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Gout friendly foods, what to avoid, and what to eat in moderation

purines in food for gout sufferers

A gout-friendly diet is often described as one that reduces the risk of over-producing uric acid in your body.

Uric acid is the end product of purine metabolism in the human body. Two-thirds of which is excreted by the kidneys and one-third is excreted by the gastrointestinal tract.

Your body is naturally designed to flush uric acid out when you pee, however, if too much uric acid stays in your body, you may develop a condition called hyperuricemia.

Hyperuricemia can lead to the formation of crystals. These can form anywhere in your body, however, they tend to form in and around your joints and kidneys. This then presents itself as either kidney stones or gout.

Purines and uric acid

Regularly eating high purine foods may increase the risk in you creating more uric acid than your body can process.

Purines are a natural part of all living things. They are everywhere. Your body breaks down purines through your digestive system and creates uric acid.

There are two groups of purines in your body:

  • Purines naturally made by your body (known as “endogenous purines”).
  • Purines naturally made in the foods you eat (known as “exogenous purines”).

In this blog post, we focus on the exogenous kind of purines and take a look at the purine levels of different foods across the high, medium and low ends of the scale.

Note: The food purine levels below are based on 100g measurements of each food.

High purine foods:

FoodPurines (mg)
Theobromine
100g of chocolate contains 0.5% – 2.7% theobromine, close to 11 – 62mg of purine.
2,300
Brewer’s yeast
Brewer’s yeast is an ingredient used in the production of beer and bread.
1,810
Sweetbreads
Sweetbreads are harvested from calves, lambs, and young cattle and refer to two different organs and three different tissues located in these animals.
1,260
Sprats (smoked)
Small sea fish.
804
Sheep’s spleen773
Baker’s yeast
Baker’s yeast is the type of yeast used in home and commercial bread baking.
680
Ox liver554
Pig’s heart530
Pig’s spleen516
Pig’s liver515
Porphyra
An edible seaweed used to wrap the rice and fish that compose the Japanese food sushi and the Korean food gimbap.
500
Asparagus500
Mushroom (flat, edible Boletus, dried)
One of the most common and well-known groups of edible wild mushrooms.
488
Sardines (in oil)480
Calf’s liver460
Ox spleen444
Pig’s lungs (lights)
Lights are the lungs of game or livestock as used in cooking and butchery.
434
Ox lungs (lights)
Lights are the lungs of game or livestock as used in cooking and butchery.
399
Sardines / pilchards
Sardine and “pilchard” are common names for various small, oily forage fish in the herring family Clupeidae.
345
Calf’s spleen343
Pig’s kidney334
Trout297
Tuna (in oil)290
Ox kidney269
Tuna257
Ox heart256
Chicken liver243
Redfish (ocean perch)241
Sheep’s heart241
Anchovies239
Black mung beans (seed, dry)222
Soused herring
Mild salt herring, which is made from young immature herrings.
219
Calf’s kidney218
Atlantic herring210
Horse meat200
Soya beans (seed, dry)190
Herring roe
Herring fish eggs.
190
Lamb muscle meat182
Halibut178
Chicken breast (with skin)175
Veal muscle meat172
Natto
Natto is a traditional Japanese dish consisting of fermented soybeans and characterized by a slimy, sticky and stringy texture.
172
Salmon170
Poppy seeds (seed, dry)170
Pork muscle meat166
Goose165
Liver sausage (liverwurst)
Liverwurst usually contains pigs’ or calves’ livers.
165
Saithe / coalfish163
Carp160
Ox tongue160
Pork hind leg160
Chicken (boiling fowl)
A boiling fowl is an older bird than the roasting chicken, and its flesh is consequently tougher and stronger in flavour.
159

Moderate purine foods:

