Beans, beans, the musical sprout . . .
the more you eat, the more you have gout!

Generally speaking, legumes — what we commonly call “beans” — fall in the moderate range for purine content. But some legumes have a higher purine content than others, a fact to consider when making decisions about a gout-prevention diet.


To clarify, the term “legume” is applied to a wide variety of plants, including peas, beans, lentils, and peanuts.

In the terminology of the gardening world, legumes are “nitrogen fixers” — they are able to absorb the
atmospheric nitrogen that other plants cannot. This additional nitrogen leads to a higher protein content for legumes, but also purine levels high enough to be troublesome for gout sufferers.

Legumes With High Purine Content

High-purine foods are defined as those with greater than 150 milligrams (mg) of purines per 3.5 ounces (or 100 grams). Legumes in this category (with their purine levels noted) include:

×        Black-Eyed Peas (also called cowpeas) — 230 mg
×        Lentils — 222 mg
×        Great Northern Beans — 213 mg
×        Small White Beans — 202 mg
×        Soybeans — 198 mg
×        Split Peas — 195 mg
×        Pinto Beans — 171 mg
×        Red Beans (inc. kidney, small red, and adzuki beans) — 162 mg

Legumes With Moderate Purine Content

Moderate-purine foods have 50-150 mg of purines per 3.5 ounces (or 100 grams). Legumes in this category (with purine levels noted) include:

  • Large Lima Beans — 149 mg
  • Baby Lima Beans — 144 mg
  • Fresh Bean Sprouts — 80 mg
  • Fresh Green Peas — 84 mg
  • Peanuts — 79 mg
  • Cranberry Beans — 75 mg
  • Garbanzo Beans — 56 mg

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I am thankful I found your website and have been gout free for 6 months. Feeling healthier in general, back to the gym and more active overall. Also thankful for my wife!  ~ Pete

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Legumes With Low Purine Content

Low-purine foods have less than 50 mg of purines per 3.5 ounces (or 100 grams). There is only one legume documented to be in this category — fresh green beans — with a purine content of 37 mg.

How Many Beans Is It OK to Eat?

  • If you are having a gout attack right now, do not eat any legumes until it passes.
  • If you are in-between gout attacks, but still vulnerable to them, you can safely eat one-half cup per day of moderate-purine legumes, and unlimited quantities of low-purine beans and nuts.
  • If you have taken the steps to fully eliminate your vulnerability to gout, you may add up to one-half cup of high-purine legumes per day.

☆ Bottom Line: Avoid all dried beans and peas while recovering from a gout attack. Afterward, you can enjoy them in moderation!