Foods That Increase Uric Acid (2022)

Foods that increase uric acid can contribute to gout flare-ups, often making the symptoms of this common type ofarthritisworse. That's because gout develops when a person has too muchuric acidin the body, resulting from a metabolic process that converts purines into uric acid.

Purines are produced naturally but also are found in many foods. Managing uric acid levels is key to reducing the risk of developing gout or flare-ups, so it's important to limit high-purine foods, like red meat, found in the diet.

In this article, you'll learn more about gout and whether you're at risk. It presents a list of foods that increase uric acid, as well as ideas on grains, fruits, and other foods you can eat to keep uric acid levels lower.

Foods That Increase Uric Acid (1)

Factors That Increase Uric Acid

Increased uric acid in the bloodstream, called hyperuricemia, leads to gout. That's because the uric acid levels lead to the formation of urate crystals in your joints, causing this chronic joint condition.

The crystals cause symptoms of high uric acid build-up that include inflammation, swelling, and severe pain in the joints, often in the big toe.

Your body filters uric acid through the kidneys. It then comes out, or is excreted, in your urine. It may build up in your body, though, and you can have too much uric acid if:

  • You eat a diet high in purines
  • Your body overproduces them naturally
  • You can't excrete uric acid fast enough

Gout flares come on suddenly and the pain is often excruciating.

What Is Gout?

Gout is caused by high purine levels in the body that cause uric acid crystals to form in the joints. This causes gout flares. Flares involve sudden, severe pain and inflammation.

Symptoms of Gout

Who's at Risk for Gout?

Gout has several risk factors. Some you can't control, like age and genetics. You may be able to modify others, including the foods that increase uric acid levels in your diet.

Risk factors include:

  • Diet: A diet high in purines, fructose (fruit sugar), and alcohol increase your risk of gout.
  • Obesity: Research suggests gout is more common in people who are overweight or have obesity.
  • Sex and Age: Under age 50, biological males tend to have higher uric acid levels and more frequent gout. Menopause in biological women increases their later risk as well.
  • Medical conditions: Kidney disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high blood pressure (hypertension) all contribute to an increased risk of gout.
  • Family history: Having relatives with gout means you're more likely to develop it.
  • Race and ethnicity: According to a 2022 study of U.S. adults, gout was 1.8 times more prevalent in Black women than White women, and 1.3 times more prevalent in Black men than their White counterparts.

Conditions that affect renal (kidney) function are a common cause of gout. Chronic kidney disease, a condition that is more common in Black (16%) than White (13%) or Asian (13%) adults, may lead to a greater risk of gout.

Causes and Risk Factors of Gout

Diet and Increased Uric Acid

Increased uric acid levels are linked to diet through extensive research that has established the relationship between foods and the uric acid in your body.

One study found that a plant-rich diet, such as the DASH diet, can lower the acidity of your urine. There may be several reasons why a plant-based diet improves your body's ability to excrete uric acid, including the insulin response to lower levels of carbohydrates.

(Video) Best & Worst Foods to Eat with Gout | Reduce Risk of Gout Attacks and Hyperuricemia

Some studies suggest that vitamin C protects against gout because vitamin C-rich foods (citrus, peppers, strawberries, and broccoli) or supplements help your body to get rid of uric acid. However, more research is needed to determine how vitamin C affects gout.

Is Lemon Good for Uric Acid?

A 2015 study found that drinking freshly squeezed lemon water changes the pH level of blood and urine, reducing the amount of uric acid. However, the authors note that more research is needed.

Experts recommend a healthy, balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and cereals.

Chicken and Gout: How Much Can You Eat?

(Video) Natural sources to reduce uric acid - Ms. Sushma Jaiswal

Avoiding Foods That Increase Uric Acid

Limiting purine-rich foods in your diet can help to reduce gout flares. But diet alone can’t usually prevent gout flares. That's because multiple factors go into flares, including:

  • Purine production: How much your body naturally produces
  • Taking diuretics: Drugs that make the kidneys produce more urine
  • Problems excreting uric acid: How efficiently your body gets rid of it

The type of food also makes a difference in the risk of gout flares. Foods linked to high uric acid levels and more frequent flares include:

  • Processed foods
  • Animal products, including red meat
  • High-purine seafood, like shrimp

Plant-based purines are less likely to raise your uric acid levels.

