Gout Diet Made Easy: Purine Chart and Foods to Avoid

Photographed by Faye Mitchell
Photographed by Faye Mitchell

General information about food and purine

A gout diet is a diet which contains foods low in purine. Purine is a substance found naturally in food and naturally produced by the body. Purines are broken down by the body and become uric acid. (Gouty arthritis) Gout is caused by the build up of uric acid. Either the body produces to much uric acid and/or the kidneys do not filter enough uric acid through the urine to keep the uric acid from building up in the body. Gout occurs in the joints, especially the big toe and it is extremely painful. Do not take Gout lightly it can cause serious joint damage.

NEWS FLASH -- Sweetened soft drinks may be worse than hard liquor for gout. New research done in Canada found a link between sweetened soft drinks and gout. This finding was a total surprise. Two or more sweetened soft drinks per day upped gout risk by 85% This is comparable to heavy alcohol use. The soft drink industry denies any connection saying that these men may have had a family history of gout. Sweetened Soft drinks do not have purines but the fructose syrup raises uric acid levels. Check out this article By Daniel J. DeNoonWebMD Health [News archives] Blame Sweet Soda for Gout?

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) should be avoided -- upon further research I discovered that it is now being used in almost everything. I even found it in cans of diced tomatoes. Choose regular sugar or regular corn syrup they are chemically different and do not have the problem of increasing the production of purines as does HFCS.

  • It is also said that eating less acid food can reduce gout attacks. Gout prevention is more complicated than just avoiding purines.
  • Any sudden change in uric acid can cause a gout attack. Diet is not the only trigger for gout, stress and alcohol are also contributors. Beer is the worst and white wine is the best. Alcohol causes increase in uric acid production. White wine does not affect uric acid as much.
  • Meats and fish of all kinds are higher in purine than vegetables and fruit, although some vegetables are very high in purine -- mushrooms, asparagus and spinach.
  • Why are gravy, meat extracts and broth so high on the list of don't eat? The reason is because the purine is leached out in the cooking process so when you make gravy from the drippings of a roasted chicken the drippings have concentrated amounts of purine leached from the chicken, It is the same for meat extracts and broth. Most people would agree that the gravy is the most yummy part of the roasted turkey or chicken. A pot roast of beef is delicious because of the gravy. Just keep in mind that gravy, broth and meat extract are concentrated purine. Check cans for concentrated meat extract.
  • Try using white sauce doctored up with lots of flavorful spices and other things such as capers and olives or red peppers.
  • Gout sufferers should limit the amount of whole grain bread and oatmeal because they are in the medium category.
  • If you want to off-set anything high in purine -- have a salad. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes are of the lowest in purines -- just don't put mushrooms and spinach in your salad. A boiled potato with the skin on is also good. If you combine a medium or high purine with a really low purine you can still eat what you enjoy. Try to achieve a balance everyday so there is no sudden change in your uric acid.
  • For example: If you have roast duck, don't have gravy, mushrooms and asparagus.
  • Limit alcohol, especially beer (yeast is not your friend). If you drink vodka you are better with vodka made with potatoes. White wine has the least affect.
  • Cherries have an unproven reputation of being good for gout -- they do have the lowest content of purine -- so eat up the cherries.
  • Pineapple is also good for gout because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Celery stimulates urine production, including the seeds sprinkle lots of celery seed on as much as possible.
  • Low fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt have been shown to lower uric acid. Feel free to load up on dairy products.
  • Do not let yourself get dehydrated. Drink plenty of water and skim milk. Remember to go easy on any drinks with High Fructose Corn Syrup or sugar. Sugar, however, is the lesser of two evils. (article by: Charlene Laino -- WebMD Health News)
  • Keep in mind that even if you eat a good low purine diet everyday and just this once you want to eat a really high purine food the problem is not only higher uric acid, but also a sudden change in uric acid both of which can cause a gout flare up. All gout sufferers are not the same and do not respond to the same triggers. So pay attention to what caused your gout attack: Did you have shrimp three days in a row, or a wild birthday party in which you drank far too much or maybe some stressful situation.
  • In any case if you have gout, a low purine diet will help keep it under control.

