Q:

What foods should be avoided to prevent gout flare-ups?

A:

Quick Answer

People trying to avoid gout flare-ups should abstain from foods high in purines, according to WebMD. These include organ meats, game meats, large amounts of other meats, anchovies, scallops and mackerel. Gravy and beer are also known to have high purine totals, elevating uric acid levels and possibly causing gout.

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Full Answer

Some foods that have moderate levels of purines but do not have as much of a risk of causing gout include fish, some other forms of seafood, wheat germ, wheat bran and oatmeal. Foods that are acceptable for people who are susceptible to gout include fruits, tomatoes, green vegetables, non-whole grain cereals and breads, and peanuts and peanut butter. Substituting low-fat or non-fat protein sources for meats is another way to stave off gout, reports WebMD.

When the body's levels of uric acid are too high, either through excess production or insufficient removal by the kidneys, the excess acid often turns into urate crystals. These lead to inflammation and pain in the form of an attack of gout, and the crystals take on the shape of a needle, sharp at both ends. When these crystals lodge in a joint or the tissue around that joint, swelling and pain result, leading to intense discomfort, explains the Mayo Clinic.

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