Pay attention to how different foods affect you. People have different limits and different foods that trigger their gout flares.

High-Purine Foods

High-purine foods should be avoided or eaten sparingly with gout. These include:

  • Alcohol: All types
  • Red meat: Beef, pork, lamb, venison, and other wild mammals
  • Seafood and shellfish: Shrimp, mussels, anchovies, sardines, and lobster
  • Organ meats: Liver, kidney, heart, tongue, tripe, etc.

You should also avoid meat-based gravies.

Moderate-Purine Foods

These foods should be eaten in moderation:

  • Oatmeal
  • Wheat bran
  • Mushrooms
  • Green peas
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Kidney beans
  • Dried peas
  • Beans
  • Lentils

Tomatoes and Gout: Pros and Cons

Choosing Low-Purine Foods

Foods low in purine are safe for a gout diet. These are foods to place at the center of a low-purine diet:

  • Rice
  • Barley
  • Pasta
  • Vegetables (other than those listed above)
  • All fruits
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Eggs
  • Tofu

Food Swaps for Gout-Friendly Recipes

Summary

The development of gout and gout flares is tied to increased uric acid levels that can lead to crystal formation in the joints. That causes sudden, severe pain and inflammation. Uric acid crystals follow from high purine levels, often linked to the foods in your diet.

Your risk of gout is determined by several factors, including age, diet, obesity, kidney function, and genetics. However, diet is an important way to lower your risk.

A diet low in purines can help you to manage your risk of gout and gout flares.

How to Prevent Gout

A Word From Verywell

If you have gout or are at high risk, talk to your healthcare provider about how to prevent uric acid crystals from forming. Diet alone may not be enough. It may help to see a nutritionist who can work with you to design a diet that's right for you.

(Video) 20 Foods That Reduce Your Uric Acid Levels

Gout vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Differences

8 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Li R, Yu K, Li C.Dietary factors and risk of gout and hyperuricemia: A meta-analysis and systematic review.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2018;27(6):1344-1356. doi:10.6133/apjcn.201811_27(6).0022

  2. Juraschek SP, Miller ER 3rd, Gelber AC. Body mass index, obesity, and prevalent gout in the United States in 1988-1994 and 2007-2010.Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013;65(1):127-132. doi:10.1002/acr.21791

  3. McCormick N, Lu N, Yokose C, et al. Racial and sex disparities in gout prevalence among US adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(8):e2226804. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.26804

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Chronic kidney disease in the United States, 2021.

  5. Roughley M, Sultan AA, Clarson L, et al. Risk of chronic kidney disease in patients with gout and the impact of urate lowering therapy: a population-based cohort study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2018;20(1):243. doi:10.1186/s13075-018-1746-1

  6. Belanger MJ, Wee CC, Mukamal KJ, Miller ER, Sacks FM, Appel LJ, et al. Effects of dietary macronutrients on serum urate: results from the OmniHeart trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021;113(6):1593-1599. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqaa424

  7. Brzezińska O, Styrzyński F, Makowska J, Walczak K. Role of vitamin c in prophylaxis and treatment of gout-a literature review. Nutrients. 2021;13(2):701. doi:10.3390/nu13020701

  8. Biernatkaluza EK, Schlesinger N. Sat0318 lemon juice reduces serum uric acid level via alkalization of urine in gouty and hyperuremic patients- a pilot study.Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2015;74(Suppl 2):774-774.

Additional Reading

(Video) TOP 10 FOODS THAT REDUCE YOUR URIC ACID LEVELS

Foods That Increase Uric Acid (2)

By Ashley Braun, MPH, RD
Ashley Braun, MPH, RD, is a registered dietitian and public health professional with over 5 years of experience educating people on health related topics using evidence-based information. Her experience includes educating on a wide range of conditions including diabetes, heart disease, HIV, neurological conditions, and more.

