What Is Purine?
Purine is a compound found primarily in foods of animal origin. It is especially high in organ meats, anchovies, mackerel, and sardines.
Why Should I Follow a Low-Purine Diet?
The body metabolizes purine into uric acid. A buildup of uric acid can worsen symptoms of gout. If you have gout, eating a low-purine diet can help minimize uric acid production and thereby improve symptoms.
Eating Guide for a Low-Purine Diet
- Enriched breads, cereals, rice, noodles, pasta, and potatoes
- Oatmeal (no more than 2/3 cup uncooked, daily)
- Wheat bran, wheat germ (no more than ¼ cup dry, daily)
- All except those on the “foods to limit or avoid” list
- Mushrooms, green peas, dried peas and beans, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower (no more than ½ cup per day)
- All fruit and juices
- Nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Eggs, peanut butter, and nuts
- Red meat (eg, beef, lamb, pork, and veal), poultry, fish, and shellfish (no more than 4-6 ounces per day)
- Dried peas, beans, and lentils (no more than 1 cup cooked daily)
- Avoid: sweetbreads, sardines, anchovies, liver, kidneys, brains, meat extracts, herring, mackerel, scallops, gravies, goose, heart, mincemeat, and mussels
- Gravies and sauces made with meat
- Carbonated beverages, coffee, tea, cocoa
- Beer and other alcoholic beverages
- Low-fat milk-based or vegetable stock-based soups
- Sugars, sweets, gelatins
- Salt, herbs, spices, and condiments
- Baker’s and brewer’s yeast
- Stock-based soups (eg, bouillon- and broth-based)
In addition to following a low-purine diet, here are some other suggestions for decreasing uric acid production:
- Avoid or limit your intake of alcohol, especially beer. While alcohol does not contain purines, it increases your production of purine.
- Drink 8-12 cups of fluid every day. This will help dilute your urinary uric acid, which can help prevent kidney stones from forming.
- Consume low-fat or nonfat dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, on a regular basis. Research shows that these foods may help prevent gout from occurring.
- Limit your intake of fat to 30% of your calories.
- Don’t follow low-carbohydrate diets.
- Avoid rapid weight loss, as this can increase your uric acid levels. If you need to lose weight, do so gradually.
- Reviewer: Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
- Review Date: 03/2013 -
- Update Date: 00/31/2013 -