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The Carnivore Diet and Gout: The Best and Worst Meats to Eat

A common objection to the Carnivore Diet is that high amounts of meat in this diet can cause gout. Well, there are no academic references to prove a link between the Carnivore Diet and gout because there are many factors triggering gout symptoms. Also, on the Carnivore Diet, picking meats low in purines can help ease gout symptoms.

The Carnivore Diet and Gout: The Best and Worst Meats to Eat
  • Gout is a type of painful arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints.
  • Gout attacks happen with joint pain and swelling because of genetic problems, medical conditions, and dehydration.
  • There is no academic evidence that the Carnivore Diet worsens the symptoms of gout. On the contrary, the improvements in the eating habits in this diet lead to the improvement of gout symptoms.
  • Chicken, turkey, fish like salmon and trout, and lean cuts of beef and pork are the best meats to eat on the Carnivore Diet for treating gout.

What Is Gout?

Gout is arthritis that causes sudden and severe pain and swelling in the joints, usually the big toe. It happens when there is too much uric acid in the blood, which can form sharp crystals in the joints.

Factors that increase the risk of developing gout include genetics, obesity, certain medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease), and certain medications (like diuretics) [1][2].

Gout usually occurs with the same symptoms in all patients, but these symptom’s severity may vary.

What Are the Symptoms of Gout?

The primary symptoms of gout include:

  • Sudden Joint Pain: The main symptom of gout is sudden and intense pain in a single joint, most commonly the big toe, but it can also affect the ankles, heels, knees, and other joints. The pain often starts at night and becomes worse within the first 12-24 hours of an attack [3].
  • Joint Swelling: The affected joint often becomes swollen, so even the slightest touch or movement can be very painful [4].
  • Redness and Warmth: The skin over the affected joint turns red and feels warm to the touch due to the inflammation [5].
  • Other Symptoms: In addition to these symptoms, some people with gout may also experience fever and chills during an attack.

Knowing many factors that can cause these symptoms will help you prevent and manage gout attacks.

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What Causes Gout?

To learn what causes gout, you can check the following list that shows the most common causes of this disease.

  • Genetic Problems,
  • Medical Conditions,
  • Medications, and
  • Dehydration

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Genetic Problems

Some people are more prone to developing gout due to their genes. Because they may inherit genes that cause them to make too much uric acid or have difficulty eliminating it from the body.

This genetic factor leads to higher levels of uric acid in the blood, which increases the risk of uric acid crystals forming in the joints and triggering painful gout attacks. If your parents or grandparents had gout, you're more likely to get it as well [6].

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Medical Conditions

The following health problems can increase uric acid levels and lead to gout, even if your diet is healthy.

  • Obesity: Carrying extra weight puts more stress on the body and can cause gout. When someone is overweight or obese, there is more tissue and cells in the body, which can produce more uric acid as a waste product [7].
  • High Blood Pressure: The kidneys have a harder time filtering out uric acid when blood pressure is high. The kidneys' job is to filter waste products like uric acid out of the blood. When blood pressure is high, there is more pressure on the kidneys, which makes it more difficult for them to effectively remove uric acid from the body [8].
  • Diabetes: Diabetes affects how the body processes sugars, which can raise uric acid. When the body can't effectively manage sugar, it tries to get rid of the excess sugar through the kidneys. This increased workload for the kidneys makes it harder for them to remove uric acid [9].
  • Kidney Disease: The kidneys play a key role in removing uric acid, so kidney problems like kidney stones increase the incidence of gout [10].

Learn More: How To Flush Oxalates From the Body? What is Oxalate Dumping?


Some common prescription drugs, like diuretics used for high blood pressure, can interfere with uric acid removal and cause gout. Diuretics work by helping the body remove excess water and salt. However, they can also interfere with the kidneys' ability to properly eliminate uric acid from the body [11].

When uric acid builds up in the bloodstream due to these medications, it can form painful crystals in the joints, leading to gout attacks.

You can always discuss any potential medication side effects with a healthcare professional, as they can adjust the treatment plan to help manage the risk of gout.

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Not drinking enough water builds up uric acid in the body and crystallizes in the joints. When the body doesn't have enough fluids, especially water, the kidneys should try harder to flush out the excess uric acid produced naturally and it leads to a higher uric acid in the bloodstream.

The elevated uric acid levels increase the risk of crystals forming in the joints, which triggers sudden and severe pain related to gout attacks.

Staying hydrated by drinking enough water can help the kidneys effectively remove uric acid and reduce the likelihood of developing gout [12].

Fortunately, there are various treatments for gout, like medications and dietary approaches, that can help control the symptoms.

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What Are the Current Gout Treatments?

Doctors can diagnose gout by taking a sample of fluid from the affected joint and looking for uric acid crystals. The current standard treatments for managing gout include a combination of the following approaches:

  • Medications
  • Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
  • Other Treatments

Focusing on prevention is the best way to control gout symptoms and avoid painful attacks. However, if you do experience gout symptoms, the following methods can be helpful. Remember, it's essential to consult with a specialist for proper medical treatment.

