20 Purine Rich Foods You Should Definitely Avoid

Purine Rich Foods

Image – Shutterstock

Purine is a chemical compound found mainly in foods of animal origin. This compound breaks down into uric acid when the body assimilates it. This is a healthy process as uric acid acts as an antioxidant, protect the lining of the blood vessels.

Harmful Effects of Purine:


Ingesting excess levels of purine can raise the uric acid level in the body, leading to gout attacks. Gout is one the most debilitating and painful rheumatoid conditions in the world. It occurs usually in the joints, especially on the big toe and ankle. If left untreated, gout can lead to severe joint damage.

The symptoms of gout attack the sufferers unexpectedly. The symptoms may not last for more than a week, but may resurface in a few days. Some people also experience chronic pain due to a gout attack. The common symptoms of gout attack include:

  • Sudden intense pain in the hand, wrist, keen, toes and ankle
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Extreme tenderness of the joint
  • Red or purple skin around the joint
  • Extreme heating of the joint

20 Purine Rich Foods to Avoid:

Altering your diet can help you greatly to reduce the risk of gout attacks. Foods that contain more than 100 milligrams of purine per 100 grams serving are considered as purine rich foods. These foods cause the body to produce more uric acid, leading to gout attack. You should aim to limit your purine intake to less than 100 milligrams daily. Here are 20 purine rich foods that you need to avoid to maintain healthy levels of purine in your body.

1. Sunflower Seeds:

Sunflower seeds are usually preferred as an evening snack, but should be avoided if you are suffering from gout. A serving of sunflower seeds contains 143 milligrams of purine, which if consumed daily can raise your urea levels significantly. You do not need to eliminate sunflower seeds totally from your diet. All you need to do is keep the serving size in check.

2. Organ Meat:

Organ meat might be a good source of several essential nutrients, but you should definitely avoid it if you suffer from gout. It contains some of the highest levels of purine. The purine content in organ meat ranges from 444 to 773 milligrams per 100 grams serving. Besides, organ meats are high in calories too.

3. Caviar:

Caviar is a food that was earlier associated with only the aristocracy, but is now slowing entering the mainstream markets. However, you need to stay away from this exotic food if you want to limit your purine intake. 100 grams serving of purine contain around 144 milligrams of calories and 284 calories.

4. Duck:

Duck is another food that is not usually seen on the dinner table of most of the Indian and American families. You will find duck meat, mostly on restaurant menus with an enticing description. Duck contains considerably higher levels of purine. 100 grams serving of duck contain 138 milligram of purine and 337 calories.

5. Chicken:

It will not be easy to keep this food off your plate, considering it is one of the most consumed meats in the world. Chicken contains more purine than beef; with one serving provides 175 milligrams of this compound. All meats contain moderate amounts of purine so limit the intake to two ounces a day.

6. Fish:

Fishes are common sources of purine. The most common offender is sardine. Sardines are extremely high in purine and can trigger a gout reaction if consumed in high amounts. At 100 grams serving of sardines contains a whopping 480 milligrams of purine. Fishes like herring, perch, codfish, halibut, mackerel, tuna and anchovies are other common culprits. At 100 grams serving of these fishes contain around 110 to 345 milligrams of purine.

7. Ham:

Even though lean ham is recommended in most of the diet programs, you may need to cut down its consumption if you are suffering from gout. Ham ranks quite high in the purine content as compared to most of the foods. At 100 grams serving will contribute 131 milligrams of purine to your body.

8. Lentils:

Lentils are a staple in Indian cuisine. It is also consumed widely all across the world due to its several health benefits. It is an excellent source of protein for the vegetarians. Lentils are also high in fiber, so a small serving will keep you full for longer times. However, you might need to reduce your lentils intake to decrease the purine levels in your body. 100 grams serving of lentils provide 127 purine and 337 calories.

