Nutritional plan for managing gout

Man climbing mountain to symbolize overcoming myths about gout
Certain foods and drinks are better than others for controlling gout.
Medically reviewed by
AKF's Medical Advisory Committee
Last updated
May 7, 2024

Foods and drinks to avoid when you have gout

Alcohol is a trigger for gout attacks. When you drink, your kidneys work to filter out alcohol instead of uric acid, leaving uric acid to build up in your body. Beer is especially bad for gout because it has purines.

Sugary drinks (like soda), sugary foods, and foods with high-fructose corn syrup should be limited because of their connection to gout. There is less evidence about why these foods and drinks increase the risk of gout, but some connection has been found.

Foods that are high in purines should be completely avoided since they contribute to creating uric acid in your body. These include:

  • Anchovies
  • Asparagus
  • Animal organs (brains, kidneys, liver, sweetbreads, etc.)
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Gravy
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Mushrooms
  • Mussels
  • Sardines
  • Scallops

Content courtesy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Foods and drinks that may be good for gout


Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is important if you have gout. Aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Drinking water can help keep uric acid from building up and help release it from your body. If you have fluid restrictions because of kidney disease, talk to your doctor or dietitian about managing your fluid and gout

Cherries and foods with vitamin C

Some foods like cherries and fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C have been shown to lower the level of uric acid in your blood, which can have a positive effect on gout. Some examples of foods high in vitamin C are:

  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Bell peppers
  • Pineapples

There is mixed evidence about whether cherries, and foods with high vitamin C can help prevent gout. Eating these foods will not treat gout the way that medicines can. In some cases, they may help improve your condition in some way.