FoodPurines (mg)
Pork fillet 150
Pork shoulder with skin (blade of shoulder)150
Turkey (with skin) 150
Veal knuckle with bone150
Veal, leg of veal with bone 150
Veal, neck with bone150
Calf’s lungs147
Brown shrimp147
Mackerel145
Pork chop with bone145
Caviar144
Sunflower seeds (dry)143
Pike140
Pork chuck140
Veal chop (cutlet with bone)140
Veal fillet 140
Veal, shoulder 140
Haddock139
Duck138
Venison haunch (leg)138
Pig’s tongue136
Scallop136
Beef muscle meat133
Rabbit meat (with bone) 132
Sole131
Cooked ham131
White beans (dry) 128
Lentils (dry) 127
Pork belly (raw, smoked dried)127
Beef chuck120
Beef ribs (entrecote)120
Pork hip bone (hind leg)120
Lobster 118
Chicken (roast)115
Mussels 112
Jagdwurst sausage
Jagdwurst (which means hunting sausage) is a German cooked sausage made with finely ground pork sausage meat and coarse chunks of lean pork or pork belly.
112
Beef, fillet 110
Beef sirloin (roast) 110
Beef shoulder110
Boneless chicken leg (with skin) 110
Pike-perch110
Cod 109
Chickpeas (seed, dry)109
Raisins107
Linseed
Linseed is the small, reddish-brown or golden-yellow seed of the common flax plant.
105
Rabbit / hare105
Venison back105
Salami sausage104
Pork sausages (fried) 101
Pork belly100
Whole grain barley (no husk)96
Mortadella sausage96
Peas (seed, dry) 95
Whole grain oats (no husk)94
Plaice93
Calf’s brain92
Mushroom (flat, edible Boletus, cep)92
Veal sausages (fried) 91
Oyster90
Frankfurter sausages89
Bierschincken sausage
Bierschinken wurst (lit. beer ham sausage) is a variety of parboiled German sausage with chunks of pickled pork meat or cooked ham.
85
Green peas (pod or seed)84
Pig’s brain83
Broccoli 81
Soya bean sprouts 80
Tench80
Peanuts79
Artichoke78
Eels (smoked)78
Fleischwurst sausage
A smoked sausage made with pork and beef, usually eaten hot.
78
Vienna sausage
A Vienna sausage is a thin parboiled sausage traditionally made of pork and beef in a casing of sheep’s intestine, then given a low temperature smoking.
78
Ox brain75
Leek74
Mettwurst sausages
A sausage made from ground pork and finely chopped beef and, much like salami, is cured and cold smoked or air-dried.
74
Apricot73
Munich Weisswurst sausages
A Weisswurst is a traditional Bavarian sausage made from minced veal and pork back bacon.
73
Cocoa powder
Oil partially removed, not including theobromine.
71
Black salsify
Black salsify is a root vegetable.
71
Luncheon meat70
Brussel sprouts69
Tofu68
Chives67
Fig (dried)64
Plum (dried)64
Millet (shucked corn) 62
Sesame seeds (oriental, dry) 62
Crayfish60
Crispbread60
Mushroom58
Banana57
Corned beef 57
Parsley57
Spinach57
Green peppers55
Black pudding
Black pudding is a distinct regional type of blood sausage originating in Great Britain and Ireland.
55
Sweetcorn52
Cauliflower51
Whole grain rye51
Whole grain wheat 51
Oyster mushrooms50
Kale 48
French beans (dried) 45
Seaweed44
Pumpkin44
Pasta40
Lamb’s lettuce38
Almonds 37
French beans (string beans, haricot) 37
Savoy cabbage37
Hazelnuts37
Date (dried)35
Elderberries33
Cantelope33
Red cabbage 32
Limburger cheese32
Celeriac30
Morel
A type of mushroom.
30
Quince30
Bamboo Shoots29
Mushrooms (canned, solid and liquid)29
Green olives 29
Cress28
Grapes27

Low purine foods:

FoodPurines (mg)
Kohlrabi25
Walnuts25
Plums24
Squash24
Brazil nuts23
Blueberries22
White cabbage22
Aubergine21
Chinese leaves21
Peach21
Bread rolls21
Strawberry21
Avocado19
Beetroot19
Kiwi19
Orange19
Pineapple19
Caviar substitute18
Potato (cooked with skin)18
Raspberry18
Carrot17
Morello cherry17
Red currant17
Endive A leafy vegetable.17
Chanterelle mushrooms17
Skimmed milk16
Gooseberry16
Potato16
Sauerkraut16
Radish15
Apple14
Light beer14
White bread14
Fennel leaves14
Lager13
Lettuce13
Onion13
Radishes13
Chicory12
Pear12
Rhubarb12
Tomato11
Cottage cheese9.4
Beer (alcohol free)8.1
Yoghurt
Min. 3.5% fat content.
8.1
Cucumber7.3
Brie A type of cheese.7.1
Edam A type of cheese.7.1
Sweet cherries7.1
Cheddar cheese6
Egg White3.7
Egg Yolk2.6

We hope this information helps you understand which foods have higher purine levels than others. We’ll keep this blog post up to date as we find out the purine content of other foods.

 

References:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41522-021-00235-2

https://healthtopquestions.com/a-complete-list-of-purine-content-in-foods/

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