Use This Guide to Control Your Intake of Purines

The list below shows which foods are high, medium and low in purine . Use this guide to control your purine intake.

High-purine foods:

  • Anchovies.
  • Roe (fish eggs).
  • Fish such as herring and mackerel.
  • Sardines.
  • Scallops and mussels.
  • Game meats, like goose, duck, and partridge.
  • Organ meats: brains, heart, kidney, liver, sweetbreads.
  • Meat extracts.
  • Broth, bouillon, and consommé.
  • Gravy.
  • Yeast (baker’s and brewer’s) taken in the form of a supplement.

Medium-purine foods:

  • Fish and shellfish not on the high purine list above.
  • Poultry foods not on the high purine list above.
  • Beef, lamb, pork, other red meats not on the high purine list above.
  • Dried beans, peas, lentils.
  • Asparagus.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Spinach.
  • Cauliflower.
  • Green peas.
  • Oats and oatmeal.
  • Wheat germ and bran.
  • Whole grain breads and cereals.

Low-purine foods and beverages:

  • Eggs (limit to 3 to 4 per week).
  • Nuts and peanut butter.
  • Low-fat and fat-free cheeses and ice cream.
  • Pudding.
  • Milk: skim or 1% (limit to 24 ounces per day).
  • Cream-style soups made with low-fat milk.
  • Soups made without meat extract or broth.
  • Vegetable not on the lists above.
  • Fruits and juices.
  • Breads cereals: low fiber, white flour, or refined grain.
  • Pasta and macaroni.
  • Rice.
  • Soda. Soda is low in purines but high in HFCS, High Fructose Corn Syrup -- Sierra Mist is the only one I know of that is made with regular sugar. Soda with HFCS is as bad as alcohol. Tea in the bottle is often sweetened with HFCS and should be avoided. All drinks with HFCS should be avoided by gout sufferers.
  • Coffee and tea.
  • Gelatin.
  • Cake and cookies.
  • Fats and oils in small amounts.
  • Sugar, syrup, and other sweets in small amounts.
  • NOT -- HFCS High Fructose Corn Syrup

Lowest-purine foods

  • Pineapple (has special qualities that are good for gout it is anti inflamitory)
  • Carrots
  • Potato (cooked with skin)
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Radishes
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Rhubarb
  • Tomato
  • Cheese, cottage
  • Yogurt
  • Cucumber
  • Cheese, brie
  • Cheese, edam
  • Cherries

Comments 53 comments

lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

interesting. I learned something about purine. Im surprised that I dont suffer from gout. Speaking of Purine, what immediately came to mind was Purina dog food.Do you know anything about the relationship to purine and animals? Dogs inparticular?

daughterson profile image

daughterson 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you for your comments lisadpreston. I did read in an article recently (and now I can't find it)that mammals have a natural element that we humans don't have. I wish I could find the article because it had some exceptional information about gout,

granny80 6 years ago

this is very imformative my husband also has gout I will try some of these food ideas out on him.Thank you. Granny80

daughterson profile image

daughterson 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you for stopping by Granny80 -- I hope it helps.

Shafroz 5 years ago

Thanks for d information

daughterson profile image

daughterson 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

You are welcome Shafroz.

Bobbie W 5 years ago

I have a had a change in meds recently and now after 40+ years my gout is flaring. Will excessive fish oil, the medication Lovasa or Narvasc cause this flare up?

Any information would be helpful.


daughterson profile image

daughterson 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Bobbie W -- Thank you for your comment. That is an interesting question. I am not a doctor but I do know that change in uric acid can cause a flare up. I would ask your doctor about it -- perhaps if that is the case when your body adjusts to the fish oil you will be alright. In any case ask your doctor.

