Food and Drink High in Purines

Updated June 26, 2018

High intake of food and drinks that are high in purines can lead to gout, which is a type of arthritis. Purines are turned into uric acid in the body, and high accumulation of uric acid can cause health problems. Knowing which foods are high in purines will help you moderate your consumption.


Meat tends to have high levels of purine. Liver, kidney and poultry are very high, ranging from 289 to 130 milligrams of purine in 100 grams. Anchovies and sardines have the highest purine content, at or near 400 mg. These should be eaten in moderation.


Vegetables are not very high in proteins, but there are some that you should be wary of eating too often. Lentils have 222 mg of purines, and spinach, mushrooms, peas and beans are also significant sources. When cooked, some of the purines are lost.


Alcoholic drinks have purine levels as well. They are small compared to meat, but if you are eating a lot of those meats, then be sure to have less of these drinks. British beers are the highest with 20 to 27 mg of purine in a litre. Homemade beer is 3.9 mg. Drink lots of water if you are drinking alcohol.

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About the Author

Natalie Saar began writing professionally at the age of 19. She majored in journalism and her writing has appeared in the magazine "Generation WHY" as well as "The Clause" newspaper. Saar graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a Bachelor of Arts in media and cultural studies.