Chicken and Gout: How Much to Eat and Cooking Tips

Chicken is a lean meat with high nutritional value. But if you have gout (also known as gouty arthritis), you need to be aware of:

  • the cut of your choice
  • how much do you eat
  • how did you prepare

Gout involves the accumulation of uric acid in the body. This causes uric acid crystals to form in the joints, which can lead to sudden, extreme pain and inflammation.

Uric acid comes from purines. These are chemicals in every cell of your body and in many foods. Studies have shown that excessive intake of purines can lead to high uric acid levels (hyperuricemia) and gout. This condition can be very painful and even disabling.

This article looks at the nutritional value of chicken, the best cuts to prevent gout attacks, and how to cook it.

what to eat when you have gout

Nutritional value of chicken

Unseasoned chicken is a low-sodium, sugar- and starch-free, high-protein food option. It’s also rich in essential nutrients for a healthy metabolism. These include:

  • Antioxidants
  • B vitamins
  • minerals like selenium and phosphorus

Unlike red meat, poultry—especially boneless, skinless chicken breasts—has become the animal protein of choice for people looking to eat healthier, lose or maintain weight, and reduce their risk of disease.

Weight maintenance is one of the most important lifestyle changes for people with gout. The obesity epidemic has even been blamed on the rising prevalence of gout.

Chicken: Nutrition Facts

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts includes:

  • Calories: 128
  • Fat: 2.7g
  • Sodium: 44 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 26 grams

Note that a 3-ounce serving is smaller than your regular packaged serving size in the store.

The American Heart Association recommends choosing skinless poultry (and fish) and preparing them in a healthy way. This means no added saturated and trans fats.

Nutrient-dense foods like chicken can help you manage your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

But is chicken safe when you have gout? It depends on the cut and its purine content.


Chicken is considered a lean and healthy option, especially if you’re skinless. It may help with weight loss and maintenance goals. Whether gout is safe or not depends on the wound.

Gout Friendly Cuts

The basic nutritional value of chicken breasts, drumsticks, and wings differs. The purine content of different parts is also different.

If you have gout and hyperuricemia, it is important to consider the type and amount of purines you are ingesting. One of the most important purines to watch out for is hypoxanthine.

Chicken is primarily a medium-purine food. But the purine content in a particular cut varies from low to very high. You should avoid purine-rich organ meats like chicken liver and eat only moderate purine cuts in moderation.

The American Dietetic Association defines high-purine foods as having a total purine content of 150-1000 mg/100 g.

Purines in Chicken
Chicken Nuggets (100g) total purine content Scope
buttocks 68.8 mg low
leg 122.9 mg ease
wing 137.5 mg ease
breast, peeled 141.2 mg ease
liver < 300 mg High

Specific purine breakdowns are also good information to help you make an informed choice. Be especially wary of foods high in adenine and hypoxanthine. Studies have shown that these purines are significantly associated with gout.

Breakdown of purines in chicken


  • Adenine 30
  • Guanine 30
  • Hypoxanthine 18
  • Xanthine 18

Poultry (except organs)

  • Adenine 335
  • Guanine 335
  • Hypoxanthine 335
  • Xanthine 135


The purine content of chicken varies from low to high. Liver most. The hips are minimal. The purines adenine and hypoxanthine are significantly associated with gout.

Gout-Friendly Cooking Tips

You can reduce the total purines in your next chicken by following some gout-friendly cooking guidelines.

First, remove the skin. It contains extra purines and unhealthy fats. Next, research shows that rinsing and cooking chicken in water can significantly reduce total purine levels.

In general, cooking by moist heat (boiling) or dry heat (grilling) has been found to have a similar effect on total purine content. It slightly increases adenine and guanine and decreases hypoxanthine.

what to avoid

If you have gout, you should avoid:

  • Alcohol (eg, beer fried foods)
  • high-fat dairy products (eg, Alfredo sauce)
  • animal fats (for example, cooking with bacon fat)

Cooking lowers the purines in chicken, in part because they are released into the juices. This is why gravies or stews and soup bases are labeled as rich in purines and should be avoided if you have gout.

Grilling and frying preserve moisture and purine content. Stewing meat means that the released purines are absorbed into your stock.

The type of oil, marinades, and sauces used to season and cook chicken also play an important role in gout. Choose a high-quality vegetable oil with anti-inflammatory properties. These include extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.

Flavor with anti-inflammatory foods and spices, such as:

  • chile peppers
  • tomato
  • turmeric

Tomatoes and Gout: Pros and Cons

The purine content in chicken is also affected by storage temperature and time. Lower storage temperature and shorter freezing time may reduce the enzyme activity and total purine content of shrimp. Suspect similar to chicken.


Chicken is a lean, healthy protein. It can help you lose weight and keep it off. But it does contain purines, which are not good for gout sufferers.

Chicken livers have the highest levels of purines, while buttocks have the lowest. The thorax, wings and legs are all medium purine cuts.

While the chicken is cooking, remove the skin, rinse well, and cook in water. Avoid gravies, soups and stews.

VigorTip words

The sudden, severe pain of a gout attack can disrupt your life. By changing your diet and watching purines, you can avoid flares or reduce their severity.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you are having trouble managing your diet. They may help you or refer you to a dietitian.

Fish and gout: what to eat and what to avoid

Dealing with chronic inflammation? An anti-inflammatory diet can help. Our free recipe guide shows you the best foods to fight inflammation. Get yours today!

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6 sources

VigorTip Health uses only high-quality resources, including peer-reviewed research, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Wu B, Rosalind JM, Haytowitz DB, Pehrsson PR, Ershowc AG. Availability and quality of published data on purine content of foods, alcoholic beverages, and dietary supplements. J Food Comp and Anal. 2019;84:103281. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2019.103281.x

  2. Kaneko K, Aoyagi Y, Fukuuchi T, Inazawa K, Yamaoka N. Total purine and purine base content of common foods promoting nutritional therapy of gout and hyperuricemia. biopharma bull2014;37(5):709-721. doi:10.1248/bpb.b13-00967

  3. USDA: FoodData Central. Chicken, broiler or fryer, breast, skinless, boneless, meat only, raw.

  4. American Heart Association. Meat, poultry and fish: Pick healthy protein.

  5. Ellington A. Reduce purine content in common meat products by rinsing and cooking. [Masters thesis.] Athens, GA: University of Georgia; 2007.

  6. Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publishing. Foods that fight inflammation.

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