People who suffer from gout can tell you that the condition is no joke. Gout is a painful disorder where uric acid buildup forms urate crystals in the joints, creating intense joint pain, inflammation, redness, and limited range of motion, according to the Mayo Clinic. Now, your body is constantly producing uric acid due to the purines in your food getting broken down, but high levels cause an issue.
Purines are part of the chemical makeup of beans, from kidney beans to lentils. While the concentration of purine in lentils, green beans, and dried beans might not be as high as anchovies, tuna, and red meat, they still contain a moderate amount, per Certified Food & Ankle Specialist, LLC. Therefore, experts suggest avoiding beans, or at least those with the highest purine levels, if you’re at risk of developing gout.
However, the research in this area is a bit murky. According to a 2020 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, beans, though rich in purines, were found to lower serum urate levels at higher intake levels, which means a lower risk of triggering gout. These findings were also backed up by 2015 research in Arthritis & Rheumatology, where bean consumption was found to lower gout risk (compared to poultry and shellfish). Since more research is needed, exercise caution when eating beans by only consuming those low in purines and eating them in moderation.