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Foods That May Cause Joint Pain

author image Matt Olberding
Matt Olberding has been a professional journalist for nearly 20 years. His career has included stints as a copy editor, page designer, reporter, line editor and managing editor at newspapers ranging from community newspapers to major metros. Olberding has been a business writer and editor for a decade.
Foods That May Cause Joint Pain
Eating too much liver can cause you joint pain.

Joint pain caused by food usually stems from a condition called gout. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the body, which crystallize and leave deposits in joints and tissues, leading to inflammation that causes joint pain and stiffness. Foods that are high in purines--chemical compounds that form uric acid when they break down--can cause too much uric acid in the body, which can exacerbate joint pain caused by gout.

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Avoid organ meats, such as hearts, kidneys, livers, brains and testicles, which are extremely high in purines and can lead to high levels of uric acid in the body, according to, a drug information website that provides peer-reviewed information to consumers, Other nontraditional meats, such as tongue, also contain high levels of purines, as do mincemeats, meat extracts and broths and bouillons. Game meats, including goose, duck, partridge, pheasant and turkey, are considered high-purine foods. Beef, lamb and pork have moderate levels of purines, according to


Several species of fish and shellfish have high levels of purines and can cause or exacerbate gout-related joint pain. These include herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, scallops and mussels, according to, which also includes fish eggs in the high-purine category. also lists haddock and salmon as moderately high sources of purines.

Vegetables and Legumes

Animal products aren't the only foods high in purines. lists peas, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, beans, lentils and mushrooms as foods high in purines that might cause joint pain. If you have gout, avoid these foods or speak to your doctor. Theses vegetables and legumes are good sources of vitamins and minerals and are OK to eat in moderation if you are not suffering from gout.

Grain and Grain Products

Several grains and grain products contain either high or moderate levels of purines. Beer is especially high in purines as is hard liquor and wine, according to Yeast, which is used in brewing alcohol and in baking, is also is high in purines. Whole grain cereals and breads, oatmeal and wheat bran and wheat germ contain moderate levels of purines. Again, some of these foods are extremely beneficial, so consult your physician if you have gout to see whether you should avoid them.

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