Since the incidence of gout has doubled in the past two decades, concern about purine rich foods has also become a topic of discussion. While the purine content of food is worthy of investigation, greater focus would be better placed on processed foods and high fructose corn syrup.

Gout is an outward expression of an overly acidic inner body environment. High purine foods are only one of many contributing factors that result in the painful symptoms of gout.

What Are Purines?

Purines are made in the cells of the human body and are present in the cells of all plant and animal food sources. Some sources of food, namely proteins like various meats and beans, generally have higher purine content than others.

The relationship of gouty arthritis and purine consumption comes from the process of breaking down purines through digestion and metabolism. The by-product of purine metabolism is uric acid.

Contrary to popular belief about how to treat gout, uric acid is not the cause of gout – it is the cause of gout pain. The cause of gout is due to decreased kidney function. The kidneys serve to balance the pH of the overall body chemistry but when excess blood uric acid is present, this is not being carried out.

When an over-abundance of uric acid exists in the bloodstream, the body’s alternative is to find a joint the uric acid can crystallize in for safe keeping. This is done for protection and usually occurs in one of the joints far away from the vital organs; the heart, liver, kidneys and others.

It is important to understand that with normal kidney function, uric acid is produced by the body as an antioxidant; a protective substance that balances the free radical scavenging processes that are part of the ordinary life cycle of all the cells in the body.

List of Common High Purine Foods

According to the American Medical Association and, purine-containing foods include:

  • Beer and other alcoholic beverages
  • Anchovies, sardines in oil, fish roe, and herring
  • Yeast
  • Organ meats (liver, kidneys, sweetbreads)
  • Legumes (dried beans, peas)
  • Meat extracts, consommé, and gravies
  • Mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, and cauliflower

Purine rich foods are certainly some of the foods to avoid with gout but, learning to pay more attention to all the ways that acidity develops in the body is just as important when it comes to the different methods of how to treat gout.

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Hello there Bert

I really appreciate every thing you are doing in helping gout sufferers understand and treat there condition. Like your self, I to have gone through the mill with really painful gout attacks and watching gouty tophi lumps sprout up all over the place leading to the surgical removal of large gouty tophi lumps from my elbows. Despite becoming a vegetarian ten years ago, meaning my protein and purine intake is pretty low, I still suffer from (though not as severe ) gout attacks. The tophi lumps are returning in my elbows and I now cannot clench my fist completely on my left hand which is worrying. I stopped taking allopathic medicine i.e. allopurinol and diclofenac a few years ago, opting for more natural treatments like apple cider vinegar and cherry juice, baking soda, etc. These I find are useful in treating the symptoms and halting the onset of a full gout attack.  You have stated it is important to try to discover the causative factor, and in my efforts to do this, I have come to the conclusions that I may have a fungal problem and also that my kidneys are not filtering properly – which causing my lymphatic system to back up leading to high acidosis.  I am to begin a program of herbs for the elimination of fungal growth and parasites, and a raw food and juice fast to try and deal with the acidosis. I will let you know the results.  Once again your web and YouTube sites are a real companion for me while I am on this path to beating this condition.

Keep up the great work .  ~ Dave

. . .

Consequences to Health

Once again, purine rich foods produce uric acid, and under normal circumstances, uric acid is a protective antioxidant, vital to good health. Over-consumption of high purine foods is not advised but balancing the portions and frequency is fundamental to proper nutrition.

Learning to eat more “alkalizing” foods, drinking high-quality water, (alkaline ionized water) and learning to breathe fully and completely are part of the basics. It’s important to mention that successfully managing stress is also included in the protocol for living free from the symptoms of gout.

Here is a list of foods that are generally considered alkaline-forming and should be eaten in greater proportions than purine rich foods:

  • Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, beets, celery, onions
  • Fruits: apples, avocados, bananas, melons, berries, oranges
  • Protein: whey, chicken, nuts and seeds, yogurt, tofu, eggs
  • Spices: cinnamon, curry, mustard, peppers, sea salt
  • Others: apple cider vinegar, fresh veggie and fruit juices, green tea, mineral water

Cooking Effects on Purines

How much different cooking methods effect – to a greater or lesser degree – the remainder of purine in foods is inconclusive. Rather than become obsessive about cooking to moderate purine content in food, it is better to find a suitable ratio between low purine foods and high purine foods.

This is easiest when viewing foods as either being “alkaline-forming, or “acid-forming”.

Alkaline-forming foods are generally fruits, vegetables, and foods less associated with being high in proteins. Acid-forming foods are all the various meats; beef, chicken, pork, fish, and seafood, as well as beans and legumes.

The proper ratio is 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods.

Should You Avoid These Foods?

The conversation around gout always turns to the need to eat a low-purine diet. This is not only mis-leading but a dangerous distraction away from the modern causes of gout today. In regards to gout foods to avoid, processed foods, fast foods, and sugary soft drinks and juices do more harm than high-quality meats, or meals carefully prepared with beans and legumes.

Stress, dehydration, toxic environmental chemicals, lack of exercise and sleep are also contributing factors to the epidemic of gout that the world is facing today.

Stop Gout Pain Now

  Remember!  Being aware of the purine rich foods that cause gout are only one part of acidic battle – maintaining a healthy focus on diet, proper hydration, and strong breathing is the way to win the war on gout.


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!