I was surprised to read that a vegan diet is worst for gout.

Everyone thinks that meat is the worst food for gout. It’s true that, if you are fixated with purines, then high-purine animal flesh is the food that matters. But there’s a very important fact missing.

When you look at that missing fact, it explains all you need to know about gout diet. Here, I’m going to explain the missing fact about gout diet. I’m going to show you how to plan gout diet properly. So that missing fact doesn’t trip you up. I’m going to reveal the new research that shows why vegan diet is worst for gout.

Before I explain the missing fact about gout food, I want to summarize the research that reveals that vegan diet is worst for gout. But first, let me clarify who I wrote this page for.

Vegans And Gout Purpose

My purpose in writing about Vegans and Gout is to keep you informed about the latest gout nutrition science. Then you can discuss your diet concerns with your doctor, nutritionist, or other healthcare professional. Because this supports the purpose of GoutPal.com. Which is to encourage you to discuss health issues with professionals. Also to help you understand the gout advice you get from your doctor.

Vegan Diet and Gout Report

Actually, this is not strictly a report about vegan diet and gout. It is a report about vegan diet and uric acid. It compares vegan diet with meat, fish, and vegetarian diets, but not in gout subjects. It’s important to realize that this type of research helps us understand general principles about uric acid. However, the most important thing is that your diet should be planned personally to help your gout. Also, note the 2019 update towards the end of this article. Because that includes more recent research on gout sufferers.

If you are vegan, there is a lot you can do to make your diet gout-friendly. The report proves certain gout diet principles that we know about. It proves that some animal products are very good for gout. But, if your personal situation prevents you from consuming animal products, we can plan your diet around that. This is why I emphasize the need for personal diet planning. It is why I provide free personal gout diet plans. To get yours, you just have to ask in the forums.

Vegan Diet and Uric Acid Report

This is a brief summary of a 2013 study of uric acid levels on different types of diet[1]. I’ve kept my summary brief because the report is Open Access, and widely available on the Internet.

The research divides the subjects into groups by diet type. It compares the uric acid blood test results between meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans. It uses μmol/L as the measurement scale, and I have converted the uric acid results to mg/dL, which is the scale used most in the States. For men, the results are:

Diet Type Uric Acid (μmol/L) Uric Acid (mg/dL)
Meat eaters 315 5.3
Fish Eaters 308.8 5.2
Vegetarians 302.7 5.1
Vegans 340.2 5.7

Safe uric acid is 5mg/dL, and 6 is considered acceptable by many. So, gout is unlikely to be an issue for most of these patients. This emphasizes the importance of a personal gout diet plan, because once you have had gout, these groups are not important. We are only concerned with a group of one – You!

It is significant that the report shows much lower figures for uric acid levels for women. There are similar differences between diet groups but at a lower level. That strengthens the findings about vegan diet being worst for gout. However, the research would be much more valid if it divided females between pre and post-menopause. Also, in the discussion within the report, the authors ignore the possible explanation of blood loss for lower uric acid.

Much more significant are the reasons why vegan diet is worst for increased uric acid.

The report attaches various degrees of significance to lots of factors. The significant foods relating to increased uric acid are:

  1. Beer
  2. Alcohol
  3. Soy Protein

The significant foods relating to reduced uric acid are:

  1. Calcium
  2. Dairy Protein

2019 Update for Vegans and Gout

In 2019, Taiwanese researchers studied more effects of different diet among gout sufferers[2]. But the investigations are with different populations with different cultures. So results cannot be compared directly. However, they do support the fact that diets must be planned for individuals. Because people process uric acid differently depending on genetic make-up.

This study agrees with the 2013 study about vegetarian diet being better than vegan diet for gout. But they find that vegan is better than non-vegetarian.

Vegans had higher uric acid than nonvegetarians in the EPIC-Oxford but not in our study. This may be related to the high fructose-rich drinks in their vegan, and the larger discrepancy in dairy consumption between vegan and nonvegetarians

So this shows it is possible to make vegan diets that improve gout health. But on average, dairy products are good for gout.

I believe the main problem stems from omitting eggs and dairy without replacing them with foods that help reduce uric acid. So good vegan diet planning should overcome these deficiencies. But only if you plan for individuals with balanced weekly vegan menus.

Why Vegan Diet is Worst for Gout

Uric Acid by Diet Type chartLet’s get back to the missing fact that explains why everything you read about gout diet is wrong. I’ve listed the significant food factors that the report identifies as affecting uric acid. However, there is one more factor that is even more significantly associated with increased uric acid. That is BMI – Body Mass Index.

Uric acid comes from the animal flesh that we eat, and the human flesh from our bodies.

I’ve emphasized this for many years, most significantly in Avoid Excess Calories for Gout. Calorie control is vital to gout diet management. This vegan diet report also shows us that it is equally important to consider what is missing from our diets. We must learn personally what we need more of, as well as what to avoid.

Leave Vegan Diet for Gout to read more Gout Diet pages.

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Vegan Diet for Gout References

  1. Schmidt, Julie A., Francesca L. Crowe, Paul N. Appleby, Timothy J. Key, and Ruth C. Travis. “Serum uric acid concentrations in meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans: a cross-sectional analysis in the EPIC-Oxford cohort.” PloS one 8, no. 2 (2013): e56339.
  2. Chiu, Tina HT, Chin-Hsiu Liu, Chia-Chen Chang, Ming-Nan Lin, and Chin-Lon Lin. “Vegetarian diet and risk of gout in two separate prospective cohort studies.” Clinical Nutrition (2019).

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TL;DR - Why Vegan Diet is Worst for Gout

Gout diet is as much about what you DO eat, as about what you avoid.
You need a balanced diet to get enough of the right nutrients while limiting the wrong ones.

For Vegans: Ask in the gout forum how you can balance a vegan diet for gout.
For Others: Ask in the gout forum how to plan balanced meals.

Use the Search Box to find current discussions about balancing your gout diet.