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Foods High in Uric Acid

A by-product of purine metabolism, high levels of uric acid or hyperuricemia in the body, can lead to development
and aggravation of diseases such as gout. They also result in the joint deformation and kidney damage along with
diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). In normal circumstances the
uric acid is eliminated from the body by the kidneys. However, the failure to do so, results in the development of
uric acid and the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. While there are other causes for excess uric acid
formation in the body, diet may also be an important factor for increased level of uric acids. Usually, the purines in
food, break down to form uric acid during digestion. So, when people susceptible to excess uric acid production,
intake foods high in purine, it results in hyperuricemia and conditions of gout arthritis. Here, is a list of all the foods
high in uric acid.

Foods High in Uric Acid Levels

Meat: All meat products especially sweetbreads and organ meats such as livers and hearts have the highest level of
purines and are therefore the most likely culprits of disorders caused by high uric levels. While animal meats or the
"red meats" such as beef, pork and seafood should be completely avoided, "white meats" such as poultry and ham
can be eaten in moderate amounts. Processed meat such as bacon, is very high in purines and therefore a strict no-no
for the people suffering from gout.

Yeast: Foods which contain yeast such as breads, beer and alcohol beverages, contain high amount of uric acid.
Alcohol in particular is known to hamper the renal excretion in the kidneys, thus resulting in high levels of uric acid.

Seafood: Seafood such as sardines, trout, tuna, ocean perch, anchovies, herring, halibut, salmon, shrimp and lobster
have high levels of purine.

Lentils: It is advisable to eat legumes such as dried beans in moderate amounts to control the levels of uric acid.

Vegetables: Vegetables like asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms and spinach are also moderate purine foods
containing 9-100 mg purine in 100 g food.

Caffeine: Intake of caffeine found in coffee, tea, beans and leaves of many plants is known to increase the uric acid
levels and aggravate conditions of grout. Instead, try the decaffeinated coffee which actually helps reduce uric acid
levels.

In addition to these, people prone to having high uric levels should also avoid some acid-forming foods such as
processed syrups, packaged fruit juices, sauces, commercial pickles and artificial sweeteners.

How to Avoid Foods High in Uric Acid

In order to avoid foods high in uric acid, the diet should be fashioned to eliminate all the high purine foods and
instead include foods with moderate to low amounts of purine. This uric acid reduction diet should include, a liberal
carbohydrate intake, such as pasta and rice and foods low in protein and fats. Eating plenty of raw fruits such as
bananas and apples and vegetables such as celery and tomatoes have also known to be beneficial for reducing uric
acid levels. In addition to this, remember that dehydration reduces kidney function, allowing uric acid to build up
and hence, drinking lots of fluids especially water, will help keep the organs hydrated and dilute the amount of uric
acid in the body. Juices made of black cherry, celery, birch leaf and parsley are very effective gout remedies, for
combating and flushing out uric acid from the tissues. Check out some of these low purine diet gout recipes for
controlling uric acid formation.

With the appropriate dietary changes, the levels of uric acid in the body may be controlled. So once the diagnosed, it
is prudent that one takes care of it, since the condition can recur and if not treated well, may lead to other
complications. These diets, should be worked out in conjunction with other changes in diet and lifestyle, to relieve
the body from the problems occurring due to high uric acid.
The table below lists foods high in uric acid first with purine concentration reducing as you move down the list.
Many advisers tell gout sufferers to avoid anything over 400mg and restrict foods in the 100-400mg range, but you
should treat this advice with caution.

Firstly, you must realize that typical portion sizes vary enormously.
Be sure to calculate the amount that applies to your typical serving size from the value shown for 100 grams.

Secondly, the effect of foods high in uric acid depends on direct absorption through the digestive tract. Most uric
acid derives from the breakdown of your cells as part of normal metabolism. The overall contribution of foods high
in uric acid is debatable – figures of between 5% and 15% are common.

Purines Warning

Please be careful about getting obsessed with the purine content of food. Though purines in food can have a slight
effect on uric acid, there are many other factors to consider. Read more about the main food factors that can affect
gout in the Gout Diet section.

Foods High In Uric Acid Table

You should use the information in the table below only as a guideline. Many other factors, besides foods high in uric
acid, affect the risk of gout attacks.
If you do feel that it is important to manage foods high in uric acid, then you should measure your total intake.
Multiply the weight of your food (in grams) by the value from the table and divide this by 100 to give your uric acid
intake in milligrams. In this way you can calculate a total intake from the list of foods high in uric acid for every
meal. You need to find the level that you can tolerate best by trial and error.

