Tips to Help Manage Gout in Social Settings

Gout Diet Tips

Gout is a painful type of inflammatory arthritis.1 It is caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints.2 Adults with gout can suffer from attacks, also called flares, which include sudden episodes of pain, redness, swelling and/or extreme tenderness in one or more joints.2   If you have gout, you may feel a little anxious about events where food and drink are the focus. While everyone else is enjoying himself or herself, you may be worrying about triggering a gout flare. Here are helpful gout diet tips for these events.


Avoid “rich” food

Centuries ago, gout was assumed to be a disease of the rich because only rich people could afford meat, seafood and alcohol.3 Today, however, these types of foods and beverages are commonly enjoyed at parties, restaurants and holiday gatherings.

You may already know that certain foods and drinks (such as organ meats, some seafood and beer) contain chemicals called purines.4 Purines are converted to uric acid by the body and eliminated in the urine.4 However, people with gout have difficulty eliminating uric acid from their bodies.4 As a result, uric acid can build up in the bloodstream.4 This build-up can lead to the formation of urate crystals throughout the body, especially in the joints.4 In people with gout, consuming foods and drinks that are high in purines may trigger flares.2


Choose gout-friendly foods and drinks

In social settings, it may help you to keep in mind which foods and drinks to avoid, which to consume in moderate amounts and which are least likely to trigger a gout flare.2

Be sure to choose foods and drinks that are lower in purines when planning holiday meals or choosing what to enjoy at holiday events:


Gout Diet Tips: An Overview3,5*


Best To Avoid


  • Organ meats such as sweetbreads, liver and kidney

  • High-fructose corn syrup (in sodas, other beverages and processed foods)

  • Alcohol overuse (more than 2 servings per day for men and 1 serving per day for women) in all gout patients OR any alcohol use during periods of frequent gout attacks or when gout is not well controlled


Try To Limit


  • Pork, beef or lamb

  • Shellfish, such as shrimp or lobster

  • Oily fish, such as anchovies, tuna, scallops, haddock or herring

  • Naturally sweet fruit juices

  • Salt and sugar (including in sauces and gravies)

  • Alcohol (particularly beer, but also wine and spirits)

May Be Freely Enjoyed


  • Low- or non-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt or cheeses

  • Vegetables

  • Potatoes and squash
  • Low-purine proteins, such as chicken

*Adapted from the 2012 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines for Management of Gout. Part 1: Systematic Nonpharmacologic and Pharmacologic Therapeutic Approaches to Hyperuricemia. 

Drink more water and non-alcoholic beverages

Water and other non-alcoholic beverages, such as skim milk or coffee, can help remove uric acid from the body.6,7 Sugary drinks, however, should be avoided.3 

It is also believed that caffeinated coffee is associated with a reduced risk of gout flares.3 Be sure to talk with your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake, however. This is especially important if you have other health problems. Increasing the amount of caffeine you consume could make these problems worse.2 

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol may raise your risk of a gout flare, particularly if you drink more than one serving a day.8 It is best for people with gout to avoid beer and wine because these beverages have a higher-than-average purine content.


Ask your doctor about vitamin C

Vitamin C may help lower uric acid levels. Ask your doctor if a vitamin C supplement might be right for you.3  


Whether you have gout or not, it is a good idea to eat a healthy diet. This means consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy products and lean meats. It may also help to keep your daily intake of fats and sugary foods low. And be sure to stay well hydrated. Research shows that people with gout who drink plenty of water (or other non-alcoholic, non-sugary beverages) may have fewer gout episodes.3 


NOTE: This article was not written by a medical professional and is not intended to substitute the guidance of a physician. These are not West-Ward’s recommendations for gout flare prevention, but rather facts and data collected from various reliable medical sources. For a full list of resources and their attributing links, see below.



  1. Arthritis Foundation. Gout. Accessed 8/16/17.
  2. National Institutes of Health. Gout. Accessed 8/16/17.
  3. Mayo Clinic. Gout Diet: What’s Allowed, What’s Not. Accessed 8/16/17.
  4. National Institutes of Health. What Is Gout? Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public. Accessed 8/16/17.
  5. Khanna, D et al. 2012 American College of Rheumatology guidelines for management of gout. Part 1: systematic nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic therapeutic approaches to hyperuricemia. Arthritis Care & Research. 2012;64(10):1431-1446.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gout. Accessed 8/16/17.
  7. Harvard Health Publications. Fight back against gout. Accessed 8/16/17.
  8. Neogi T et al. Alcohol quantity and type on risk of recurrent gout attacks: An internet-based case-crossover study. Am J Med. 2014;127(4):311-318.

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Important Safety Information for Mitigare® (colchicine) 0.6 mg capsules

  • Colchicine 0.6 mg capsules are contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment who are currently prescribed drugs that inhibit both P-gp and CYP3A4.