A form of arthritis, gout is triggered by compounds known as purines, which are found in meat and seafood, as well as yeast and alcohol.
The results of the study, which followed more than 600 gout-sufferers over the course of a year, were published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Researchers discovered that the average amount of dietary purines consumed in a two-day period without a gout attack was 1.66g, compared to 2.03g in the two days before an attack, with those with a high-purine diet five times more likely to suffer an attack than those who ate fewest purines.
“Avoiding or reducing purine-rich food intake, especially of animal origin, may help reduce the risk of recurrent gout attacks,” concluded the researchers.
Fruit and vegetables contain fewer purines, as well as nutrients that help lower insulin resistance, which is often promoted as a way of controlling gout.