11 Foods That Cause Gout

The foods that cause gout should be eliminated or reduced from your diet. Gout is an ailment which results from an increase of uric acid in the blood, and its deposit on the joints (known as uric arthritis or arthritis) as well as in renal tissues.

Gout only affects males, and its most characteristic symptom is a painful inflammation of the toe joint, though it can also affect other joints.

Avoid These Foods That Cause Gout

Foods that cause gout: Image of different types of sushi fish.
Top foods that cause gout

MEAT: All meat contains purine that transforms into uric acid within the body. Red meats (beef, lamb, pork) produce the most uric acid of any meat. It is well known that the more meat (including fish) eaten, the higher the level of uric acid in the blood and the greater the risk of gout.

SHELLFISH: Crustaceans and mollusks produce a great deal of uric acid in the body. They should be avoided in case of gout or elevated uric acid in the blood.

FATTY FISH: All fish produce uric acid, but lean fish produce less than fatty fish. Sardines, anchovies, and herring are the richest in uric-acid-producing purine, which makes them one of the top foods that cause gout.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: Alcohol blocks the elimination of uric acid, which causes its blood level to rise, leading to gout. All alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, are particularly detrimental where there is a tendency to elevate blood uric acid levels.

two cups of coffee on a table
Foods that cause gout: Coffee

STIMULANT BEVERAGES: Caffeine is among one of the foods that cause gout. Also, it belongs to the same chemical family as purine. It transforms into uric acid in the body. The contribution of coffee and tea to the formation of uric acid, while quantitatively lower than that of meats and legumes, is significant. They should be avoided in case of gout.

BREWER’S YEAST: Brewer’s yeast is derived by dehydrating millions of yeast cells, each of which has one or more nuclei that contain nucleic acids formed of purine. This purine is transformed into uric acid in the body, which, if not eliminated by the kidneys in a sufficient amount, results in gout. Although brewer’s yeast contains much less purine than meats, it should be avoided in case of gout.

LEGUMES: All legume seeds, including those classified as legumes, as well as vegetables, such as peas, contains purine that produces uric acid. Soy is one of the highest producers of uric acid. If the kidneys are functioning properly, this is no risk to health. But in cases of gout or elevated uric acid level, they should be avoided.

SPINACH: Spinach contains no purine, but it does contain oxalic acid, which can interfere with the elimination of uric acid through the urine. Also, spinach, chard, and rhubarb contain a great deal of oxalic acid. They should be avoided by those with a tendency to gout or high blood uric acid levels.

FRUCTOSE: When fructose is eaten in purified form as sugar in much higher proportions than other natural sugars, it causes metabolic disorders such as an increase in uric acid and triglyceride levels in the blood. This undesirable effect does not occur when fructose is eaten as a natural part of fruit or honey.

mushrooms overflowing out of a basket

MUSHROOMS: Although they produce much less uric acid than meat or legumes, they should also be avoided in case of gout.Asparagus: Asparagus is one of the richest vegetables in purine, although much less than meat. However, this drawback to asparagus is offset by its diuretic effect, which encourages the elimination of uric acid, resulting in a much milder effect in case of gout than might be expected. Despite this, large quantities of this vegetable are not recommended in the presence of an elevated uric acid level.


George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia Of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia Of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 293. [Foods that cause gout]

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