The Gout Diet: Top 3 Foods to Eat (and Avoid) to Prevent Attacks When You Have Gout

The Gout Diet: Top 3 Foods to Eat (and Avoid) to Prevent Attacks When You Have Gout

With all of the health advice you need to follow these days, you may sometimes just feel like crawling into bed and staying there … except you need to stay active to stay healthy! Instead of avoiding the advice, make it easy to follow. 

If you have gout, one of your priorities should be to minimize your risk of painful flares. Instead of memorizing long lists of foods to avoid and another long list of things to add to your grocery cart, we’ve kept it simple for you.

Kimberly Bolling, MD, an expert clinician, recognizes that the best medical advice does you absolutely no good if you don’t follow it. Or can’t remember it. That’s why, at our offices in Bowie, Maryland, she tries to integrate your gout care easily into your life.

Would you like six easy steps to less gout pain? Follow these three foods to eat and three to avoid to help control your gout.

Eat 3

“Three” has been a magical number throughout human history. Three is the smallest number of items that can be combined to make a pattern. Three also fits easily in with the way we tend to think about time: Birth, life, death; past, present, future; beginning, middle, end.

It’s also easier to remember a series of three steps instead of 7, 17, or 70,003. Instead of being “too many” or “too few,” three seems to be “just right.” (Goldilocks would agree). So, when thinking about how to reduce gout flares, add these three foods to your daily diet:


This leafy green has its own peppery taste that makes it a delicious addition to any salad. In Italy, they even top pizzas with it. You can also sauté arugula with olive oil and salt for a spicy side dish. As a bonus, arugula is low in the oxalates that make other leafy greens troublesome.

Plain yogurt

Plain yogurt is a tangy way to enliven any meal, main dish, or side dish. Filled with gut-friendly bacteria, plain yogurt helps your digestion. Its high protein content is good for muscles. The proteins in yogurt also help you eliminate the uric acid that causes gout flares.

Be easy with sweeteners, though. Focus on non-sugar, non-artificial sweeteners, such as stevia, or top with berries or …


Cherries are a delicious treat that’s also good for gout. They’re filled with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Eating cherries as a nighttime snack, or having tart cherry juice, also boosts your melatonin levels for deeper, more restful sleep.

Eliminate 3

Foods that are high in purines put you at risk for the over-production of uric acid, which forms those painful crystals in your toe joint. Eliminate these three foods once and for all:

Organ meats

Even though liver and other organ meats are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, they’re also extremely high in purines. Also cut out liverwurst, chicken liver spread, and other prepared foods that contain organ meats.


All alcohol raises uric acid and therefore raises your risk for gout. But beer is a double culprit. Its alcohol content spikes uric acid, but so do the hops and brewer’s yeast it’s made from. In fact, beer can raise uric acid by more than 6%.


Luckily, eliminating sugar and high-fructose corn syrup has even more benefits than simply controlling your gout. Without these blood-glucose spikers, you lower your risk for diabetes and may find yourself losing weight, too.

Feel healthy

Once you adjust your diet to eliminate the main high-purine culprits, and balance it out with foods that help control gout, you should experience fewer flares. Don’t forget to stay active, too.

Exercise, a healthy diet, and plenty of hydration all go a long way toward keeping you fit and pain-free, whether you have gout or not.

Is your gout troubling you? Contact us at 301-352-0090 or request an appointment online for a gout evaluation and treatment today. 

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