Tomatoes for your gout diet

Gout and Tomatoes

Are tomatoes bad for gout?

We all eat tomatoes, we are either eat them fresh in a salad, God knows I love my Greek salad, or we either eat them as a sauce, paste, juice and ketchup! Tomato is a popular vegetable, some say it’s a fruit since it contains seeds but at the end tomatoes contain a rich source of antioxidants, is high in vitamin C and lycopene, a naturally occurring chemical that gives fruits and vegetables a red color like watermelon, apricots or pink grapefruits. In addition, tomatoes carry a lot of water.

There is a misconception amongst certain gout sufferers that tomatoes actually cause gout attacks. This is simply not true if you closely examine the ingredients. Tomatoes are 90% water and water is important for us gout sufferers. Next, tomatoes are a low purine food and all of my readers should know by now that foods that are high in purines can trigger a gout attack. What else? Tomatoes are low in sugar and carbs as well. Heck they’re even very low in calories. 100 grams only has 18 calories! Furthermore, 100 grams of tomatoes has 237mg of potassium! So where do people get the idea that tomatoes are bad for us?

It’s true when tomatoes are cooked they do become slightly acidic in the body once they are metabolized but not anything significant that will cause any serious harm to your health. For example, when cooking them, tomatoes release more lycopene which is very beneficial for so many other health conditions. If you eat them fresh like I do in my Greek salad then you’ll experience less acidity. Tomatoes are part of the “nightshades” food family which include potatoes, peppers and eggplant to which many people are allergic. Due to this fact many people believe that these vegetables increase inflammation and arthritis pain although there is no research that has proven this. This is where you must discern what is right from wrong and use some good ol’ common sense!

Tart Cherry Extract for Gout

There is a study that proves tomatoes decrease uric acid levels involving “Gazpacho” soup which is a vegetable soup but consists of at least 50% tomatoes. The proof lies in this study, make sure to check it out, it actually lowered uric acid by 1-1.2 mg/dl for those who ate the soup daily! For Gazpacho soup recipes, make sure to check out Gout and You’s Pinterest page.

In August 2015, a new University of Otago study from New Zealand claims that tomatoes are indeed a gout trigger. A survey of New Zealanders who suffer from gout asked which foods caused their trigger and tomatoes were listed as a trigger 20.2% of the time. It was ranked as the fourth most commonly mentioned trigger behind alcohol, seafood and red meat. This data was then pooled and analysed from three long-running US studies to compare. The data showed that consuming tomatoes is linked to higher uric acid levels in the blood.

Here is a quote from one of the study’s researchers:

“Whilst our data cannot support the claim that tomato consumption is a trigger of gout attacks, we provide support for the hypothesis that tomato consumption may trigger gout attacks through increasing serum urate.”

There is speculation that since tomatoes are high in a compound called glutamate which can “stimulate or amplify the synthesis of urate by acting as a nitrogen donor in the purine synthesis pathway,” they suggested, that this may be the root cause. The researchers did state that further research is needed to determine this relationship between gout triggers and tomatoes.

Although tomatoes are very nutritious and obviously suitable for most gout patients, tomatoes should be consumed as part of an overall balanced diet. Don’t go eating tomatoes morning, day and night cause I wrote about the many benefits of this fine vegetable. Finally a word of caution. Try and read the labels of food products containing tomatoes and see how much sodium is in them, as well as sugar, since salt and sugar can wreak havoc on your health and increase gout risk as well!

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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  • Andrew Price

    Reply Reply October 3, 2016

    Hi… can I just say that for a start… Tomatoes are not a vegetable, and secondly, they are indeed a proven trigger for me… Particularly tinned tomatoes and sauces like passata

  • martin

    Reply Reply September 30, 2016

    I totally agree with this. About 10 years ago I had a number of bad gout attacks. I started having tomato on toast for breakfast and have not had one since. I am not on any medication.

  • Ken

    Reply Reply September 19, 2016

    For me personally your article is totally wrong. I have suffered from gout for many years and have leaned through much personal experimentING that eliminating tomatoes has prevented any further gout attacks. anytime I have anything to do with tomatoes in any form and immediate gout atrack within 24 hours.

    Proof is in the pudding so to speak. So I think you may be doing a dis-service to some of your readers to suggest there is absolutely no link between tomatoes and gout. Also, for every one of your articles I can find 10 that say there is a link..
    I never stopped eating tomatoes because of articles, I just happened to experiment on my on food intake and found the link.


    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply September 19, 2016

      Hi Ken!

      Sure you can be the exception to the rule, it is not 100% true for everybody, it never really is, everybody is different and so are you. But the majority of the evidence points to tomatoes being bad for gout sufferers, the scientific proof is there.