Foods High in Uric Acid


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Purines
(Uric
Food Acid
mg/100
g)

Theobromine 2300

Yeast, Brewer’s 1810

Neck sweet bread, Calf’s 1260

Sprat, smoked 804

Sheep’s spleen 773

Yeast, Baker’s 680

Ox liver 554

Pig’s heart 530

Pig’s spleen 516


Pig’s liver 515

Mushroom, flat, edible Boletus, dried 488

Fish, sardines in oil 480

Liver, Calf’s 460

Ox spleen 444

Pig’s lungs (lights) 434

Ox lungs (lights) 399

Fish, sardine, pilchard 345

Spleen, Calf’s 343

Pig’s kidney 334

Fish, trout 297

Fish, Tuna in oil 290

Ox kidney 269

Fish, Tuna 257

Ox heart 256

Liver, chicken 243

Fish, Redfish (ocean perch) 241

Heart, Sheep’s 241

Fish, Anchovy 239

Black gram (mungo bean), seed, dry 222

Fish, Herring, Matje cured 219

Kidney, Calf’s 218

Fish, Herring, Atlantic 210

Horse meat 200

Bean, Soya, seed, dry 190

Fish, Herring roe 190

Lamb (muscles only) 182


Fish, Halibut 178

Chicken (breast with skin) 175

Veal, muscles only 172

Fish, salmon 170

Poppy seed, seed, dry 170

Pork muscles only 166

Goose 165

Sausage, liver (liverwurst) 165

Fish, Saithe (coalfish) 163

Fish, Carp 160

Ox tongue 160

Pork leg (hind leg) 160

Chicken, boiling fowl, average 159

Pork fillet 150

Pork shoulder with skin (blade of shoulder) 150

Turkey, young animal, average, with skin 150

Veal knuckle with bone 150

Veal, leg of veal with bone 150

Veal, neck with bone 150

Lungs, Calf’s 147

Shrimp, brown 147

Fish, Mackerel 145

Pork chop with bone 145

Caviar (real) 144

Sunflower seed, dry 143

Pike 140

Pork chuck 140


Veal chop, cutlet with bone 140

Veal fillet 140

Veal, shoulder 140

Fish, Haddock 139

Duck, average 138

Venison haunch (leg) 138

Pig’s tongue 136

Scallop 136

Beef, muscles only 133

Rabbit meat, average with bone 132

Fish, Sole 131

Ham, cooked 131

Bean, seed, white, dry 128

Lentil, seed, dry 127

Pork belly, raw, smoked dried 127

Beef, chuck 120

Beef, fore rib, entrecote 120

Pork hip bone (hind leg) 120

Lobster 118

Chicken (chicken for roasting), average 115

Mussel 112

Sausage “Jagdwurst” 112

Beef, fillet 110

Beef, roast beef, sirloin 110

Beef, shoulder 110

Chicken, leg with skin, without bone 110

Fish, Pike-perch 110


Fish, Cod 109

Peas, chick (garbanzo), seed, dry 109

Grape, dried, raisin, sultana 107

Linseed 105

Rabbit/Hare (average) 105

Venison back 105

Sausage salami, German 104

Sausages, frying, from pork 101

Pork belly 100

Barley without husk, whole grain 96

Sausage “Mortadella” 96

Pea, seed, dry 95

Oats, without husk, whole grain 94

Plaice 93

Brain, Calf’s 92

Mushroom, flat, edible Boletus, cep 92

Sausages, frying, from veal 91

Oyster 90

Frankfurter sausages 89

Sausage “Bierschincken” 85

Pea, pod and seed, green 84

Pig’s brain 83

Broccoli 81

Bean sprouts, Soya 80

Tench 80

Nuts, peanut 79

Artichoke 78
Fish, eel (smoked) 78

Sausage “Fleischwurst” 78

Sausage, Vienna 78

Ox brain 75

Leek 74

Sausages, German (Mettwurst) 74

Apricot 73

Sausage “Munich Weisswurst” 73

Cocoa powder, oil partially removed, not including


71
theobromine

Grass, Viper’s (black salsify) 71

Meat, luncheon 70

Brussel sprouts 69

Tofu 68

Chives 67

Fig (dried) 64

Plum, dried 64

Millet, shucked corn 62

Sesame (gingelly) seed, Oriental, dry 62

Fish, Crayfish 60

Crispbread 60

Mushroom 58

Banana 57

Beef, corned (German) 57

Parsley, leaf 57

Spinach 57

Peppers, green 55
Pudding, black 55

Corn, sweet 52

Cauliflower 51

Rye, whole grain 51

Wheat, whole grain 51

Oyster, mushroom 50

Kale 48

Beans, French, dried 45

Pumpkin 44

Pasta made with egg (noodles, macaroni, spaghetti,


40
etc.

