'Tis the season to be surrounded by family and friends—and lots of food that could trigger a gout attack.

But with a little planning, you can still enjoy seasonal treats while keeping your gout risk low.

See Gout Prevention Diet

You don't have to avoid the traditional foods of the holiday season, but you should choose wisely. See Gout Prevention

The key to a gout-friendly diet is to avoid foods and drinks high in purines. They're most commonly found in meats (especially organ meats), seafood, beer, beans, and some vegetables.

See What Are Purines?


Make smart substitutions

Use these holiday meal substitution ideas to avoid gout attack triggers at your seasonal get-togethers:

Instead of beer...choose red wine

Beer and liquor both have high purine content, while red wine is much lower. However, all alcohol has purines, so switch to water after a drink or two. You can jazz it up by using soda water or adding a slice of lemon or lime.

See Video: The Best-Tasting Anti-Inflammatory Cocktail You've Never Tried

Instead of ham...choose vegetarian lasagna

Meat in general is high in purines, but you also want to avoid high-sodium meat like ham. If you do want to have a little meat, opt for low sodium turkey—but skip the gravy!

The best choice for your gout is to skip meat altogether. That doesn't mean you can't have a substantial main course though. Vegetarian lasagna is low in purines and chock-full of healthy veggies like zucchini, squash, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and carrots. These contain lots of vitamin C, which helps prevent gout attacks. Just avoid adding broccoli or mushrooms—they're both high in purines.

See What Are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?

Instead of shrimp...choose the cheese plate

Full-fat cheese is high in fat and cholesterol, so choose low-fat cheese or eat it sparingly. But all types of cheese are low in purines, so they're a better bet for your gout than shrimp or other seafood.

Instead of peanut butter cookies...choose cheesecake with cherries

Most legumes and nuts are low in purines and gout friendly, with the exception of peanuts and cashews, so steer clear of those. And in general, most breads and cakes are OK in moderation.

But your best option if you want something sweet is fruit. All types of fruit are safe for your gout and they're great for your overall health.

You get bonus points if you eat cherries, since they have been shown to have special gout-fighting powers.

See Do Cherries Prevent Gout?

Other steps you can take

In addition to watching your diet and avoiding purines, you can also help prevent future gout attacks by maintaining a healthy weight. So after you enjoy your gout-friendly feast, why not join family members for a walk around the block or a friendly football game in the yard?

See How to Prevent the Next Gout Attack

Finally, if you take prescription medications for gout, don't forget to make sure ahead of time that you have enough medicine on hand to make it through days when your doctor is not available or pharmacies are closed.

See Gout Treatment

Learn more:

Gout Causes and Risk Factors

Gout Symptoms