Is Sushi Bad for Gout?

Worried that your favorite California roll could bring on a gout flare? If you live with gout, you’ve probably wondered if sushi is off the menu. While most raw fish and rice creations are fine, certain ingredients can trigger painful joints.

The good news? Fatty fish like salmon can actually lower your risk of gout attacks. The key is choosing the right sushi to avoid gout pitfalls.

In this article, I’ll share which sushi ingredients to limit or avoid altogether. You’ll learn smart swaps so you can keep enjoying your spicy tuna fix. I’ll also cover how cooking method affects gout risk.

By the end, you’ll know how to eat sushi safely with gout. Let’s get started so you can keep rolling!

Which Sushi Ingredients Should You Avoid with Gout?

To reduce gout flares, steer clear of sushi containing these ingredients:

Raw Fish

Sushi with raw fish like tuna or salmon can harbor bacteria and parasites. Foodborne illnesses put major stress on your body and provoke gout attacks.

Opt for fully cooked fish like grilled eel or shrimp tempura rolls instead.


Like tomatoes and eggplants, avocado contains solanine. This compound is linked to painful gout flares in some people.

Swap cucumber, mango, or pickled radish for the avocado in your favorite rolls.

Onions and Garlic

Sushi seasoned with onion or garlic powder can irritate gout. These spices contain high amounts of purines.

Ask for rolls made without onion or garlic seasonings. Lemon, ginger, and sesame make flavorful gout-friendly alternatives.

Imitation Crab Meat

Surimi seafood used in California rolls gets its fishy flavor from purine-packed additives. Real crab meat is lower in purines.

Trade the imitation stuff for cooked shrimp, cucumber, or avocado (if you tolerate it).

Which Fish Can You Eat with Gout?

Not all fish worsen gout:

Fatty Fish

Salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, and sardines are rich in omega-3s. Research shows eating these fish 2+ times per week reduces gout flares by a third!

Choose wild-caught fatty fish for maximum anti-inflammatory benefits. Grill, bake, or poach – don’t fry.

Low-Purine Fish

Flounder, cod, haddock, grouper, and snapper have lower purine levels. Having these fish 1-2 times weekly is unlikely to provoke gout.


Shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops, and clams are higher in purines. But small portions (4-6 oz) a few times a month are generally fine.

Avoid mussels, anchovies, sardines, and scallops if you’re gout-prone – their purine counts are sky-high!

Cooking Methods that Reduce Gout Risk

Preparation matters when it comes to gout and seafood:

Opt for Poached, Steamed, or Grilled

Boiling, steaming, and poaching leach out purines, reducing the gout risk. Dry cooking methods like grilling are also good.

Avoid Frying and Crusts

Frying seals in purines while also adding unhealthy fats. Breaded fish or shrimp also boost purines.

Watch Marinades and Sauces

Skip marinades high in onion, garlic, or salty soy sauce. Ask for sushi rolls without spicy mayo, which has purine-filled spices.

Sushi Alternatives for a Gout-Friendly Fish Fix

If you don’t tolerate sushi well, try these low-purine recipes:


This citrus-marinated seafood dish uses raw fish that “cooks” in the acidic lime juice. The tangy flavor will make your taste buds happy!

Hawaiian Poke Bowls

Build a bowl with cubed raw tuna, salmon, or shrimp atop rice or greens. Flavor it yourself with ginger, chilies, sesame, and lime.

Fish Tacos

Grilled or baked white fish wrapped in corn tortillas makes an easy weeknight dinner. Top with cabbage, avocado, and cilantro for a flavor punch.

Seafood Salad

Toss chunky crab meat or peeled shrimp with celery, lemon juice, dill, and gout-safe mayo. Stuff it in a tomato or lettuce wrap.

The Takeaway: Enjoying Sushi with Gout

So can you eat sushi with gout? Absolutely – in moderation! Stick with low-fat, cooked seafood and ask for no raw onions or garlic. Limit high-purine shellfish. Opt for grilling, steaming, or poaching cooking methods when possible.

Following these tips will allow you to keep satisfying your sushi cravings. Just be mindful of portions and preparation to minimize gout flares. Now get out there and start rolling!

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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