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What foods should you avoid if you suffer from gout?

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Quick Answer

People suffering from gout should avoid ingesting meat, poultry, fish, fatty foods, beer and alcohol and beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, the Mayo Clinic says. These foods are high in purines, which the body metabolizes to form uric acid. High levels of uric acid in the blood cause gout.

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What foods should you avoid if you suffer from gout?
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Full Answer

Gout, a severely painful type of arthritis, occurs when high levels of uric acid cause crystals to form and accumulate around joints. The first attack often occurs in the big toe. If the condition worsens, other joints may be affected, mainly foot and leg joints. When gout becomes chronic, it may affect the hands, elbows, other joints and tendons and soft tissues, the Arthritis Foundation says.

Animal proteins contain high amounts of purines, so the Mayo Clinic advises gout patients to limit foods that contain them. Especially avoid or limit eating organ meats, anchovies, mackerel, herring, beef, pork, lamb, scallops, lobster, tuna and shrimp. Limit intake of these to 4 to 6 ounces per day.

Limit saturated fat intake because it decreases the body's ability to eliminate uric acid, according to the Mayo Clinic. Eating beans and legumes instead of meat and eating low-fat or fat-free dairy foods helps decrease ingestion of saturated fat. Also, meals high in fat are a factor in obesity, which is linked to gout.

Alcohol, especially beer, also interferes with elimination of uric acid. During an attack, avoid alcohol of any kind. Men should not drink more than two alcoholic beverages in 24 hours, and women should limit their intake to one, says the Arthritis Foundation.

The only carbohydrate known to elevate uric acid is fructose. Avoid beverages such as soda pop and juice sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, the Mayo Clinic says, and do not follow a high-protein weight-loss diet because such diets can cause excess uric-acid production.

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