A person with gout can incorporate eggs into their diet. Eggs are low in purines and may help lower levels of uric acid levels in the blood.
Purines occur in certain foods, which the body then converts to uric acid. High levels of uric acid can build up as sharp crystals in and around the joints, causing gout.
Eating a diet low in purines may help reduce uric acid levels and help manage gout.
This article looks at how eggs may affect gout, ideas for how to include eggs in the diet, and other foods to include or avoid for gout.
Available research has not found a link between egg consumption and gout. Rather, eggs can be part of a gout-friendly diet, which also includes:
- low fat dairy
- whole grains
Can eggs cause a gout flare-up?
Eggs are not likely to cause a gout flare-up.
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Recipe ideas for eating eggs as part of a gout-friendly diet include the following:
- Boil eggs and eat whole as a snack, or with vegetables and a salad as part of a meal.
- Chop or mash boiled eggs with whole grain bread for an egg sandwich.
- Scramble eggs and serve on top of whole grain toast.
- Fry an egg in plant oil, such as olive oil, and add as extra protein to a meal.
- Poach an egg, and serve on a whole wheat English muffin.
- Use eggs to make an omelet, and add vegetables and low fat cheese to serve with a side of vegetables or salad.
People may want to avoid adding animal fat if they are cooking eggs. Using a heart-healthy oil, such as olive oil, may be a better option. People may also want to avoid adding meat to the meal, such as bacon, or other foods higher in purines.
Fresh, uncooked eggs may contain Salmonella, a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection may cause:
- abdominal cramps
In most cases, people will recover from the infection within
People at increased risk of severe Salmonella infection are:
- children and older adults
- people who are pregnant
- people with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer, diabetes, HIV, AIDS, or people receiving an organ transplant
To help make sure eggs are safe to eat, people can do the following:
- Only buy eggs with their shell intact, with no cracks.
- Store eggs in the refrigerator.
- Use eggs within 3 weeks of buying them.
- Store hard-boiled eggs in the fridge and eat within 1 week.
- Store cooked meals containing eggs in the fridge and eat within 3–4 days.
- Cook eggs until the white of the egg and the yolk are firm.
- Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces before and after handling raw eggs.
Diet alone may not be effective enough to manage gout, but in combination with other treatments, such as medication, it may help.
People may not be able to avoid purines completely, but focusing on eating a low purine, balanced, and healthy diet may help people better manage gout symptoms and support overall health.
Food to eat
The Arthritis Foundation recommends that people with gout include the following foods in their diet:
- foods high in vitamin C, or a vitamin C supplement
- skim milk and low fat dairy products
- whole grain products
- plant oils, such as olive oil
Foods to avoid
Foods to avoid or limit with gout include the following:
- organ meats, such as liver
- red and processed meat, including bacon, venison, pork, and beef
- some seafood and shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster, sardines, and crab
- processed foods, such as snacks and frozen meals
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, or rice
- sugary drinks
Eating a low purine diet may help people better manage gout. People may include eggs as part of a gout-friendly, balanced diet.
People can try recipe ideas such as scrambled eggs on whole grain toast or an omelet containing vegetables and low fat cheese.
A gout-friendly diet may also include low fat dairy, whole grains, and vegetables. People should limit foods that are high in purines. This can include shellfish and organ meats.
Diet may not be enough to manage gout. A person may also need to take medications to manage gout flare-ups.