9 Foods that can cause gout

Gout. Photo by Yanalya

Gout is a condition that has helped shape the world we know today, due to the fact that some of the most powerful rulers throughout history suffered from it. Benjamin Franklin, King Henry VIII, King George IV and Benjamin Disraeli are just some of the famous people who suffered from gout and described the attacks in their memoirs. The description of gout also appears in the earliest medical records.

Until recently, the types of food that causes gout wasn’t generally available to the middle or lower class as they were too expensive, so the disease was called “rich man’s disease” and “the disease of kings”.

Gout occurs when your metabolism of purine, a chemical component of DNA formed in the body and found in some food and drinks, gets out of balance increasing levels of uric acid. Purine is broken down in the liver, producing uric acid as a byproduct. If uric acid levels rise above a certain level, crystals can start to form in tissues and joints causing sudden and severe joint pain, called an acute gout attack.

Common foods that can cause gout include:

1 Red meat

Red meat should be avoided for those suffering from gout. One of the waste products of meat metabolism, i.e. uric acid, plays the crucial role in the development of the disease.

Gout comes and goes in episodes, so during the flare-up patients should exclude red meat from their diet entirely. During periods when the disease is absent, it is important to limit the intake of red meat to avoid more attacks.

2. Organ meats or offal

Foods made of organ meats, sometimes referred to as offal, are known to contain high amounts of purine and consumption should be limited at all times irrespective of whether you have a bout of gout or not.

Organ meats include heart, brain and kidneys etc. Pate is an excellent example of food prepared with organ meats. Just as an example, the amount of purines per 100 grams of pig’s heart is 40 times (4000%) higher than beer, which is a drink that should be avoided by gout sufferers.

More foods on next page…

About Dr Alex Grbovic 13 Articles
Dr Aleksandar Grbović is a medical doctor from the Belgrade University, Faculty of Medicine. He is passionate about promoting medicine by bridging the gap between the patient’s and doctor’s point of view. Currently working in the biggest Occupational Medicine Institute in Serbia and attending the Radiology residency program.


The content of this website is not intended to be taken as a replacement for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment of a doctor, dietician, nutritionist or fitness instructor. If you experience any medical symptoms you should consult your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.