Ike Herbst 4 years ago

Thanks for your list, very informative. I find that i get gout from coffee, mushrooms and beer. Spot on will try ur advise, but is it necessary to "alkanise" ur blood too?

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you Ike Herbst for your comments. Beer for most gout sufferers is the worst of all alcohol. Mushrooms and asparagus are a tragedy that they are triggers for so many people when they are so yummy. Just remember to keep a balance, because any change in uric acid can trigger an attack. I don't know a lot about "allkanise" ur blood. Gout is complicated. One thing is for sure you need to keep your gout under control. I don't know how old you are but in your 60's gout will make your life a misery if you don't deal with it while you are young.

Leonardo 4 years ago


When you said you were not a doctor I wanted to know what you were?

I had just left my Consultant Urologist & he told me every thing looked fine. It was a year since I last saw him. My Ph was 5.7, so I TOLD HIM, I would be taking in future a half spoon of bread soda in the morning & last thing at night. He agreed with me. I told him I take 50ml of Apple Cider Vinegar every morning & he nodded. I told him I do 30 minutes on my Rebounder every morning to pump out the toxins in my Lymphatic system And then I said: "I have a large steak & a bottle of Wakefield Shiraz 14% vol EVERY DAY. He smiled. He asked me who my GP was? I smiled at him! He said, "I know, you are your own GP"!

My philosophy is that doctors have become drug pushers for the pharmaceutical companies & the drugs prescribed are making junkies of the patients. The Hippocratic oath has been replaced by the Hypercritical oath. They don't heal people anymore, even though billions is spent on Health. They do nothing to stop the Multinational Food Industries from poisoning the people. HFCS High Fructose Corn Syrup is put into EVERYTHING!

We ALL have a Sell By Date! Its later than you think! Be sensible! Do NOT stress yourself! Enjoy yourself!

In the morning after my ACV 50ml, I have 2 hard boiled eggs. 30 minutes later I have a mug of freshly ground organic coffee & for the remainder of the day I snack on nuts, celery & a red pepper.

My MAIN meal is at 5pm!

Starlite 4 years ago

Hi I'm a 32yr old that found out I have gout I tell you what it sucks can't eat what I want but I'm living with it and I'm trying to control my food intake and drinks not only I have it my father does to and he's 67yr old and he hurts all the time . I love the info thanks

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Starlite I am so sorry you have gout. I is important to get control now. Good luck.

badegg profile image

badegg 4 years ago from Southern Appalachians

Very interesting article. I have done my own extensive research on gout myself as I have been a gout sufferer for nearly 30 years. What I have turned up is that not all gout diets work for everyone, but there are some things in common between sufferers. Each individual must experiment with foods to see what they can or cannot tolerate. My body has been sensitive to attacks if I even think about a cold beer or some other high purine foods. I finally stumbled upon a perfect regimen for myself: A 90% plant based diet, heavy on the cherry juice (about a quart a day), and I start my day with 2 naproxen sodium tablets to control any inflammation from too much strenuous/physical activity (I have acute osteo arthritis as well). I'll still eat meat, usually white meat chicken or ground turkey once or twice a week, and maybe red meat a couple of times a month. I haven't had a twinge of an attack in several months now.

Bikram Bhattacharya 4 years ago

I am having gout & I find the article quit helpful.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you Bikram Bhattacharya for your comment, I am so glad you found it helpful.

