Foods That Trigger Gout and How To Prevent Flares

Gout is a complex type of arthritis that develops due to an accumulation of uric acid. When there is too much uric acid in the blood, urate crystals build up in the joints. These crystals form when the body breaks down purines in foods and drinks.

Patients with gout can experience inflammation, redness, severe joint pain and a limited range of motion. The symptoms usually occur suddenly, and symptomatic episodes are called flares. To reduce flares, patients are advised to restrict or eliminate purine-rich foods (“trigger foods”) and drinks in their diets. The most common “trigger foods” and beverages are outlined below.

Red Meats and Organ Meats

Red meats and organ meats have a very high purine content. In fact, most red meats and organ meats contain more purines than white meats. For example, beef heart has 107 milligrams of purines in a serving of 3.5 ounces. Lean lamb contains 76 milligrams of purines for a serving of the same size. To reduce the risk of a gout flare, it is best to eat red meat no more than two or three times per week. People who eat lamb can reduce their purine intake by opting for lamb chops.

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