There’s a new gout diet in town – and you may be surprised. A study published in the March 11, 2004, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reports that milk and other dairy foods, as well as certain purine-rich vegetables, don’t contribute to gout.

The research, part of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, found that drinking milk could actually reduce a person’s risk of developing gout by as much as 43 percent. Beans, peas, mushrooms, spinach and cauliflower, all on the gout foods blacklist because of their purine content, were exonerated by the study, which found they did not appear to be a factor in developing gout.

The study did support the traditional gout diet prescription to limit red meat and seafood – an extra portion of meat each day increased the risk of developing gout by 21 percent, and an extra serving of seafood raised the risk by seven percent. [Updated 8/11/10]