Are Beets Good for Gout?

Beets are not good for people who suffer from gout. Along with spinach, nuts, rhubarb, chocolate, wheat bran, beans, strawberries and black tea, beets contain oxalate, a chemical which contributes to gout. Eliminating beets is a smart idea for people with gout, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The pain associated with gout comes from buildup of uric acid at the joints. As the acid crystallizes, it expands into the joint, creating pressure that causes discomfort. Calcium oxalate can form crystals that function in the same way, which is why beets (and other foods with oxalate) are not a good food for gout sufferers, according to Merck Manuals.

Because the crystals from calcium oxalate also can affect connective tissue and tendons, they cause pain at levels comparable to those from uric acid in gout. In addition to avoiding foods containing oxalate, gout sufferers should avoid red meats, refined foods, and any foods with high levels of purines, which are generally found in beef, sweetbreads, mussels and mackerel. Adding foods high in magnesium but low in calcium, such as rye, soy, oats, corn and avocado, is a great way to supplement a needed mineral while keeping pain from gout low, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center.