Gout causes pain and swelling the one or more joints, usually a big toe. It occurs when uric acid or urate builds up in the bloodstream. Urate, normally a harmless waste product, is produced to break down purines which are found in the body as well as some foods.

Because there are foods which are high in purines, it is important for people with gout to avoid them. These include foods from several categories: turkey, venison, liver, veal, kidney, scallops, mussels, fish roes, sardines, anchovies, herring, mackerel, spinach, lentils, asparagus, cauliflower, kidney beans, soya beans, lima beans, and foods containing yeast extract. Purine levels should be below 200 mg per day, according to the UK Gout Society. Losing weight is important, as it will reduce urate levels significantly.

Staying well-hydrated will reduce urate levels, so 1.2 litres of water is recommended per day. Because some kinds of alcohol are high in purines, they also should be avoided by people with gout. These include beer, stout, port, vodka, and whiskey. Wine is lower in purines, as long as it is not fortified, so should not lead to a gout attack.

Cherries and vitamin C can help with gout, according to the UK Gout Society. Vitamin C may lower urate levels, if over 500 mg per day is consumed because it helps remove urate via the kidneys.

Overall, a diet containing plenty of low-purine fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, and potatoes is best. A moderate amount of meat, fish and milk and dairy products should round out the diet for gout.

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