Mediterranean diet for gout - it lowered uric acid

This page about the Mediterranean diet for gout - page 1 - was last reviewed or updated on 20 January 2015


It is called the Mediterranean Diet but it is not a diet designed to lose you weight. It is a way of eating in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

A short explanation of this diet is that when people in these countries eat their traditional food they eat more fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes ((beans, lentils, soybeans, (soyabeans), peanuts, peas)); they drink more wine and less beer, although in one of these studies wine was associated with high uric acid; eat fewer dairy products; use more herbs and spices; for cooking with fats they use olive oil; they use 

less butter; less sugar; less meat and maybe less fish (seafood); less sugar and fructose sweetened beverages; fewer trans fats; less refined carbohydrates.

If you want a  longer description and a fuller understanding of the Mediterranean diet, click on the link at the bottom of this article, to the Mayo clinic’s description.

The Mediterranean diet has been reasonably successful in lowering uric acid in three studies. We describe these on the second page about the Med diet for gout but read this page first if you can.


Of course you don’t have to “go Med” and it might not be so easy where you live. But you can adjust many of these foods to your country's cuisine, and eat more of them. That will be good for gout. However, consuming fewer dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt (yogurt) etc.  might not be a good idea because these three dairy foods often have a beneficial, gout positive, effect on the blood (serum) uric acid. And they are low purine.

What Med diet foods amount to, is eating fewer gout causing purines,( more fiber (fibre) and more anti-oxidants and other nutrients, especially from the fruit. Anti-oxidants might help lower uric acid and be anti-
inflammatory, but if they don’t they are still good for gout.

And with Med diet foods you will eat fewer of those refined carbohydrates which raise blood sugar, especially those foods with a higher Glycemic Index score. It is thought an excess, or unstable amount of blood sugar can cause gout through the insulin resistance route.This reduces uric acid (UA) excretion. Med diet foods may improve UA excretion and insulin resistance, and that may be why it had some success.


If you have the idea there is a single gout diet, there really isn’t. Many diets can lower uric acid and therefore help you control gout. Some are supported by studies among gout patients. Any diet that loses your weight will probably lower uric acid somewhat, most likely as long as your weight loss is significant. So too will a low purine diet An alkaline diet has increased uric acid excretion in studies.

A diet that will lose weight includes Atkins or another kind of restricted carbohydrate diet. The Atkins is certainly not a meat-only diet. It has not yet been scientifically studied among gout patients. 

However, a diet which included meat and seafood, and restricted carbohydrates among other restrictions,  the Zone diet, has lowered uric acid and reduced gout attack frequency,  in a widely quoted, and very interesting, scientific study  amongst gout patients

An olive plantation on the Mediterranean island of Crete


Eating loads of fruit isn’t necessarily a good idea for gout patients, but eating some fruit is. The reason is fructose the fruit sugar also found in honey, and some vegetables, and which with glucose forms table sugar, is regarded as a probable cause of gout in some people. Fruit has its minuses too.

You could read’s article about fructose. It recommends an achievable limit of daily fructose intake which is unlikely to raise uric acid. This is 25 grams of fructose daily. Fructose can be compared to meat and seafood. Just as meat and seafood need restricting, so too does fructose.

See the fruits highest and lowest in fructose  and the amounts of fructose in them.

The Med diet, in the studies we describe on the 2nd page, was not completely successful in lowering uric acid. In one study, the diet had no effect on uric acid levels in a group of 281 women. In another some participants, in fact as many as almost a quarter actually developed hyperuricemia ((uric acid: +7, (men) or +6 (women) mg/dL)) over a statistical five year period.

Perhaps they ate too much fruit. The amount of fruit (including natural fruit juices) was at servings of at least 3 or more daily. On the other hand, nearly 44% reversed their hyperuricemia. a higher % than those who developed it.

Descriptions of the Med diet say eat fish (seafood). But many fish, especially the heart healthy ones high in Omega-3 like sardines and mackerel, are high purine. Fish should probably only be eaten twice a week by gout sufferers.

Now please, click to our second page about the Mediterranean diet for gout where we summarise (summarize) how the diets performed against uric acid.

Read more about the Mediterranean diet at the Mayo clinic.

Related pages

Visit our second page about the Med diet for gout where we describe the uric acid studies

Purine amounts vary across a cow' s body. So which are the best beef cuts for gout ?

Read about how to deal with the fish dilemma.

Which are the best fish for gout? We name them.

Visit our page about olives for gout

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