Is Sour Cream Bad for Gout? A Gout-friendly indulgence


Gout has long been associated with diet, dating from its long association with the wealthiest in society (who were the only ones who could afford rich foods). So, it should come as no surprise that diet changes are among the most common preventative measures for gout attacks. Many people with gout may have noticed a correlation between flare-ups and the food they eat, which may leave us wondering whether we can still enjoy the finer things of life. For example, should we give up sour cream for a gout-free existence?

Gout and Your Diet

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood. Over time, uric acid begins to form tiny, but sharp, crystals in the joints of the body, causing significant pain which may also lead to debilitation. These crystals most commonly affect the joints in the feet - particularly in the big toe - however, they can also affect other areas of the body, including the knees, elbows and even shoulders

The condition is extremely common with an estimated two in every 100 exhibiting gout. Though more common in men over the age of 30, it can also affect women, particularly after menopause. 

The build-up of uric acid associated with gout can be linked to a number of things. Some people's bodies naturally produce too much uric acid while other people's kidneys are unable to filter out enough of the chemical on their own. Obesity, high blood pressure, and genetics can also play a role.

However, diet can also play a significant role in the development of gouts, particularly when it comes to flare-ups of the condition, as uric acid is also absorbed from many foods. For this reason, many people with gout choose to avoid foods that are rich in purines, which break down into uric acid in the body. This can include red meats and offal (organ meats), as well as high-sugar products and alcohol.

But let’s get back to the question at hand. Is sour cream bad for gout?

Is Sour Cream Bad for Gout?

What are nachos without sour cream? Or a creamy stroganoff, or even a bowl of spicy chilli? There’s no doubt that the sumptuous tang of sour cream is a favourite addition to many meals, despite not being the healthiest product in the world. After all, sour cream is high in saturated fats - particularly if you opt for the full-fat versions. Of course, that’s not all there is when it comes to the nutrition of sour cream. In fact, it may not be as unhealthy as you think, especially if you are willing to switch to low-fat versions of the product. 

Sour cream is made from dairy, which offers an essential source of calcium. Humans require calcium to build and maintain strong bones, as well as to aid the function of nerves and muscles, including the heart. Furthermore, calcium may play an important role in preventing gout. One study found that calcium supplementation reduced urate concentrations in the body, supporting the “gout-protective effect of low-fat dairy consumption.”

However, sour cream does not contain the same number of vitamins as eating more raw dairy products like milk, cottage cheese and yoghurt. Nonetheless, it may offer other health benefits. For example, some types of sour cream contain probiotics, a healthy bacteria that helps to promote healthy digestion. However, this will likely not help in the prevention of gout attacks.


While sour cream itself may not be inherently bad for gout, it is important to consider it in the context of your overall diet. Regularly eating foods that are high in saturated fats can reduce the body’s ability to effectively eliminate uric acid from the body. In turn, this could increase the risk of gout attacks. Switching to low-fat versions of sour cream and other high-fat products can be a good compromise, allowing you to enjoy your favourite foods while considering your health and well-being.

Diet changes, increased water intake, and supplements remain among the best approaches for managing gout and its symptoms - but that doesn’t have to mean you can’t enjoy some sour cream on your nachos every once in a while!


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