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List Of Foods That Cause Gout: Foods To Avoid For Gout

Updated on June 18, 2012

In this hub, I will outline a list of foods that cause gout. They are quite many so if you think you are suffering from this condition then it may be best for you to write these down (or print the list below) so when you go to the supermarket you know which aisles to avoid!

But before I give you the list of foods that cause gout, I would like to give a short background on this disease.

What is gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused by excess levels of uric acid in the body. It is an extremely painful medical condition that arises when the excess uric acid form crystals in the joints (the first joint affected is usually the one in big toes) inflaming the joints and causing flaming-hot pain.

Diagram of a big toe joint with gout


A few gout facts

  • Gout has had a long history with mankind having been recorded as far back as 5 B.C.!
  • It has once been called as the “disease of kings”.
  • There are more than 8.3 million people in the US affected by gout.
  • At 40 to 50 years of age, men are more likely to have gout than women.
  • Over 50% of first time gout attacks occur on the big toe.

Nutritionists have long suspected that diets that are high in protein and purine are causing gout. However, a study by Dr. Hyon K Choi, which was published in a March 2004 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, has a different set of findings that disproved this existing theory.

Results from Dr. Choi's scientific study:

  • Participants who ate a lot of purine-rich red meat suffered a 21% increase in getting affected by gout.
  • Participants who ate a lot of seafood suffered a 7% increase in getting affected by gout.
  • Protein and purine-rich vegetables were not as harmful as originally believed.
  • Skim milk and low fat yogurt helps decrease the risk of gout.

And here’s the list of foods that cause gout:

1) Red Meats
2) Seafoods
3) Fruits high in fructose
(limit intake to 1 to 2 cups per day)
Horse Meat
Organ meat such as:
Fish oil
Fish roe (cod roe, caviar)

4) Beer and grain liquors

5) Yeast - such as Bovril, Oxo, Marmite and Vegemite

6) High fructose corn-syrup – an interesting fact is that there is a positive correlation between a high fructose diet and gout so you must avoid the following:

  • Sweetened soft drinks such as soda, enriched fruit drinks, etc.
  • Processed food in fast food places
  • Most breakfast cereals
  • Most ice creams and candy

I wouldn’t want to list only the food you should limit or totally avoid for gout. That wouldn’t be any fun at all. For a more complete list (so you know which aisles in the supermarket to go straight to!), here’s a list of low purine foods that you can include in your gout diet.

Low purine foods:

  1. Low fat dairy products such as skim milk and low fat yogurt
  2. Fresh vegetables
  3. Fresh fruits (just remember #3 in the table above)
  4. Nuts
  5. Grains

For a more comprehensive list of foods in this category, you may want to visit my hub on Low Purine Diet For Gout.

What about vegetables that are high in purine? Are these safe to eat?

As I have mentioned above, people suffering from gout are commonly advised to stay away from purine-high vegetables BUT based on Dr Choi’s study, these are not as harmful as commonly believed.


Vegetables with medium to high purine content:

  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower

I hope my list of foods that cause gout has helped you out.

Remember, STAY AWAY from the 6 categories of foods that I have listed or else you risk a gout attack! Feel free to check the capsules on the right for some popular gout medication!


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    • angied83 profile image

      Angie D 5 years ago from Cebu, PH

      Hi Trinity. Yes, gout sufferers do have to a lot of sacrifices to make.. Us non-gout sufferers had better start getting conscious of purine content in the food we eat. Thank you for dropping by my hub, appreciate it. :-)

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 5 years ago

      Interesting hub. Luckily I don’t have gout because I doubt I could stay away from all the tasty stuff on your "don't eat" list. :)

    • angied83 profile image

      Angie D 5 years ago from Cebu, PH

      Thank you, rfmoran! I hope the information I have listed above helps your friend.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      I have a good friend who suffers from gout. I'm alerting him to check out your Hub.