Lettuce, Lamb’s 38

Almond, sweet 37

Beans, French (string beans, haricot) 37

Cabbage, savoy 37

Nuts, hazelnut (cobnut) 37

Date, dried 35

Elderberry, black 33

Melon, Cantelope 33

Cabbage, red 32

Cheese, Limburger, 20% fat content in dry matter 32

Celeriac 30

Morel 30

Quince 30

Bamboo Shoots 29

Mushrooms, canned, solid and liquid 29

Olive, green, marinated 29

Cress 28
Grape 27

Kohlrabi 25

Nuts, Walnut 25

Plum 24

Squash, summer 24

Asparagus 23

Nuts, Brazil 23

Bilberry, blueberry, huckleberry 22

Cabbage, white 22

Aubergine 21

Chinese leaves 21

Peach 21

Rolls, bread 21

Strawberry 21

Avocado 19

Beet root 19

Kiwi fruit (Chinese gooseberry, strawberry peach) 19

Orange 19

Pineapple 19

Caviar substitute 18

Potato, cooked with skin 18

Raspberry 18

Carrot 17

Cherry, Morello 17

Currant, red 17

Endive 17

Mushrooms, Chanterelle 17

Mushrooms, Chanterelles, canned, solids & liquids 17


Gooseberry 16

Potato 16

Sauerkraut, dripped off 16

Radish 15

Apple 14

Beer, real, light 14

Bread, wheat (flour) or (white bread) 14

Fennel leaves 14

Beer, Pilsner lager beer, regular beer, German 13

Lettuce 13

Onion 13

Radishes 13

Chicory 12

Pear 12

Rhubarb 12

Tomato 11

Cheese, cottage 9.4

Beer, alcohol free 8.1

Yogurt, min. 3.5% fat content 8.1

Cucumber 7.3

Cheese, Brie 7.1

Cheese, edam, 30% fat content in dry matter 7.1

Cheese, edam, 40% fat content in dry matter 7.1

Cheese, edam, 45% fat content in dry matter 7.1

Cherry, sweet 7.1

Cheese, Cheddar/Cheshire cheese, 50% fat content in


6
dry matter
Foods To Avoid

Diets which are high in purines and high in protein have long been suspected of causing an increased risk of gout (a
type of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the body which form crystals in the joints, resulting in pain and
inflammation). Results from a study led by Dr. Hyon K. Choi, reported in the March 11, 2004 issue of The New
England Journal of Medicine, offer an interesting twist.

About The Study

Choi's research team followed 47,150 men with no prior history of gout over a 12-year period. The conclusion:
during the 12 year period of assessment, 730 men were diagnosed with gout.

• Study participants who consumed the highest amount of meat were 40 percent more
likely to have gout than those who ate the least amount of meat.
• Study participants who ate the most seafood were 50 percent more likely to have
gout.

In this specific study, though, not all purine-rich foods were associated with an increased risk of gout. There was no
increased risk associated with a diet which included:

• peas
• beans
• mushrooms
• cauliflower
• spinach

Even though these foods are considered high in purines. Choi's team also found that low-fat dairy products decrease
the risk of gout and overall protein intake had no effect. Ultimately, diets shown to be connected to gout are the
same kinds of diet linked to cardiovascular disease.

• The Gout Diet Quiz

Recommendations For Seafood Should Be Individualized

At this point, it may seem like it gets confusing. Isn't seafood typically recommended as part of a diet which is
healthy for the heart? Yet research has revealed that there is a strong, undeniable link between seafood and gout.
How does Choi reconcile what seems like conflicting information? He believes "recommendations for seafood
should be individualized."

Sorting Out The Myths

More importantly, how does a person begin to sort the myths from the facts and decide what to buy at the grocery
store? According to the University of Washington, Department of Orthopedics:

• Obesity can be linked to high uric acid levels in the blood. People who are overweight
should consult with their doctor to decide on a reasonable weight-loss program.
Fasting or severe dieting can actually raise uric acid levels and cause gout to worsen.
• Usually people can eat what they like within limits. People who have kidney stones
due to uric acid may need to actually eliminate purine-rich foods from their diet
because those foods can raise their uric acid level.
• Consuming coffee and tea is not a problem but alcohol can raise uric acid levels and
provoke an episode of gout. Drinking at least 10-12 eight-ounce glasses of non-
alcoholic fluids every day is recommended, especially for people with kidney stones,
to help flush the uric acid crystals from the body.

Foods Higher In Purines

Johns Hopkins lists foods which are higher in purines

Foods very high in purines include:

• hearts
• herring
• mussels
• yeast
• smelt
• sardines
• sweetbreads

Foods moderately high in purines include:

• anchovies
• grouse
• mutton
• veal
• bacon
• liver
• salmon
• turkey
• kidneys
• partridge
• trout
• goose
• haddock
• pheasant
• scallops