Is Flounder Bad for Gout? A Detailed Look at Purine Levels and Health Benefits

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. This uric acid can form painful needle-like crystals in the joints especially the big toe. While gout is often associated with rich foods and alcohol the truth is that any food high in purines can trigger an attack.

Purines are natural compounds that get converted into uric acid as they break down in the body. Foods particularly high in purines include organ meats, seafood, and some vegetables. For this reason, people with gout are often told to avoid or limit intake of high-purine fish like tuna, trout, and anchovies. But what about milder fish like flounder?

As a fellow gout sufferer and seafood lover, I totally get the struggle Fish is delicious, nutritious, and recommended for heart health. But I also know just one bad fish choice can leave me limping for days

So today I wanted to take a closer look at flounder and gout. Is flounder something we need to avoid completely? Or can it be part of a gout-friendly diet? Let’s find out!

What is Flounder?

Flounder is a mild, white saltwater fish available in markets worldwide. In the US, the most common varietals are summer flounder (also called fluke), winter flounder, European flounder, and Southern flounder. These flatfish are native to the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Flounder is popular for its delicate, mild taste and flaky white flesh. It can be prepared many ways including baked, broiled, fried, or in fish stews like bouillabaisse. Some of my favorite flounder recipes are flounder piccata, crunchy Parmesan flounder, and lemon garlic flounder.

But most importantly for us gout sufferers: how high is flounder in those problematic purines?

Flounder Purine Levels

Here’s a comparison of the purine content in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of raw flounder versus other fish:

  • Flounder – 78 mg
  • Salmon – 170 mg
  • Tuna – 157 mg
  • Trout – 297 mg
  • Anchovies – 239 mg
  • Sardines – 345 mg

As you can see, flounder is very low in purines compared to most fish. With only 78 milligrams of purines per 100 gram serving, it can be considered a low-purine food.

For perspective, foods under 100 mg per serving are generally considered safe for people with gout. Moderate purine foods are 100-200 mg per serving, while high purine foods exceed 200 mg.

So flounder easily falls into the “low-purine” category, making it one of the safer fish choices for gout. The purine content is comparable to other gout-friendly seafood like shrimp, scallops, sole, and cod.

Other Nutrition Facts

Aside from low purines, flounder offers some great nutrition. Here are some of the main benefits:

  • Lean protein: A 3.5 ounce serving provides around 20 grams of filling protein for only 90 calories. This makes flounder an excellent source of lean protein without excess calories or fat.

  • Heart healthy fats: Flounder provides anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish per week to support cardiovascular health.

  • Vitamin B12: Flounder is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which supports nerve and blood health. A serving contains over 150% of the daily value.

  • Selenium: This antioxidant mineral is needed for thyroid hormone production and immune health. Flounder is rich in selenium, with over 50% DV per serving.

  • Phosphorus: This mineral strengthens bones and teeth. Flounder provides around 25% of the daily phosphorus requirement.

Overall, flounder is packed with protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Adding it to your diet a few times a week is an easy way to get more nutrition.

Cooking Tips for Flounder

Preparing flounder with certain cooking methods may further reduce the purine content:

  • Bake, broil or grill: Dry heat methods will allow purines to drain away with juices. Broiling is a great way to get a crispy top without added fat.

  • Poach or steam: Poaching gently cooks the fish in liquid, while steaming over boiling water keeps it tender and moist. Both methods allow purines to leach out.

  • Skip breading: Breading or frying seals in moisture and purines. For lower purine options, stick to dry cooking methods.

  • Watch portions: Stick to 3-4 ounces per serving to keep purines moderate. Avoid going overboard on portion sizes.

With smart preparation methods and reasonable portions, flounder can be included safely in a gout-friendly meal plan.

Is Flounder Completely Safe for Gout?

While flounder is low in purines, no fish is 100% guaranteed “safe” for all gout patients. Here are some important caveats:

  • Individual factors: The amount of purines that trigger flares varies person to person. Some people can tolerate more than others.

  • Medications: Uric acid lowering drugs like allopurinol reduce flare risk for many gout patients. This allows more dietary flexibility.

  • Pairings matter: Eating flounder along with other moderate purine foods at the same meal increases total purine load.

  • Cooking methods: Frying or breading flounder may change the purine content and flare risk.

So while flounder itself may be low risk, individual factors influence whether it can be enjoyed flare-free. Tracking your personal triggers and responses is the best gauge.

The Bottom Line

As a fellow gout sufferer, I know finding “safe” fish options isn’t easy. But the good news is flounder clocks in as a low-purine choice, comparable to gout-friendly shellfish.

A 3-4 ounce serving a couple times a week shouldn’t pose much risk for most. I recommend trying it and seeing how your body responds. Just be mindful of portions, preparation methods, and pairing it with other higher purine foods.

By choosing low-purine fish like flounder, we gout patients don’t have to miss out on the amazing health and flavor benefits of seafood. A gout friendly diet is all about balance. And flounder can be one more tool in your culinary toolkit to enjoy fish flare-free!

You Must Avoid These Fish For Gout


What fish is not good for gout?

Seafood. Some types of seafood — such as anchovies, shellfish, sardines and tuna — are higher in purines than are other types. But the overall health benefits of eating fish may outweigh the risks for people with gout.

What fruit is bad for gout?

An anti-gout diet recommends eating fruits (e.g., strawberries, cherries, melon), vegetables, and whole grains containing complex carbohydrates. More specifically, fruits low in fructose are preferred, such as berries, apricots, and nectarines, while fruits high in fructose, like apples and pears, may be avoided.

What is the number one food that causes gout?

Game meats. Specialties such as goose, veal and venison are among the reasons why gout was known in the Middle Ages as the “rich man’s disease.” Certain seafood, including herring, scallops, mussels, codfish, tuna, trout and haddock. Red meats, including beef, lamb, pork and bacon.

What kills uric acid fast?

The quickest way to lower your uric acid levels is by taking prescription medications like colchicine, xanthine oxidase inhibitors, and probenecid (Probalan). As part of your gout treatment plan, a healthcare professional may also prescribe glucocorticoids to help reduce inflammation.

Is fish good for gout?

Posted by Alerna Kidney Health on March 10, 2024 Choose low-purine fish like flounder and tilapia for a gout-friendly diet, avoiding high-purine options such as anchovies and herring. Seaweed is low in purines and a nutritious addition to a diet focused on managing uric acid levels.

Which fish should I avoid if I have gout?

You should avoid fish in the “high-purine” category, which have a purine content of 200 milligrams or more per 100 grams of fish. Most fish fit into this category. Avoid fish with a purine content of 200 milligrams or more per 100 grams of fish when you have gout. The passage also mentions that fish and seafood with a purine content of 100 to 200 milligrams per 100-gram serving are most fish.

Is it allowed for gout patients to eat fish?

Some types of seafood, such as anchovies, shellfish, sardines and tuna, are higher in purines than other types. However, the overall health benefits of eating fish may outweigh the risks for people with gout. Red meat, including beef, lamb and pork, should be limited in serving sizes.

Can fatty fish cause gout?

In this new analysis, researchers determined that gout patients who ate fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, or herring) in the previous 48 hours were 33 percent less likely than those who hadn’t to have a gout attack.

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