of frying, try baking, grilling, or steaming your foods to reduce the fat content and make them more gout-friendly.

Fast food

Fast food meals, often high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and sodium, should be avoided or consumed sparingly if you have gout. These meals can lead to weight gain, disrupt metabolic processes, and increase uric acid production. Opt for healthier homemade meals or choose healthier options when eating out.

Sodium-rich foods

A high-sodium diet can lead to fluid retention, increase blood pressure, and worsen gout symptoms. It is important to limit your intake of sodium-rich foods to help manage gout. Here are some examples of foods that are often high in sodium.

Processed snacks

Many processed snacks, such as chips, pretzels, and crackers, are loaded with sodium. These snacks can contribute to inflammation and increase the risk of gout attacks. Instead, choose low-sodium options or opt for healthier snacks like air-popped popcorn or vegetable sticks.

Canned soups

Canned soups and broths are convenient meal options but can be high in sodium. Some soups contain more than half of the recommended daily sodium intake per serving. Opt for low-sodium or homemade soups, where you have control over the sodium content, to help manage your gout.

Packaged deli meats

Packaged deli meats like ham, salami, and roast beef are convenient additions to sandwiches, but they are often high in sodium and unhealthy additives. These meats can increase water retention and may trigger gout symptoms. Choose fresh, lean cuts of meat or consider alternatives like grilled chicken or tofu as sandwich fillings.

Salted nuts

While nuts are generally a healthy snack, salted varieties can pack a high sodium punch. Excessive sodium intake can contribute to fluid retention and increase uric acid levels. Opt for unsalted or lightly salted nuts to satisfy your snack cravings while managing your gout.

Fast food

Fast food meals not only tend to be high in unhealthy fats, but they also often contain excessive amounts of sodium. Fast food chains often use salt as a flavor enhancer, which can lead to inflammation and gout flare-ups. Limit your consumption of fast food or choose options with lower sodium content.

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are often used as sugar substitutes in various products, including beverages, desserts, and processed foods. While they are low in calories, excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners can have negative health effects, including potential complications for individuals with gout. Some common artificial sweeteners to be mindful of are:


Aspartame is a widely used artificial sweetener found in diet sodas, sugar-free gum, and other low-calorie or sugar-free products. While it is deemed safe for consumption, some studies have suggested a potential link between aspartame and increased uric acid levels. Moderation is key when it comes to consuming foods and drinks containing aspartame if you have gout.


Sucralose is another common artificial sweetener found in a variety of products, including sugar-free candies, baked goods, and beverages. While it is non-caloric and does not raise blood sugar levels, research regarding its impact on uric acid levels and gout is limited. It is recommended to use artificial sweeteners in moderation and consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns.

Acesulfame potassium

Acesulfame potassium, also known as Ace-K, is often used in combination with other artificial sweeteners to enhance sweetness. It is found in a wide range of products, from diet soft drinks to sugar-free desserts. While it is considered safe for consumption, individuals with gout may want to be cautious, as some studies have indicated a potential correlation between acesulfame potassium and uric acid levels.

Oxalate-rich foods

Oxalates are naturally occurring substances found in many plant-based foods. Although there is no direct link between oxalates and gout, some individuals with gout find that consuming foods high in oxalates can trigger or worsen their symptoms. Here are some oxalate-rich foods to be aware of.


Spinach is a nutrient-rich leafy green vegetable, but it also contains relatively high levels of oxalates. While oxalate-rich foods are not a direct cause of gout, they can contribute to the formation of kidney stones, which can have similar symptoms to gout. If you have a history of kidney stones, it may be beneficial to limit your intake of spinach.


Rhubarb is a unique vegetable widely used in desserts and jams. However, it is also high in oxalates. If you have gout or a history of kidney stones, it may be prudent to avoid or limit your consumption of rhubarb.

Beet greens

Beet greens, the leafy tops of beets, are a nutritional powerhouse. However, like other leafy greens, they contain oxalates. If you have gout or a history of kidney stones, you may want to moderate your intake of beet greens.


Chocolate is adored by many, but it contains oxalates and can potentially aggravate gout symptoms in some individuals. Dark chocolate tends to have higher oxalate levels compared to milk chocolate. Moderation is key, and it may be beneficial to limit consumption if you find that chocolate triggers your gout.

Nuts and seeds

While nuts and seeds are generally considered healthy snacks, some varieties, such as almonds and sesame seeds, are higher in oxalates. If you have gout or a history of kidney stones, it may be advisable to moderate your intake of these nut and seed options.

Remember, everyone's body responds differently to certain foods, and it's essential to pay attention to how your body reacts to different dietary choices. If you have gout or are prone to gout attacks, consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can help create a personalized dietary plan that suits your specific needs and keeps your gout symptoms at bay. By making informed choices and being mindful of your diet, you can better manage your gout and improve your overall health and well-being.