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Foods to Avoid if You Have Gout

Gout is a condition in which purine compounds make uric acid crystals, which collect in joints and soft tissue. These crystals cause painful swelling, redness and limited mobility. When you have gout, you should stay away from purine-rich foods that can worsen your condition. Here are some foods that have higher levels of purine than others.

Foods to Avoid if You Have Gout

Alcoholic Beverages

All types of alcoholic beverages, including wine, beer and hard liquor, contain purines. Because beer is brewed with yeast, which is incredibly purine-rich, you should try your best to avoid it. Non-alcoholic and light beers also contain this yeast and are not any safer than full brews. If you really want to have a drink, you should stick with red wine, which has been shown to slightly reduce gout attack risk. However, limit yourself to one to two glasses per day.

Organ Meats

Organ meats, including liver, kidneys, heart, brains and belly, have a very high purine content. They are one of the most concentrated food sources of uric acid. Pork heart, for example, has about 530 mg of uric acid for every 100g of meat. Beef liver contains about 240 mg of uric acid in a 100g serving.


Many types of seafood contain severely high levels of purines. You should not ingest mussels, scallops, herring, anchovies, sardines, trout, cod or haddock if you have gout. Also, if you suffer from frequent gout flare-ups, you should limit your daily animal protein intake, including safe forms of seafood, to 4 to 6 ounces.

Brewer’s Yeast

Brewer’s yeast is a byproduct of brewing certain alcoholic beverages. In fact, it’s the same ingredient that affects those with gout when they drink beer. Some foods include brewer’s yeast, mainly fermented spreads and condiments such as Marmite, Vegemite and soy sauce. If you have gout, look out for brewer’s yeast in the ingredients list of these food items.

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