Some foods contain a high amount of purines, increase uric acid levels in the blood. Elevated uric acid levels can be dangerous for people with diabetes or who are prone to gout and joint pain , and can lead to kidney problems.

What foods increase uric acid

People who have uric acid problems can talk to their doctor about avoiding foods that increase uric acid levels. Purines are found primarily in meats and fats, but can be found in moderate levels in certain vegetables.


Shellfish like mackerel, herring, sardines, and eels contain high levels of purines. Shellfish such as scallops, clams, oysters, shrimp, crabs, and lobsters can also increase uric acid levels, and this also holds true for tinned or smoked versions of these products.

Organ meat

Organ meat such as liver, kidneys and brain are rich in purines and increase uric acid in the blood . While some meats such as chicken and beef contain a small amount of purines, the chemistry is concentrated in the organs of these animals.


Beans, lentils, soybeans, and peas raise uric acid levels in the blood , and this includes fresh or dried legumes. Legumes that contain caffeine, such as cocoa beans and coffee, also raise uric acid levels along with any other foods that contain caffeine.


Beer and baker’s yeast contain high amounts of purines, which means that brewer’s yeast and yeast baked goods should be avoided or eaten in moderation, always understanding that we are talking about how harmful they are when eaten in excess.

Vegetables and fruits

Most purine-rich foods are protein-based and there are very few fruits and vegetables that have purine levels to consider if you have this condition. Asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, and spinach have moderate levels of purines . Fried foods also increase uric acid production , just as fried vegetables should be avoided.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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