Why Vegan Diet is Worst for Gout

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.

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.

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:

Serum Uric Acid Concentrations in Meat Eaters, Fish Eaters, Vegetarians and Vegans: A Cross-Sectional Analysis in the EPIC-Oxford Cohort
Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
PLoS ONE 8(2):e56339 · February 2013

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

Why Vegan Diet is Worst for Gout

Let’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.

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.

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Medical Disclaimer: The pupose of GoutPal is to provide jargon-free explanations of medical gout-related terms and procedures. Because gout sufferers need to know what questions to ask their doctor. Also, you need to understand what your doctor tells you. So this website explains gout science. But it is definitely NOT a substitute for medical advice.

Information on this website is provided by a fellow gout sufferer (Keith Taylor) with an accountant's precision for accurate data. But no medical qualifications. So you must seek professional medical advice about gout and any other health matters.

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