Organ meats, herring, mushrooms and asparagus are high in purines, which is broken down by the body to form uric acid. Awareness and control of the levels of purines consumed aids in the prevention of gout attacks and is known as a gout diet.
High purine levels found in poultry, meat and fish create an increased risk of developing gout and can trigger attacks. Minimizing the consumption of animal proteins to between 4 and 6 ounces per day or eliminating them completely is recommended. Fructose is the only carbohydrate that increases uric acid levels. Soda and fruit drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup are to be avoided. Alcohol, especially beer, and saturated fats interfere with the body's ability to eliminate uric acid and should be avoided completely during an attack.
Low-fat or fat-free dairy products, plant-based proteins and whole grains support the body's nutritional needs and assist in weight loss, which is beneficial in controlling gout. Plant-based proteins, fruits, vegetables and 100-percent fruit juice are also healthy choices. Increasing fluid intake, particularly water, to at least 64 to 128 ounces per day aids in flushing uric acid from the system. Four to 6 cups of coffee per day may lower the risk of developing gout for men.
An excess of uric acid crystals that settle into the joints, tendons and kidneys causes gout, which is an inflammatory condition similar to arthritis. Unlike arthritis, diet and lifestyle control the occurrence of gout, and those who suffer from this condition must adhere to a low uric acid diet to avoid flare ups and re-occurrences.