Corey 4 years ago

Hi I'm 36. I have drank heavily almost everyday for the last 15 years. 6 to 10 beers every night.I am now suffering from gout and it's very worrying. I am so determined now to modify my diet and lifestyle. If I do put myself on the healthy track do you think I can manage this gout as it is so painful? Any advise would be appreciated.


daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Hi Corey, beer although tasty, is the worst thing you could drink. If you must drink, drink white wine. My husband was a heavy drinker and ate a lot of wrong food. You might say he ate everything on the list not to eat. His gout gout was horrible. I can only tell you your gout will get worse if you don't make changes. Right now it is probably only in your toe, but soon it will be in your knees and elboes and wrists and ankles. A gout attack will move from your ankle to your elboe. You have years of misery ahead of you. You are at the age when gout starts to get serious. You don't need to change all at once. Driking beer is a habit and beer is the worst culprit. There is medicine you can take to control gout but beer is just plain not good. If you can, go to a doctor and get treatment -- you are young. Read my other article -- Acute gouty arthritis (Gout) and Kidney cancer surgery complications. This article will show you what may happen to you in the future. It will show you what gout throughout your whole body looks like. Good luck to you.

Hakim 4 years ago

I did not read down a lot after noticing that the writer puts vegetables rich in purines in the red list. Yes, some vegetables are high in purines but all the research I have read concludes that there is zero additional risks for gout attacks if these are consumed. So , I would discard all the information here.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you Hakim for your commens. It is true purines in vegetables are not as bad as in meat. My husband has suffered terribly from gout and I have done a lot of research. The list I posted on this site was given to my husband by his doctor. You may indeed discount what I have said. It is all about balance and individual triggers. I was trying to make the point about balance. It is true that new research shows vegetable purines are less of a trigger. The list is to show gout sufferes what foods have purines

Hakim 4 years ago

Yes Daughterson, I understand your point. But when my blood test results indicated a high level of uric acid after what I believe was a mild gout attack I did challenge my doctor to lower the uric acid count to normal levels only by diet. The reason being that I hate medication and I try not to take them unless I really have to. So I went on a vegetable diet for about 40 days while fasting during our holy month of Ramadan last year, and believe it or not, my uric acid count went back to normal levels and I did not have a gout attack since then. Now I eat everything in moderation. I will test for uric acid maybe within a couple of weeks to a month to see where I stand now.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

That is wonderful that you are willing to change your diet. Many gout sufferers are not willing to make those changes. It is important to be consistant and stay on your good diet. A sudden change in your uric acid can bring on an attack. I hope you never suffer gout again.

Hakim 4 years ago

Thank you for your comments, and I hope really that no one suffers this painful disease. The good news is my severe diet change lasted only about 40 days, now I am again on a very normal diet but keeping a close eye on my consumption of high purines animal products. My advise to all gout sufferers is to try first the diet change.

Carrigon profile image

Carrigon 4 years ago

The corn syrup really triggers my gout attacks. I had stopped buying soda for a long time. Didn't have a gout attack in quite awhile. Bought some regular Coke. Got a severe gout attack in my left foot and couldn't walk. I do eat alot of the wrong foods, like fish and peas. But the high fructose corn syrup is what puts me over the edge. I can't even have jelly and jams with it in there. I wish the food industry would stop using it and just use natural sugar. Even brown rice syrup is very safe.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you Carrigon for your comments. High fructose Corn Syrup is not good for anyone, but especially bad for gout sufferers. It is because it is blended, the fructose is the problem. Our bodies were not designed to handle large doses of fructose. At least in fruit you get roughage, vitamins and minerals. You are so right when you say it is hard to avoid HFCS. I now make my own jam. Strawberry jam is really easy to make.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Giving up alchol and pop will certainly help. If you had more than one attack you are on the road to chronic gout. I can assure you that is not a road you want to take. It is hard to stop drinking, but if you can that would do a lot. Pop has High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in it and that is the same as alchol.

Libby wheel 4 years ago

Can I ask if hummus and marmite are triggers? And which cereal would you recommend? Thanks

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

I think hummus is alright but marmite may not be. Marmite is made from a yeast extract and for that reason it may not be good for a gout sufferer. Cereal that is not made of oats.

