The different foods that cause gout are generally in the protein category, like various types of meat and legumes. However, not all the foods that cause gout should be avoided completely. Organically raised, clean sources of red meat, fowl and fish are loaded with fat-soluble vitamins and minerals that promote healthy kidney function.

Rather than looking at individual foods as gout causes, it helps to look at how foods affect kidney function. Gout is a condition of over-acidity of the internal environment and the kidneys have the task of balancing the pH of the body chemistry.

Gout Fundamentals

One gout symptom is unbearable pain and it’s caused by excess uric acid in the blood crystallizing in a joint. It can be virtually any joint of the extremities but is commonly the big toe.

The uric acid becomes excessive due to the kidneys’ inability to process and manage the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. While uric acid is an integral part of metabolism, when it becomes overly abundant, it becomes problematic. Under normal circumstances it is an important antioxidant that serves to protect various cells and tissues.

One of the ways that uric acid is produced is by the breakdown of purines, which are part of the cellular makeup of all food sources.

Protein sources like meats and beans are known to be high in purines and therefore are usually considered to be gout foods to avoid. Another food substance that increases uric acid to unacceptable levels is high fructose corn syrup.

What Foods Cause Gout

It is important to keep in mind that foods that impair kidney function are the foods that are true gout causes. High-quality seafood and other foods may be high in purines, but eaten in small portions and infrequently, they provide value that should not be overlooked.

The biggest offender to kidney and liver function in the world today is highly-modified, highly-processed edible food-like substances that are promoted as food. The health crisis in the world today is characterized by obesity, diabetes and every other degenerative disease like gout. These illnesses have risen sharply with the advent of processed, denatured foods.

Processed Foods

The list of what foods cause gout should always start with processed foods. Processed foods are the foods served at virtually every restaurant but especially in fast food restaurants. Limiting how often you eat in restaurants goes a long way in solving the problem of gout.

To simplify the foods to avoid for gout, it is easiest to say, “avoid anything that comes in a box, bag, can, or bottle.”

Go to the grocery store and spend 90% of your time and money in the produce section. Buy organic. In the meat department, buy organic.

High Purine Foods

High purine foods or purine-rich foods that cause gout are cited far too often as the villain. Food is but one part of how the inner body environment becomes over-acidic and the kidneys over-loaded. However it is important to know which foods have potential for bringing on gout symptoms if over-indulged in.


All types of meat from different sources are considered high purine foods. The organ meats like liver, kidneys, brains, and tongue are very high in nutrients but also high in purines. Adding them to your diet is wise. It’s important to be aware that it takes very small amounts of these foods to get big benefits from the fat-soluble vitamins and minerals in them.

Beyond organ meats, these proteins are both nutrient and purine-rich:

  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Goat
  • Pork
  • Venison
  • Elk
  • Yak

These are all similarly concentrated with protein. Do not be afraid to eat them; just use caution and consume smaller portions and limit the times per week or month that you eat them.


In regards to seafood and fishes, there are a number of them that are commonly understood as foods that cause gout. They are:

  • Anchovies
  • Smelt
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Haddock
  • Bluefish
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Lobster

As with the earlier directions, don’t be afraid to eat them, just be cautious.


Eating beans and legumes can be very deceptive. Being overly paranoid about eating high-quality foods that are high in purines is not necessary. Using extra caution with all the different kinds of beans is essential.

Some beans contain more protein and purine than meats and it is easy to eat far too large of portions without regard. The beans to be aware of are:

  • Lentils
  • Split peas
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Edamame (soy)
  • Fava beans
  • Navy beans
  • Lima beans
  • Kidney beans

There are many other beans and legumes that are not listed here but they should all be regarded with caution.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Although the studies are limited, high fructose corn syrup may be the biggest culprit of foods that cause gout. HFCS is found in an enormous array of foods and drinks and is reportedly one of the most potent ways to raise uric acid in the body.

The products from carbonated soft drink companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and 7-Up contain massive amounts of HFCS and introduce acidity to the inner body in brutal doses. Packaged baked goods, condiments, and candies of every type are overloaded with high fructose corn syrup and therefore have no place in a gout diet.

Alcohol and Gout

Classically, alcohol has been identified as the cause of gout. But to reiterate, it is not the substance itself per se that causes gout; it is the impairment of kidney function that results in the condition of gout.

Beer is the worst of all alcohols for gout because it also contains purines. Hard liquor is abusive to the liver and kidneys and therefore a poor choice for gout.

Red wine is the least offensive and a better choice than white. White wines contain more sulfites and sugar, while the dark-skinned grapes of red wine provide varying degrees of the antioxidant, resveratrol.

  ☆ Remember!  Foods that cause gout are the foods that are hard on the kidneys.


Bert Middleton

“I know your pain. Let me help you kill your gout for good!  And teach you to advocate for yourself and take ownership of your gout recovery, by showing you how to live the gout-free lifestyle.” Two decades ago, Bert Middleton found himself diagnosed with gout. Like 8.3 million other people in the United States (approximately 4% of the population), he struggled helplessly with the physical, emotional, social, and financial impact that gout left unchecked can have on your life. Prescription drugs were of limited help… And the terrible pain of regular gout attacks left him unable to enjoy even the simplest daily pleasures. His marriage was suffering. His finances were spiraling due to the impact gout had on his ability to work. And maintaining a social life was often nearly impossible. Tophi surgeries left him in terrible pain.  And he found himself depressed … and angry … that gout was stealing years of his life.

Until one day, after hundreds of hours of research and self-experimentation, Bert finally had a breakthrough and created a blueprint for a way of living that would prove to be “the answer” to living gout-free for nearly a decade now. Today, Bert and his “Gout Wife” Sharon devote their evenings and weekends to educating other gout sufferers on how to live the gout-free lifestyle. Showing others his 911 Emergency Response Gout Recovery Plan for getting PAINFUL gout attacks under control in as little as 4 hours. And then, how to make daily choices that keep gout under control for GOOD! So you can finally start LIVING again!