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Foods that Cause Gout

Updated on June 11, 2012
A serving of avocado contains around 19mg of purines making it generally acceptable to eat in moderation.
A serving of avocado contains around 19mg of purines making it generally acceptable to eat in moderation.

Technically food is not the only cause of gout. Some people simply have a condition that does not allow their body to eliminate enough uric acid causing the excess acids to crystallize in the joints causing the symptoms of pain, redness and swelling. However, foods high in purines can directly effect the frequency and intensity of gout flares.

Learn more about gout symptoms.

Unfortunately, now that you have been diagnosed with gout, many of the foods that you love will have to be limited or eliminated to alleviate your symptoms. However, this can act as an opportunity to broaden the scope of foods you enjoy.

Why Purines are a Problem

As part of the digestion process, purines become uric acid in your body. When you eat too many purines, suffer from certain disorder or have compromised kidneys your body cannot adequately dispose of this build up of uric acid. As the acid travels through your bloodstream it begins to crystallize and collects in joints causing the arthritis pain you are familiar with. For more information about the foods and diet that is right to manage your condition, please speak with your physician.

Brown shrimp has 147mg of purines in each 100g serving.
Brown shrimp has 147mg of purines in each 100g serving.

Purine Dense Foods

This is not a complete list but the items from the top two lists should be limited or eliminated to reduce gouty arthritis attacks.

Highest Purines per Serving

(400mg or more)

  • Sardines
  • Mushrooms
  • Swine organ meats
  • Baker's yeast
  • Brewer's yeast
  • Calf liver
  • Ox liver

Moderate Purines per Serving

(100mg to 400mg)

  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Caviar
  • Mungo bean
  • Goose
  • Raisins
  • Chickpeas
  • Rabbit
  • Pork
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Veal
  • Venison
  • Sausage

Low Purines per Serving

(100mg or less)

  • Almonds
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Avocado
  • Beer
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Eggplant
  • Artichoke
  • Blueberries
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Dates
  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Corn
  • Grapes
  • Lunch meats
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oyster
  • Pumpkin
  • Potato
  • Plum
  • Tofu
  • Tomato
  • Strawberries
  • Yogurt

Other Dietary Considerations

While limiting purines in your diet is very important when managing your gout symptoms it is also important to limit alcohol and simple sugars. Instead, try to increase the amount of complex carbohydrates in your diet as these help to flush the system. Increased water intake is also very beneficial for the same reason.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I’d should talk to you here. Which is not something I usually do! I love reading an article that could get people to believe. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      Very informative hub! Thank you for sharing this information. My father-in-law suffer from gout, this is really going to be helpful to him.

    • hlruther profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      The amount of purines is so low in avocados that only someone with a severe case of gout would really have to limit them. As far as fish goes, herring, mackerel and anchovies are known to cause attacks of gout. However, if these are foods you've eaten for a long time without problems it is likely an amount that your body can handle.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Wow thanks for the informative hub. I probably wouldn't found this without you posting on one of mine. I've started eating avocado recently. I have one per week but was thinking of upping it to two per week because I like the taste so much. Is that safe, and what would you say is the safe limit? I have no health problems as far as I know. Also, you included sardines as the highest contributer. Does this extend to other oily fish? I eat tinned tuna and tinned mackerel quit often. I get it in brine rather than oil, but are those risky too?


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