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Food Additives to Avoid With Gout

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Food Additives to Avoid With Gout
Read food labels carefully. Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

In addition to avoiding foods that are very high in purines, people with gout need to avoid any additives that trigger a flare-up. Gout occurs when uric acid crystals build up in your joints, commonly in the big toe. Not everyone is sensitive to the same additives or to the same degree. Work with your doctor to determine whether you need to limit or completely avoid food additives that may trigger an attack.

Be Alert for Guanylates

When reading food labels, check for disodium guanylate or any of its derivatives. Guanylates are converted to uric acid and may trigger a gout flare-up. Disodium guanylate is used commercially as a flavor enhancer in foods like processed meats, salad dressings, gravies, instant soups and chicken salads. It's particularly used to enhance meaty flavors in packaged foods. You may also find it listed on the label under the names guanosine monophosphate, calcium guanylate, guanylic acid, dipotassium guanylate and potassium guanylate.

Check for Inosinates

Like guayanates, inosinate is used to enhance the meaty flavor in packaged foods and is converted to uric acid in your body. It's commonly used along with guayanates for a combined flavor-enhancing effect. You'll find it in powdered soup mixes, broths, sauces, soybean-based seasonings and condiments, mushroom dishes, ready-to-eat savory meals, and dried or dehydrated vegetable products. Inosinate may also be listed as disodium inosinate, calcium inosinate or potassium inosinate.

Keep an Eye Out for MSG

Monosodium glutamate is used to enhance the savory flavor of a variety of foods. Available data suggests that people with gout may have an impaired ability to breakdown glutamate, according to a review published in the January 2014 issue of the EPMA Journal. The authors found evidence that people with gout have elevated levels of glutamate and that it may play a role in high uric acid levels. MSG is also commonly used with additives that are converted to uric acid, like inosinates and guanylates. This additive may be listed as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein or yeast extract.

Certain Sweet Additives

High-fructose corn syrup and table sugar are extremely prevalent additives used to give many foods a sweet flavor. Beverages sweetened with either of these additives raise uric acid and increase the risk of gout flare-ups in people with a certain gene variant, according to a study published in the December 2014 issue of the journal Annals of Rhuematic Diseases. Drinking fewer beverages sweetened with sugar or HFCS helps manage gout, according to the authors.

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