Jay 4 years ago

It's stupid. Every single diet has different advice. Looking at one table you see dried mushrooms are higher in purine than pate yet fresh mushrooms are lower in purine than radishes. Another says avoid tomatoes. Another says cocoa is bad whilst another says cocoa is good.

Maybe people don't really know?

What I have found out though is your food, even with the worst foods is only 30% of your purine. the rest comes from breakdown of proteins in your own body. Injury, stress and the like cause far more problems than the medium purine foods.

Check it out for yourself, focus on mushrooms and just see how different sites recommend different things.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you Jay for your comments. It is true that there are many variations in diets. I published the list of food with purines I got from my doctor for gout victims who want that information. I think that in most cases gout is caused by eating to much fatty meat and not enough vegetables(high purine or not) and fruit. A heavy drinker and fatty meat eater is just asking for trouble. It could be that the liver, gallbladder, and pancreaus can not process the fat and purines properly because of the overload of fat. Year after year it messes up the whole metabolic system. This is my opinion observing my husband and his terrible gout attacks.

The strange thing is that he had a bad galbladder and he had pancreatitus a number of times. He had his galbadder removed a couple of years ago and has had no more pancreatitus or gout attacks. He still eats all the wrong foods.

Gout sufferers are not known to eat too many vegetables and too much fruit. Why eliminate mushrooms and eat a greasy porkchop. Leaving out mushrooms will not help. In some cases it may not make a difference what you eat because something in your metabolic system is causing the problem.

mario 4 years ago

i wanted to say that carrot juice raises the uric acid in my blood,and i dont care the way you drink it, mixed with other fruit by itself etc still is not goog for me in this case,i think is very bad for gout

daughterson profile image

daughterson 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Mario thank you so much for your comments. That is very interesting.

Frutouse is bad for gout, perhaps that has something to do with it. Carrots are sweet, but still that is amazing. Fructose is found in fruit and some vegetables. I would not have thought carrots would cause a gout attack. I will give this some serious thought.

Mark Davies 3 years ago

There is a lot of good info here. However, I would recommend a book from Amazon called "Beating Gout: A Sufferer's Guide to Living Pain Free" which is a work that draws from and summarises a lot of scientific studies (with full references that you can follow up too).

Marmite is extremely bad for hyperuricemia/gout. I think it worth investing in a uric acid monitor - you can use this to monitor the effect of different foods on your own body to measure the actual effect.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you Mark for the information. I think it would be very helpful to monitor the uric acid. It is hard to know exactly what causes a gout attack, but a monitor could show the effects of stress and foods you may not expect -- like juices made from concentrat that have a lot of fructose. Thank you again for your information.

suedollz 3 years ago

High fructose corn syrup is almost all GMO. You make the connection.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you aaatony for your comment and video. Fructose appears to be very bad for gout sufferers

Brenda 2 years ago

Just recently had a gout attack in my wrist. Didn't know what was happening. I tend to eat a low meat, vegetable and low dairy diet. After looking at all the charts, doesn't leave much left for me. Especially all my favs : Asparagus, mushrooms, shell fish, and cauliflower. Thanks for listing so much info! (F, 46 y.o., and healthy)

daughterson profile image

daughterson 2 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Brenda --Recently a lot more research has been done on gout. Research is showing Vegetable purines are not as bad as meat. I assume with your name you are female, I don't know how old you are but women don't usually get gout until after menopause. Are you over fifty?

Were you tested?

In the past three years they have made a lot of progress if you haven't been tested you need to be sure it is gout and if it is -- work with you doctor to bring your uric acid levels down.

Gloria Wood 2 years ago

My doc just prescribed Allopurinol for my gout. My toes only hurt occasionally. I'm on so much medication already. High blood pressure, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, restless legs, stage 4 CKD,

Gout, thyroid, arthritis, pacemaker, I could go on but...

Adding another medication especially one with dangerous side effects and allergic reactions makes me feel like I should just deal with the gout by diet changes.

