What Meats Cause Gout?

Gout is a painful condition that occurs when uric acid builds up in the joints, according to the National Institute of Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Gout is caused by having higher than normal levels of uric acid due to too much production or problems with elimination. When uric acid builds up in the joints, sharp uric acid crystals form in the joints which cause swelling and inflammation. Certain meats trigger gout attacks.

Meat on display at a butcher shop. (Image: camij/iStock/Getty Images)

Beef, Pork, Lamb and Goat

Beef, pork, lamb and goat contain high amounts of purines and may trigger gout attacks. Purines are natural substances found in all foods that are usually broken down into uric acid during digestion, according to MayoClinic.com. Organ meat such as liver, kidneys, brains and heart contains higher amounts of purines. Patients who over eat these types of meat are at risk for gout attacks. Patients with kidney problems also have a higher risk of gout attacks because they have problems with eliminating uric excess acid. MayoClinic advises patients at risk for gout attacks to eat moderate amounts of protein from plant sources such as soy and tofu and to limit intake of meat to 4 to 6 oz.


Seafood also contains high levels of purines and should be eaten in limited quantities by patients at risk for gout attacks, according to MayoClinic.com. Examples of seafood containing high amounts of purines include sardines, herring, scallops, anchovies, cod fish, crab, halibut, shellfish, trout, snapper, tuna and mackerel.


Meat from chicken, fowls and ducks has moderate amounts of purines and may also trigger gout attacks. Patients at risk for gout attacks should limit intake of poultry and opt for sources of protein that contain low purines such as soy products, peanut butter and nuts.

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