People with gout and hyperuricemia are advised to pay attention to their diet’s purines content. Because consuming high purine foods increases the blood uric acid level, which is associated with gout and hyperuricemia and increased risk of cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

Purines are found in all dietary sources. And we generally know some foods have higher levels of purines than others. But availability of good estimate of purines in dietary sources has been limited to few food types and is not labelled on food products.

Recently, researchers in Japan evaluated purines content in a long list of food stuffs, including vegetables, fruits, egg, milk products, fish, meat (beef, pork, chicken) and cereal grains. They also calculated the blood uric acid equivalent of the dietary purines content and categorized the foods into five levels based on the daily total purines upper limit recommended by the Japanese Guidelines for the Management of Hyperuricemia and Gout.

In Japan, the recommended upper limit for daily intake for total purines is 400mg. Accordingly, foods with total purine:

  1. less than 50mg per 100g belong to very low group;
  2. 50 - 100mg per 100 gram, low group;
  3. 100 - 200mg per 100g, moderate group;
  4. 200 - 300mg per 100g, high group;
  5. greater than 300mg per 100g very high group.

Their finding, filtered for the common foods in Western diet, is listed below.

Purine in Cereals and Legumes

Table: Total purines content in food stuffs. Total uric cid content is a meaure of what will be produced in the body when food with the corresponding purine content is consumed.

Food stuffs Total purine (mg/ 100g) Total uric acid (mg/100g) Category
Cereals and legumes
Barley 44.3 52.1 very low
Buckwheat flour 75.9 89.1 low
Flour (bread flour) 25.8 30.3 very low
Flour (cake flour) 15.7 18.5 very low
Flour (pastry flour) 25.8 30.3 very low
Rice (polished) 25.9 30.3 very low
Rice (unpolished) 37.4 43.7 very low
    Nuts and legumes
Almond 31.4 37.0 very low
Azuki bean (dried) 77.6 90.8 low
Broad bean 35.5 41.5 very low
Green peas (canned) 18.8 21.9 very low
Peanut 49.1 57.1 very low
Bean curd lees (Okara) 48.6 56.6 very low
Deep-fried tofu 54.4 63.2 low
Fermented soybean (Natto) 113.9 132.8 moderate
Freeze-dried tofu 293.1 342.0 high
Green soybean 47.9 56.1 very low
Soymilk 22.0 25.8 very low
Soybean (dried) 172.5 201.7 moderate
Tofu (Kinu) 20.0 23.3 very low
Tofu (Momen, chilled) 31.1 36.5 very low
Tofu (Momen, 3 min boiled) 21.9 26.0 very low


Purine in Dairy Products and Eggs

Food stuffs Total purine (mg/ 100g) Total uric acid (mg/100g) Category
Chicken egg 0.0 0.0 very low
Quail egg 0.0 0.0 very low
  Dairy products  
Cheese 5.7 6.7 very low
Grated cheese 12.9 15.4 very low
Milk 0.0 0.0 very low
Yoghurt 5.2 6.2 very low


Purine in Vegetables and Fruits

Generally, vegetables fall in the very low to low purine category. The few exceptions with moderate purine level are brocoli sprouts and young spinach leaves. Fruits, such as banana, strawberry and avocado have very low purine content. Fresh mushrooms belong also to the low category. Dried forms of mushroom, however, contain high purine concentration.

Food stuffs Total purine (mg/ 100g) Total uric acid (mg/100g) Category
Asparagus, upper part 55.3 64.7 low
Asparagus, lower part 10.2 12.0 very low
Balsam pear (goya) 9.9 11.6 very low
Bamboo shoot, upper part 63.3 74.0 low
Bamboo shoot, lower part 30.8 36.1 very low
Bean sprouts 35.0 41.2 very low
Broccoli 70.0 81.8 low
Broccoli sprout 129.6 153.0 moderate
Cabbage 3.2 3.8 very low
Carrot 2.2 2.5 very low
Cauliflower 57.2 67.2 low
Cherry tomato 3.1 3.7 very low
Chinese cabbage 7.0 8.2 very low
Corn 11.7 13.7 very low
Cucumber 9.4 11.1 very low
Eggplant 50.7 58.7 low
Garlic 17.0 20.1 very low
Garlic chives (nira) 19.4 23.0 very low
Ginger 2.3 2.5 very low
Green pepper 69.2 79.8 low
Gumbo (okura) 39.5 46.3 very low
Onion 2.3 2.7 very low
Parsley 288.9 341.3 high
Potato 6.5 7.5 very low
Spinach, leaf 51.4 61.0 low
Spinach, young leaf 171.8 202.1 moderate
Sprouts, with bean 57.3 67.4 low
Sweet potato 17.0 20.1 very low
White radish sprouts 73.2 86.6 low
Zucchini 13.1 15.3 very low
Avocado 18.4 21.8 very low
Banana 3.0 3.5 very low
Strawberry 2.1 2.4 very low
Hiratake 142.3 168.1 high
Jew's-ear (dried) 155.7 181.4 high
Shiitake (dried) 379.5 448.8 very high
Shiitake (for broth, dried) 242.3 288.4 high
Shiitake, raw 20.8 24.4 very low


Gout and diet related:

Purines and uric acid content in beef, pork and chicken
Purines and uric acid content in fish and seafoods

Kaneko K, Aoyagi Y, Fukuuchi T, Inazawa K, and Yamaoka N. Total Purine and Purine Base Content of Common Foodstuffs for Facilitating Nutritional Therapy for Gout and Hyperuricemia. Biol. Pharm. Bull 37(5), 709 - 721 (2014).