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The following medications can help prevent or control the gout symptoms.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are used to reduce the inflammation and pain of acute gout attacks quickly [13].
  • Colchicine: This anti-inflammatory drug can help stop a gout attack and prevent future attacks [14].
  • Corticosteroids: Oral or injectable corticosteroids can also be used to relieve the inflammation and pain of a gout flare rapidly [15].
  • Urate-lowering therapies: Medications like allopurinol or febuxostat lower uric acid levels in the long term to prevent gout attacks [16].

Learn More: Protein on the Carnivore Diet: How Much Protein Should I Eat a Day?

Dietary and Lifestyle Changes

You can prevent gout by following these healthy lifestyle tips:

  • Staying hydrated: Drinking enough water (8 to 16 cups or about 2 to 4 liters) every day can help flush out excess uric acid [17].
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Obesity is a major risk factor for gout so weight loss can be beneficial [18].
  • Limiting alcohol consumption: Alcohol, especially beer, can raise uric acid levels [19].

Other Treatments

  • Joint aspiration (Arthrocentesis): Draining fluid from an affected joint can provide rapid relief during an acute attack [20].
  • Ice packs: Putting ice on the swollen and painful joint can help reduce inflammation [21].
  • Dietary supplements: Some supplements like vitamin C can help lower uric acid levels [22].

One of the concerns of people who switch to a meat-based diet like the Carnivore Diet is whether red meat can cause gout. There is no simple and straightforward relation between the Carnivore Diet and gout because red meat is not the only factor causing gout.

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Does the Carnivore Diet Cause Gout?

The Carnivore Diet involves eating only animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy while eliminating all plant-based foods. It's true that meat, especially red meat and seafood, contains purines that can raise uric acid levels and cause gout in some people. However, the link between meat consumption and gout risk is not simple.

There is a lack of high-quality research examining the relationship between gout and the Carnivore Diet. Most of the evidence comes from observational studies on meat intake in general, which don't fully reflect the nuances of a meat-only diet.

While diet is one factor, genetics, obesity, diabetes, medications, and other medical conditions are other factors in uric acid buildup and gout attacks that should all be considered together.

Remember to always consult a healthcare professional before starting Carnivore or any diet, especially if you have pre-existing conditions like a family history of gout or obesity.

Despite what many may think, a meat-based diet like the Carnivore Diet can even improve gout symptoms.

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Can the Carnivore Diet Help Treat Gout?

Two of the biggest dietary contributors to hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels) are sugar and alcohol. [23] The Carnivore Diet eliminates sugary foods and beverages, as well as alcoholic drinks, which are known to worsen gout symptoms.

By cutting out these components, the Carnivore Diet can help reduce the overall uric acid level.

Also, the correlation between the Carnivorous Diet and gout can vary between individuals based on their genetic, metabolic, and medical factors. What may be good for one person may not work for another.

Therefore, it's essential to stick to the Carnivore Diet with a personalized approach and under the guidance of a healthcare professional for regular monitoring of uric acid levels, and management of any potential risks or side effects.

To avoid gout and experience a healthy Carnivore Diet, you need to choose the best kinds of meat. But what are the best kinds?

Learn More: What Is an Animal-Based Diet? Everything You Must Know

The Best Meats for Treating Gout

To manage gout, healthcare professionals generally recommend certain kinds of meat like chicken, turkey, and salmon, which have lower levels of purines and can contribute to uric acid buildup.

  • Chicken and Turkey: Chicken and turkey are lean poultry meats with low amounts of purines compared to red meats, so they can help prevent uric acid buildup (Buy on Amazon).
  • Lean Cuts of Beef and Pork: Choosing lean beef and pork, like sirloin or pork loin, instead of fattier cuts can help reduce purine intake and manage gout (Buy on Amazon).
  • Certain Fish: Fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel are lower in purines than red meat. Also, the omega-3 fatty acids in these fish have anti-inflammatory effects that can help relieve gout symptoms (Buy on Amazon).

Also, eating these meats is not enough and it’s important to steer clear of meats that are high in purine content.

Learn More: Can You Eat Turkey Bacon on the Carnivore Diet?

The Worst Meats for Treating Gout

The worst meats for those suffering from gout are meats with high amounts of purines. Here are some examples of meats to avoid or consume in moderation:

  • Organ Meats: The liver, kidneys, and other organ meats are very high in purines, which can increase uric acid and trigger gout attacks. It's best to avoid these if you have gout.
  • Processed Meats: Sausages, hot dogs, and bacon often have additives that can increase inflammation. The high saturated fat content in these meats can also worsen gout symptoms. So, try to avoid or limit processed meats.

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The relationship between the Carnivore Diet and gout is not easy and straightforward, since many factors can cause gout, like genetics and health conditions.

However, the Carnivore Diet can help improve gout symptoms by eliminating sugary foods and beverages and focusing on healthy and low-purine meats.

Although the Carnivore Diet can positively impact gout symptoms, it’s wise to consult a healthcare professional to ensure this diet aligns with your specific health conditions, needs, and goals.

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