Are Hot Dogs Bad for Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis that typically causes inflammation, redness and pain in your big toes. It also may cause fever and chills. This condition typically results from a buildup of uric acid in your bloodstream, although other factors such as high blood triglycerides and heavy alcohol use can cause gout. Dietary choices, including frequent consumption of hot dogs, also can aggravate gout.

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Purines, which are substances found in foods, can contribute to high uric acid levels in your bloodstream. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down the purines, including those in hot dogs, according to "Arthritis and Rheumatism." The excess uric acid produced by digesting hot dogs can crystallize in the joints of your big toes, as well as other joints in your body. Uric acid crystals have sharp points that cause inflammation and pain associated with gout.

Uric Acid

Hot dogs are typically made from pork and beef, and may contain organ meats derived from cattle and pigs. Red meats and organ meats naturally contain high levels of uric acid, according to certified nutritional consultant Phyllis Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." The natural uric acid in hot dogs can further elevate uric acids produced by breakdown of purines in these foods 3.

Preservatives and Additives

Processed meats such as hot dogs typically contain preservatives to extend their shelf life. They also commonly contain flavor and color enhancers to make them more appealing to consumers. Preservatives and additives may trigger allergic reactions that can worsen gout symptoms, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 1.


Because hot dogs are typically made with organ meats and lower-quality cuts of pork and beef, they commonly are high in saturated fats. When heated, saturated fats can quickly turn rancid. These rancid fats in your body may destroy reserves of vitamin E, which may cause your body to release excess uric acid into your bloodstream, increasing your risk of gout.