  • Bill

    Reply Reply September 15, 2016

    I get a gout flareup around Aug – Sept every year and was wondering why, finally I see a link between my garden tomatoes ripening and eating too many of them around this time, thanks for the info. Small amounts don’t seem to bother but eating them every day does.

  • Elizabeth Walsh

    Reply Reply August 8, 2016

    My late husband suffered from gout & I’d read somewhere that tomatoes can make it worse. The nurse at our doctors surgery said, as you have, that they are ok. So when he was able to go out again he bought two big beef tomatoes, made a sandwich with one of them & the day after came down with gout again. He never touched another tomato again & never had another attack of gout either.

  • Deanna

    Reply Reply July 11, 2016

    For the past couple of weeks I have been consuming a lot of tomatoes, as a big slice of tomato in a sandwich plus a lot of tomato in my salad. Believing it would be good for a diet as I am overweight a lot. The other day my toe started acting up and swelled. As I am prone to gout I am thinking that too many tomatoes is bad for me. I always drink a small glass of pure cherry juice a day but that didn’t help me so I had to get medication and am now recuperating.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply July 12, 2016

      Hi Deanna!

      I noticed that too one summer, I was eating Greek salads every day cause the tomatoes are so much tastier in summer and got a gout attack. No wonder why it’s listed as one of the top 5 gout triggers by gout sufferers. That is one vegetable too watch for and eat sparingly.

  • JJ

    Reply Reply March 3, 2016

    How about Kumatoes? I understand they are higher in fructose. Does anyone have any experience with eating Kumato and dealing with gout?

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply January 14, 2016

    Hi Spiro

    how about tomatoe paste, i was wondering if i can have Bolognese sauce, i know tomatoe paste a main ingredient as well as beef mence which is a red meat and one to avoid, is lean beef mence ok to have, what about the herbs that are use can they trigger gout, so what i am asking is safe to have Bolognese sauce once a while, like the ones from a resturant.

    thank you

    kind regards


    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply January 14, 2016

      Hi Andrew!

      Ya you can have your Bolognese sauce once in a while as long as you don’t have it 3 times in a day for example, it’s not the healthiest food but if you really like it, then have it once in a while but make sure your other meal doesn’t include meat since Bolognese already has meat in it. Get what I mean?

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply January 12, 2016

    i like chicken and eat it a fair bit, i mainly eat meat once a day.

    i have gout and would like to know is 6 ounches of chicken ok every day for dinner with vegetables

    another question, is basa fish bad for gout, i mainly eat fish which isnt battered or crumb due to my gout, is basa good or bad for gout

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply January 13, 2016

      Hi Andrew!

      Nothing wrong with some basa fish, it’s a scales fish, best way to eat fish is either grilled, baked or steamed.

  • safaa

    Reply Reply December 5, 2015

    Dear Spiro,

    I stumbled across your website and it is really useful thank you.
    I would like to ask if you know if gout sufferers can have quorn in their diet? in the UK this is used as a meat substitute.
    any advice on this would be great thanks.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply December 8, 2015

      As for corn, it won’t cause any gout attacks, it is a vegetable after all. I know there is all that controversy with Monsanto’s GMO corn, but I don’t know enough and haven’t it researched it enough as of yet to have any strong opinion on that subjectmatter.

    • Amit

      Reply Reply December 15, 2015

      Quorn is actually a good way to replace your meats and in no way does it effect your gout.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Reply Reply December 16, 2015

        Yes it is a great meat substitute Amit! Thanks for the tip!

        • Andrew

          Reply Reply January 14, 2016

          Is any quorn product good for gout, or is there some you need to avoid

  • Graham Feeney

    Reply Reply November 9, 2015

    Dear Spiro
    I was wondering if you you could tell me if tomato can trigger a gout attack. I have not had a problem for quite a few months and recently ate some home grown tomatoes, you know, the ones that have a taste.
    My toe started to play up a couple of days later and I put it down to the tomatoes, although I am probably wrong and thought I would put the question to you.
    I take 100 mg of Allopurinol daily and that is working OK. I also started taking vitamin C but it caused me diahorrea and so I stopped that. If you could find the time I would be grateful if you could answer the question about tomatoes. Thank you.

    Kind regards

    Graham Feeney

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply November 9, 2015

      Hi Graham!

      With tomatoes you have to watch out, many gout sufferers list it in their top 5 foods that can trigger a gout attack, so it does seem to affect many and we don’t know why exactly yet but there is a theory. Some recent news has brought this fact about tomatoes and I eat them occasionally. Also read my post on Gout and Tomatoes to learn more, I point to a recent study.

      Thanks for your question.

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