Pork and Gout: What to Eat, What to Avoid

Nutritional value and purine content in pork

Pork is a red meat, but it's often called "the other white meat." This is because it's a source of lean protein, like poultry. Pork has moderately high amounts of purines, however. Purines are compounds that produce uric acid when digested. Uric acid can build up in your joints and cause gout.

Eating a lot of pork and other kinds of red meat, including organ meats like liver and kidney, increases your risk of recurrent gout attacks.

If you have gout, it is important to maintain a low-purine diet. To do this, it's helpful to know the difference between cuts of pork and cooking methods. You should also know how much pork is recommended daily for people who have gout.

Pork can be part of a healthy gout diet if you follow some general guidelines on how much to eat and how to cook it. 

This article looks at the nutritional value of pork and how it might affect you if you have gout. It also offers some cooking tips and tips for choosing the best cuts if you have gout.

Pork being cut and served on a wood chopping block

Capelle.r / Getty Images 

What Causes Gout?

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis. It is caused by excess uric acid or hyperuricemia. You can develop this condition when you eat high-purine foods and when your kidneys' excretion process slows down.

When your body breaks down purines, uric acid is produced as a waste product. Excess uric acid can form needle-like crystals between joints and result in joint pain.

Nutritional Value of Pork

Pork is an excellent source of nutrients like:

  • Thiamin
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Phosphorus

It also contains zinc and potassium. The following cuts are good sources of lean protein:

  • Pork tenderloin
  • Sirloin pork chop
  • Sirloin pork roast

These cuts can be part of a healthy gout diet. Lean protein is also a good choice if you're trying to lose or maintain weight for gout-related health reasons.

Pork can also be a significant source of unhealthy saturated fats and cholesterol. This is particularly true of fattier and highly processed cuts like:

  • Pork belly
  • Ribs
  • Sausages

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating no more than 13 g of saturated fat a day. If you eat these cuts it's easy to go beyond that. Keep in mind, too, that processed meats like sausage are known human carcinogens. This means they have been linked to an elevated risk of cancer.

Pork has a lot of calories, too, so it can be hard to maintain a healthy weight if you don't practice good portion control. People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for gout and gout attacks.

Pork: Nutrition Facts

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 1 ounce (28.35 g) serving of pork contains the following:

  • Calories: 86
  • Protein: 4.26 g
  • Fat: 7.25 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Calcium: 89.3 mg
  • Iron: 1.2 mg
  • Magnesium: 4.54 mg
  • Phosphorous: 56.7 mg
  • Potassium: 84.5 mg
  • Sodium: 14.2 mg

Keep in mind that commercially packaged pork usually comes in 6- to 8-ounce cuts. 

What Are the Best Cuts of Pork if You Have Gout?

Different cuts of meat have different nutrition, calories, and purine amounts. Avoid pig organ meats, which are all high in purines. These include:

  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Kidney
  • Brain

The AHA recommends limiting servings of pork to 3 ounces. This is about the size of a deck of cards.

Purines in Pork
Part Total Purine Range
Heart 119 mg Moderate

195 mg High
Liver 284.8 mg High
Neck 70.5 mg Moderate
Ribs 75.8 mg Moderate
Rump 113 mg Moderate
Shoulder 81.4 mg Moderate
Sirloin 90.9 mg Moderate
Tenderloin 119.7 mg Moderate
Tongue 104 mg Moderate
61.8 mg
Prosciutto 138.3 mg Moderate
Salami 120.4 mg Moderate
Boneless Ham 90.8 mg Moderate
Purine content per 100 g of pork.

If you have gout, avoid high-purine cuts of pork and high-purine pork products. Choose cuts and pork products that have less purine and eat them in moderation. Remember that cooking method also matters. Consider the other foods you eat, too, to get a accurate picture of your total purine intake.

Cooking Tips For Lowering Purines

Cooking method changes the total fat and purine content of pork. Research has shown that rinsing foods with water before cooking can reduce total purines. This includes pork products like bacon.

Use gout-friendly moist or dry heat cooking methods, including:

  • Baking
  • Roasting
  • Air frying

Avoid deep frying. Watch how you marinate, season, and prepare your pork too. Experts say high-fat dairy and rich breading batters are high in purines. If you have gout, these should be avoided.

Avoid highly processed sugars, too. These are often found in store-bought marinades and sauces. Use these products very sparingly.

Purines release into meat juices when cooked. For this reason, you should avoid stewing pork or using one-pot recipes. It's best to cook your pork alone and then add it to your meal.


How you cook your pork matters. Choose dry or moist heat methods like roasting or baking and avoid deep frying. Don't use marinades or batters that contain a lot of processed sugar or fat.


If you have gout, you can still eat pork. Limit your consumption to lean cuts like sirloin and eat small portions. Avoid organ meats and processed pork products. Choose cuts that are low in purines.

You can lower the purine content of the pork you eat by baking or roasting and avoiding marinades and batters high in sugar or fat.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does pork cause gout?

    By itself, pork does not cause gout. However, a high-purine diet can increase the risk of developing gout. Gout occurs when the body creates more uric acid than it can remove. This results in crystals that form in the joints and tissues.

  • Is eating bacon bad for gout?

    Bacon contains a moderate amount of purine. Most people with gout should avoid eating it. However, this does not mean it is always bad for gout. Everyone's body works differently. Some people may be able to handle higher amounts of purine. Others will need to be more selective with their food choices to avoid a gout attack. Every person with gout should monitor their purine intake to understand their body's limitations.

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. CDC. Gout.

  2. Kaneko K, Aoyagi Y, Fukuuchi T, Inazawa K, Yamaoka N. Total purine and purine base content of common foodstuffs for facilitating nutritional therapy for gout and hyperuricemiaBiol Pharm Bull. 2014;37(5):709-721. doi:10.1248/bpb.b13-00967.x

  3. Pork. Pork nutrition.

  4. American Heart Association. Saturated fat.

  5. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Pork, fresh, variety meats and by-products, mechanically separated, raw.

  6. Arthritis Foundation. Gout.

By Michelle Pugle
Michelle Pugle, BA, MA, is an expert health writer with nearly a decade of contributing accurate and accessible health news and information to authority websites and print magazines. Her work focuses on lifestyle management, chronic illness, and mental health. Michelle is the author of Ana, Mia & Me: A Memoir From an Anorexic Teen Mind.