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(Video) Diet for Uric Acid By Dr Ruchi Saxena. । यूरिक एसिड में क्या खाएं और क्या नहीं खाएं ।

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FAQs

Which foods are high in uric acid? ›

Avoid meats such as liver, kidney and sweetbreads, which have high purine levels and contribute to high blood levels of uric acid. Red meat. Limit serving sizes of beef, lamb and pork.

Which food can reduce uric acid? ›

If you have been diagnosed with high uric acid, increase the consumption of dietary soluble fibres such as oats, apples, oranges, broccoli, pears, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, celery, carrots and barley. Have bananas as including them in your diet is beneficial in lowering excess uric acid levels.

What vegetables are high in uric acid? ›

However, if you are diagnosed with high level of uric acid, vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, peas and cauliflower should be avoided a they may contribute to increase the uric acid levels.

Which fruit is best for uric acid? ›

Eat: Citrus Fruits

Grapefruit, oranges, pineapples, and strawberries are all great sources of vitamin C, which lowers your uric acid levels and helps prevent gout attacks.

Is egg high in uric acid? ›

Eggs are low in purines but consume them in moderation (Health Promotion Board recommends consuming up to four eggs per week). Essential fatty acids found in cold-water fish such as tuna can reduce gout inflammation.

What is the best drink to lower uric acid? ›

Lemon water: A study has reported that lemon water or drinks high in vitamin C helps neutralize uric acid in the body. Squeezing two fresh lemons into two liters of water can help reduce uric acid levels in the body. Even orange juice can do wonders, but always have them in moderation.

Which fruits are not good for uric acid? ›

Researchers report a correlation between foods high in fructose and gout symptoms, which can include chronic pain. These fruits include apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes, prunes, and dates.

Can lemon treat uric acid? ›

A 2017 study found that lemon juice and lemon extract helped lower uric acid levels in the blood. Adults with high uric acid levels drank freshly squeezed lemon juice (equivalent to a lemon a day) every day for 6 weeks.

Are Bananas high in uric acid? ›

Bananas are low in purines and high in vitamin C, which makes them a good food to eat if you have gout. Changing your diet to include more low-purine foods, like bananas, can lower the amount of uric acid in your blood and reduce your risk of recurrent gout attacks.

Is tomato high in uric acid? ›

Although tomatoes are low in purine, some research suggests they may cause gout flares. In a study of more than 2,000 people diagnosed with gout, 20% said that tomatoes were a trigger, making it the fourth most common trigger food reported. It's unclear why tomato consumption causes gout flares in certain individuals.

Do nuts cause high uric acid? ›

There is no research to suggest that nuts cause gout. Dietary modification recommendations focus on a low-purine diet. Avoiding purines completely is impossible, but nuts in general have low levels of purine.

What is the main cause of uric acid? ›

Most of the time, a high uric acid level occurs when your kidneys don't eliminate uric acid efficiently. Things that may cause this slow-down in the removal of uric acid include rich foods, being overweight, having diabetes, taking certain diuretics (sometimes called water pills) and drinking too much alcohol.

Is chicken high in uric acid? ›

But the amount of purines in specific cuts ranges from low to very high. You should avoid purine-rich organ meats like chicken liver and only eat moderate amounts of moderate-purine cuts.
...
Gout-Friendly Cuts.
Purines in Chicken
CHICKEN CUTS (100g)TOTAL PURINE CONTENTRANGE
Liver< 300 mgHigh
4 more rows
29 Jan 2022

Can drinking water lower uric acid? ›

Drink at least 8 glasses of nonalcoholic beverages a day – plain water is best. And if you're having a flare, increase your intake to 16 glasses a day. The water helps flush uric acid from your system.

Does milk cause uric acid? ›

In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, studies show that drinking low-fat milk won't only reduce your uric acid levels and risk of a gout flare, but will also promote excretion of uric acid in your urine.