Does anyone take Allopurinol? Has it helped reduce uric acid?

daughterson profile image

daughterson 2 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Hi Gloria, my husband has many health issues too, and he now takes allopurinol for gout. At one point he had gout in many joints at one time and suffered tremendous pain. High uric acid is dangerous especially when you have all those illnesses and it can be difficult to reduce it with diet. My husband was finally able to get on allopurinal just over a year ago. He has been totally gout free because his uric acid has been reduced to a safe level. I hope this helps.

wolf 2 years ago

What is it with gout articles . Almost every one I read has at least one misleading or contradictory statement with in it. In this one here soda is listed in the low-Purine category, yet high fructose corn syrup is not taken into consideration ,ahhhhhh.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 2 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you wolf for your comments. I did in fact make a special reference to HFCS high fructose corn syrup being as bad as alcohol for gout sufferers. The latest research backs this up as really bad for gout.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 2 years ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Wolf -- I have added a special warning about soda.

hugandkisses 2 years ago

I was weary of all the really poor sites on foods to avoid with gout...most want you to buy something...I love really good bacon and hot sausage but the gout has gone from my big toe to my fingers,knee,locked elbows/neck..where else is there to go...I am going to follow your site's good news...thank you

Johng77 2 years ago

As a Newbie, I am continuously searching online for articles that can aid me. Thank you gckefeefkdec

Auggiedoggy 18 months ago

Even vegans get gout. In fact is not uncommon to find a vegan with gout. I think it has more to do with genetics than anything else. People's bodies vary in their ability to flush out uric acid. My uric acid increased over the years from normal levels to very high levels regardless of how I ate. I've never been a big meat eater yet I am now experiencing gout attacks. Regardless, I have modified my diet to include low-fat dairy (milk, yogurt & cheese), tart cherry juice plus lots of fluids (mostly water). Question: How much fruit is safe on this diet?

daughterson profile image

daughterson 18 months ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

You are so right it is not just diet. New research shows it is very complicated. Fruit juice like orange juice has a lot of fructose so no one should drink too much juice. Water is good. Cherry juice is low in uric acid. An apple or orange or what ever fruit you like is fine but don't over do it. If you are having a lot of gout attacks you need to work with a doctor to lower your uric, like you said your body may not be able to handle uric acid without help.

LOLABITO 14 months ago

Could somebody please comment on this product. Thank you


It costs $ 299.00 Is it any good and worth buying?

daughterson profile image

daughterson 14 months ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

I can't say if it is good or not since I don't know what it is -- but I can say that gout is a serious metabolic disorder and if a good diet does not help, if you can't stick to a good diet and/or if you can't give up alcohol or pop then you should consult a doctor to lower your uric acid. For some people diet alone does not help.

LOLABITO 9 months ago

I give up. I read 10 posts and get 10 different answers.

AmandaCoetzee 3 weeks ago

Thanks for your information on Gout, and foods to avoid, will give it a go and report back on my experience. Every body differs, so what's a go green for one body can trigger a red light in the next, thinks this is a game of experimenting what works for your body? Interesting fact about metabolic disorder that comes into play, I have an Autoimmune decease and an inability to digest fat, is wheat and lactose intolerant, went on a very strict diet the past three weeks, lost 5,5kg and maybe that triggered it for me? Anyhow thanks for your website, I found it very informative.

gloria 12 days ago

I have read so much conflicting information on different sites,but yours seems the most practical.

daughterson profile image

daughterson 7 hours ago from Columbus, Ohio Author

Thank you gloria. My husband had gout for years and it eventually reached the highest limit possible, after kidney surgery he developed gout in every single joint in his body-- gout is not a joke. In an effor to help him I did a lot of research and the most important thing I learned is that it is a metabolic problem, not just the food you eat. Some people eat all the wrong food and not have a problem. For people who can control gout by diet I wanted to share what I had learned. My husband is now on Allupurinal and gout free -- Yeah!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article