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What foods cause uric acid build up?

Updated February 21, 2019

Uric acid is formed in the body when substances called "purines" are broken down. Under normal circumstances, the body dispels uric acid through urination. But in some cases, it can build up and cause a condition called "hyperuricemia." Some symptoms of hyperuricemia include problems urinating, fatigue and a form of arthritis called "gout," which causes the joints to swell. One of the ways to keep this from happening is by eliminating foods from your diet that are high in purine content.

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Meats and Fish

There are a variety of meats that are high in purine content. Some of these include pork, beef, lamb, bacon and shellfish. Organ meats, such as the liver, can also cause uric acid build-up. Any gravies or extracts that are derived from the meats are also high in purines, as are mackerel and anchovies.


Oatmeal is a food that is a gold standard when it comes to a heart-healthy breakfast option. It is high in soluble fibre, it has a decent amount of protein and it is low on the glycemic index. But it is not a food that you want to eat if you have high uric acid levels, as it is high in purines.


Yeast is an extract that is found in many products. It acts as a thickener, and it causes baked goods, such as bread, to rise. It also happens to be a key ingredient in beer, as it helps with the fermentation process. That said, yeast and yeast extracts should be avoided, because they have a high purine content. This includes breads and cereals containing yeast, in addition to wine and other forms of alcohol.


Vegetables are a good source of phytonutrients and fibre, and they are also naturally high in water content. Most vegetables are low in purines, but there are a few exceptions, including mushrooms, cauliflower, baby spinach and asparagus.


Legumes are dried seeds that are enclosed in a pod. They are high in fibre and protein, they're low in fat, they have a lot of vitamins and they are also low on the glycemic index. There are some legumes that are high in purine content and, as such, can cause uric acid build-up. Some examples include kidney beans, peas, lima beans and lentils.

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About the Author

Kevin Rail

I am very genuine and magnetic on camera, and have made numerous videos on my own for clients and other organizations that I'm affiliated with. I also have a degree in Sport Management, and multiple certifications to back up my validity. I've also been featured in three different exercise infomercials and had a speaking role in a National Lampoons movie.

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