What are symptoms of high uric acid? ›

Hyperuricemia occurs when there's too much uric acid in your blood. High uric acid levels can lead to several diseases, including a painful type of arthritis called gout.
...
Gout
  • severe pain in your joints.
  • joint stiffness.
  • difficulty moving affected joints.
  • redness and swelling.
  • misshapen joints.

Is Apple good for uric acid? ›

An apple a day may not necessarily keep the doctor away, but it may help you manage gout symptoms -- provided you eat the fruit in moderation. Gout causes joints to become swollen and painful because of a buildup of uric acid. Uric acid is produced by your body when you consume foods containing purine compounds.

Is Ginger good for uric acid? ›

Ginger is known to help with digestion and ease nausea, but it can also help with inflammation, including gout. One animal study, for example, found ginger lowered uric acid levels in subjects who consumed ginger internally.

Is cucumber good for uric acid? ›

5. Cucumber works as a diuretic: The high water content cleanses the body by removing toxic and old waste material. Cucumbers help eliminate uric acid, which is beneficial for people with arthritis and joint pains. The magnesium content in cucumber relaxes nerves and muscles and helps blood circulating smoothly.

Is lemon high in uric acid? ›

Freshly squeezed lemon juice lowers the blood uric acid in hyperuricemic patients. Lemon water soluble extracts lower the blood uric acid level in hyperuricemic mice.

Is Potato good for uric acid? ›

Provide Fiber: Potatoes are a good source of fiber and vitamins, but they don't have much purine. This means that they're unlikely to trigger gout or raise uric acid levels. Promote Waste Excretion: In fact, potatoes may even help to lower uric acid levels by promoting urinary excretion.

What vegetables to avoid if you have gout? ›

Eat plenty of vegetables such as kailan, cabbage, squash, red bell pepper, beetroot, but limit the intake of vegetables with moderate purine content such as asparagus, spinach, cauliflower and mushrooms. Eat fruits high in vitamin C such as oranges, tangerines, papaya and cherries.

Are onions high in purines? ›

If you have gout, dishes like chopped liver and liver and onions are best avoiding, along with other organ meats like kidney, heart, sweetbread, and tripe, since they're high in purines.

Does carrot increase uric acid? ›

A juice prepared by adding juice of carrot, cucumber and beetroot can be used as an effective home remedy for controlling uric acid levels in the body. Consumption of low fat dairy products can go a long way in preventing increase of uric acid levels in the blood.

What vegetables to avoid if you have gout? ›

Eat plenty of vegetables such as kailan, cabbage, squash, red bell pepper, beetroot, but limit the intake of vegetables with moderate purine content such as asparagus, spinach, cauliflower and mushrooms. Eat fruits high in vitamin C such as oranges, tangerines, papaya and cherries.

Is cucumber rich in uric acid? ›

Cucumbers are very low in purines, containing only 7.3 milligrams of purines in every 100 grams of the vegetable.

Do almonds increase uric acid? ›

Almond supplementation reduces serum uric acid in coronary artery disease patients: a randomized controlled trial.

Is Ginger good for uric acid? ›

Ginger is known to help with digestion and ease nausea, but it can also help with inflammation, including gout. One animal study, for example, found ginger lowered uric acid levels in subjects who consumed ginger internally.

Is Apple good for uric acid? ›

Apples have a high dietary fibre content, which helps in lowering uric acid levels. Fibre absorbs uric acid from the bloodstream and eliminates the excess uric acid from your body. Moreover, apples are also rich in malic acid which tends to neutralize the effects of uric acid in the body.

Is Apple good for gout? ›

Purine Content

Applesauce, apple juice and dried apples are also low in purines and allowed on a gout diet. Other acceptable low-purine foods include most vegetables, low- or nonfat dairy products, rice, bread, pasta and all fruits.

Is cabbage high in uric? ›

After analyzing nutritional data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Best Gout Remedies concluded that red cabbage contains substantially more gout-fighting properties than its green counterpart.

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