How Diet Affects Gout

If you’re living with gout, you’re probably constantly looking for ways to relieve your sharp, stabbing foot pain. Even when you’re in between flares, you know that pain can come back at any moment. 

Fortunately, our knowledgeable team at Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center can work with you to lessen your pain and minimize your gout attacks. At our office in Laveen, Arizona, Kyle Durfey, DPM, and Brian Hiapo, DPM, have helped countless patients just like you make changes to keep their feet comfortable. 

And of their primary suggestions is also one of the easiest to implement. That’s because your diet directly affects your gout. 

Why what you eat affects your gout

When your body breaks down purines, a byproduct is created called uric acid. If too much uric acid is created, it can crystallize. Unfortunately, these crystals are often deposited in the joints of the body, especially the big toe. The reason you may feel pain in your big toe is because these crystals can cause serious inflammation.

While purine is naturally found in your body, it’s also found in certain foods. Eating a purine-rich diet can spike your uric acid levels and worsen your gout. Conversely, steering clear of these foods can help your body keep your uric acid levels balanced, thus minimizing inflammation in your joints and, more importantly, keeping gout pain at bay.

Foods to avoid

So if you want a way to keep your feet pain-free, adjust your diet to stay away from purine-rich foods. Specifically, avoid:

Organ and glandular meats

Kidney, liver, and sweetbreads have a high purine content. Eating this food group is directly linked to higher levels of uric acid in your body. 

Red meat

Similarly, red meats are purine-rich. Limit your consumption of beef, pork, and lamb. 


Some seafood is safe to eat and can help you get healthy proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. But try to avoid tuna, shellfish, anchovies, and sardines whenever possible. 


Different alcohols contain different purine levels. To be safe, limit your alcohol consumption. 

Other diet considerations

Interestingly, studies have shown that you can safely eat high-purine veggies, such as spinach and asparagus, without heightening your risk for a gout attack. Also, other studies have linked consumption of sugar― especially fructose ― with more gout attacks even though fructose doesn’t contain high purine levels. That’s because purines are created as your body breaks down fructose. 

You don’t have to figure out the right diet on your own to minimize gout flares. For expert help, book an appointment online or over the phone with Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center today.

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