People with gout should follow a low-purine diet, as this disease is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid from the breakdown of purines. A low-purine diet can help treat and prevent future gout attacks.
Foods that are low in purines include eggs, nuts, peanut butter and low-fat ice cream, cheese and milk. Other low-purine foods include all fruit and fruit juices, bread, pasta, rice, cake, cornbread, popcorn, water, soda, tea, coffee, cocoa, sugar, sweets, gelatin, oil and fat.
Medium-purine foods should be eaten in limited quantities. This includes a maximum of 4 to 6 ounces of meat per day, such as poultry, crab, oysters, shrimp and lobster. Purine-containing vegetables should be limited to one-half of a cup per day, including asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms and green peas. Oats and oatmeal should be limited to two-thirds of a cup per day.
High-purine foods should be limited or avoided altogether. These include anchovies, sardines, scallops, mussels, tuna, codfish, herring and haddock. Others include wild-game meats, gravies and other sauces made with meat, and yeast extracts.
Alcohol increases gout attacks, and beverages such as beer contain large quantities of purines. Fluids help remove excess uric acid from the body, and another goal of a gout diet includes drinking 8 to 16 ounces of liquids daily, half of which should consist of water. Weight loss is also an important strategy because increased body weight puts stress on the joints.