Can turkey trigger gout?

Gobble gobble, it’s almost Thanksgiving! The time to loosen your pants and enjoy all the delicious food that comes with this holiday. But wait a minute, can turkey trigger gout? If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from this painful condition, then you need to keep reading.

What is Gout?

Before we get into whether or not turkey can trigger gout, let’s quickly discuss what gout actually is. According to the Mayo Clinic, gout is “a form of arthritis characterized by severe pain, redness, and tenderness in joints.” It’s caused by an excess of uric acid in the blood which forms crystals that settle in joints leading to inflammation and extreme discomfort.

Uric Acid Levels in Turkey

Now back to our main question – does eating turkey lead to higher levels of uric acid? Well first off let’s establish that yes turkey contains purines (an organic compound broken down into uric acid), but so do many other foods including seafood and red meat. In fact when compared gram for gram chicken has more purines than turkey!

According to a study published in the Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry which analyzed various meats’ purine content; six ounces servings sizes contain:

  • Lamb: 332mg
  • Pork: 235mg
  • Beef: 174mg
  • Chicken Thighs: 137mg
  • Duck Meat Without Skin:1290 mg
  • Ground beef(85% lean):127mgs
    -Turkey Breast (with skin) :87 mg

So as you can see there are plenty of foods out there with higher purine contents than turkey!

Protein Content

One thing that should be noted though about Turkey is its high protein content. With every three ounces containing roughly twenty five grams worth , accounting for sixty percentof daily value it makes a highly effective meat choice. Now this isn’t a bad thing per se, but the body does process protein partly into uric acid so it’s something to be aware of if you have gout.

Moderation is key

So can turkey trigger gout? It’s not as simple as just yes or no answer. While turkey contains purines and high proteins which are associated with higher levels of uric acid – consumed in moderation won’t necessarily cause an attack for those with pre-existing conditions.

According to the Arthritis Foundation dietary guidelines,consumption below 4-6 ounces per day once a week typically doesn’t increase gout risk. If that’s still too much to manage,you could still relish other bird meat like chicken breasts or drumsticks instead each time your craving kicks in 😉

Other Foods You Should Watch Out For

While we’re on topic though , there are some additional foods besides Turkey that people with recurring bouts should watch out for ( And don’t say i didn’t warn ya) :


Sorry seafood lovers! High-purine options such as scallops,sardines,anchovies,optima shrimp,oysters etc., stand up among chief culprits . Palpably, their over indulgence has maximum impact on Uric Acid excretion causing flaring bouts;

Red Meat

What would life be without carnivore cravings.mooing steaks or bacon cries get stronger every year but consuming red meats(ground beef,pork,lamb) excessively may trigger painful flares especially when serving sizes exceed four-to-six ounce recommendation;


Alcoholic beverages- especially beer (lighter varieties even worse ) naturally increases UA temptation leading towards inflammation since major part converted from alcohol in liver ;
Red Wine better option- however consumption shouldn’t reach beyond one-to-two glass/day .


In short,turkey consumption isn’t going to automatically lead to gout but moderation is key as with any food when dealing with a pre-existing health condition such as this one.
So over the holidays, fill your plate with turkey and all the trimmings(as long it’s not for every meal) , sit back , enjoy deliciousness without concern! And above anything else, Stay hydrated!!

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