9. Mussels:

You need to avoid shellfish totally if you have been diagnosed with gout. 100 grams of mussels contain around 100 milligrams of purine and 172 calories.

10. Scallops:

Scallop is seafood that should be avoided to correct the levels of purine in your diet. A plate of scallop can cause a gout flare. This shellfish contains more purines per serving than mussels and lobsters. A serving of scallops, contains 136 milligrams of purines and 69 calories.

11. Venison:

Venison is gaining extreme popularity these days as a protein supplement. Venison is allowed to live on its own and is free from antibiotics or genetically modified feed. However, you should avoid eating venison if you suffer from gout due to its high purine numbers. Besides, venison also contains high levels of protein, which should be avoided by gout patients. A 100 grams serving of venison can increase your purine levels by 138 grams.

12. Raisins:

This delicious dried fruit can cause many problems for gout sufferers. Raisins are a surprising source of purine. This dried fruit is used widely in baked foods and desserts, which can invite unexpected trouble for the gout sufferers. 100 grams of raisins contain around 107 milligrams of purine and 300 calories.

13. Lamb:

Lamb, like most of the red meats, is rich in both protein and purine. This can cause double the trouble with people who are looking to manage their gout attack. Lamb contains more purine than most of the red meat, so avoid eating it completely. 100 grams of lamb can increase your purine levels by 182 milligrams.

14. Lobster:

Like most of the shellfish, lobster is also high in purine. Lobster contains 118 milligrams of purine per 100 grams serving. Lobster is an ubiquitous seafood and most of the people avoid it because of its high price per pound. So, you will not face much difficulty in avoiding this food.

15. Shrimp:

Shrimp is the most commonly eaten shellfish. It ranks second as the most consumed seafood. This widely consumed seafood is available widely and finds its way in most of the menu items. This can make it difficult for the gout sufferers to avoid shrimps easily. 100 grams of shrimps contain 147 milligrams of purine and 106 calories.

16. Beef:

Beef also ranks relatively high in the purine content. A 100 grams serving of beef can set you back with 110 milligrams of purine. If consumed in large quantities, beef can cause unexpected gout attacks. Make sure you consult your doctor before taking beef.

17. Turkey:

This delicious meat comes packed with high levels of purines that may make it to off limits for the people suffering from gout. 100 grams of turkey contain 150 milligrams of purine, a little higher than average.

18. Veal:

The levels of purine in veal rank higher than beef, so think twice before adding this to your diet. A 100 grams serving of veal contains around 170 milligrams of purine. Over-consumption of anything is hazardous to health so never going overboard with this food.

19. Alcohol:

Alcohol is one of the biggest contributors of gout. Beer, particularly brewer’s yeast is the biggest culprit. It contains high levels of purine, which increase the uric acid production leading to gout. Studies have also found that drinking beer during a gout attack can significantly increase its intensity. Wine is also quite high in purine, so consume it in moderation. Limit the consumption to 2 glasses a week.

20. Vegetables:

Vegetables like mushrooms, asparagus, spinach and cauliflower contain high levels of purine. The level of purine in these vegetables depends on the soil they are grown. Limit the intake of these vegetable to not more than two servings a day.


  • Besides reducing the intake of these foods, you should also take the medicines as directed by the physician.
  • People suffering from gout should include foods high in complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their diet. They should avoid foods high in protein and calories.
  • Maintain a healthy and balanced diet and drink plenty of water daily. Consuming high amounts of water will help dilute uric acid, preventing kidney stones. Do not indulge in crash diets as they can increase the overall uric levels in the body.
  • Exercising is also important for maintaining the overall wellbeing. People suffering from gouts should maintain a healthy body weight by performing moderately intense exercise daily.

Hence, people suffering from gout should steer clear from these above-mentioned foods. Remember, you do not have to eliminate purine from the diet. You just have to reduce their intake. Hope you find this article helpful. Leave your valuable comments to us if any.

Leave a Comment.