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Can Eating Too Much Fruit Cause Gout?

author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
Can Eating Too Much Fruit Cause Gout?
Citrus fruits may cause difficulty in a diet. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Gout is a form of arthritis that happens when excess uric acid, a substance your body produces while digesting substances called purines, forms crystals in a single joint. An estimated 2 to 5 million Americans have it, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, namely men and postmenopausal women. Although foods do not cause gout, certain varieties and eating habits might exacerbate your symptoms. Gaining understanding regarding the effects fruit might have on your symptoms might inspire you to make wise dietary decisions.

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Fresh fruits.
Fresh fruits. Photo Credit: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Along with vegetables, fruits are top sources of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which support your body's ability to resist and heal from infections and disease. As water and fiber-rich foods that contain relatively few calories, fruit might enhance a sense of fullness between meals and allow you to eat more food volume while staying within your caloric needs. Appetite control and weight management are important, because added pounds can increase joint pain and inflammation.

Potential Risks

Dried fruit.
Dried fruit. Photo Credit: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Certain fruits and juices are particularly rich in fructose -- a naturally-occurring form of sugar. A correlation has been found between fructose-rich diets and gout symptoms, according to the Gout and Uric Acid Education Society. In other words, eating excessive amounts of fructose-rich fruits, such as dried fruits, apples, peaches, cherries, plums, prunes, grapes and pears, or juices might trigger or worsen gout flare-ups.


Orange juice.
Orange juice. Photo Credit: spaxiax/iStock/Getty Images

In a study published in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" in 2010, researchers analyzed the intake of fructose-rich beverages and gout symptoms among 78,906 women with no history of the disease over the course of 22 years. Women who consumed fructose-rich beverages, such as orange juice, regularly, were significantly more likely to experience gout symptoms than women who did not.


Beans and lentils.
Beans and lentils. Photo Credit: Image Source/Photodisc/Getty Images

To lower your uric acid levels and guard against gout symptoms, eat more plant-based protein sources, such as beans and lentils, and less meat and seafood, which contain rich amounts of purines. To prevent fructose-related flareups, choose whole, fresh fruits over juices and dried fruit, and consume fructose-rich fresh fruits in moderation. Fruits less likely to worsen your symptoms include bananas, citrus fruits, melons, kiwi and blueberries.

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