Foods that increase the likelihood of a gout attack include purine-rich foods, such as seafood, alcohol, organ and glandular meats, white bread, and cakes, according to Mayo Clinic. Additionally, sugar-sweetened drinks, candies and products containing high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup can also lead to flare-ups.
Seafood that can lead to gout attacks include tuna, mackerel, haddock, trout and scallops, states Mayo Clinic. Beer and distilled liquors are also associated with higher risk of gout. Instead of high-fat dairy products, fatty poultry and red meats, gout sufferers should consume fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
Gout sufferers should drink plenty of water and eat lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, recommends Mayo Clinic. Studies reveal that high-purine vegetables do not contribute to gout attacks. Taking vitamin C, eating cherries and drinking moderate amounts of coffee have been shown to reduce uric acid levels.
A healthy gout diet does not cure gout, but it decreases the risk of frequent gout attacks and also prevents rapid joint damage, notes Mayo Clinic. Based on modern research, avoiding certain purine-rich foods is beneficial; however, it is not essential to avoid all foods containing purine. The goals of a gout diet are to reduce the risk of gout attacks and maintain a healthy weight, as losing excess pounds helps decrease joint stress.