Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid building up in the body. If you suffer from gout you were most likely told you need to be on a low purine diet. Purines occur both naturally in your body and in foods we consume.
A low purine diet won’t cure gout, but it can help prevent and reduce the severity of gout attacks. This is good news for gout suffers because gout can be extremely painful.
Most people who suffer with gout feel very limited in their food choices. I have heard people say that if you have gout; you can only eat celery sticks. This is a big misconception; nothing could be further from the truth.
While celery is beneficial for gout sufferers, eating a balanced diet and keeping hydrated daily is critical. As with any diet; it can be easy to become overwhelmed and give up all too easily. My hope is this article will give you a better understanding of what you should be eating and what is in your best interest to avoid.
Let’s first take a look at some of the other options out there that you will want to include in your low purine diet and why.
Foods to Include on a Low Purine Diet
- Eat an apple daily. Apples contain malic acid which can help dissolve uric acid in the body.
- Beans and legumes are a good source of low fat, plant based protein.
- Celery is known for its diuretic properties.
- Cherries are very low in purine content and fight inflammation.
- Consume healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables; refrain from refined carbohydrates.
- Drink low fat milk. Low fat dairy products have been shown to lower uric acid levels.
- Eggs, nut butter and tofu are healthy sources of protein that are lower in purines.
- Consume low fat yogurt; it is another great source of dairy.
- Just like cherries, pineapple fights inflammation and is full of antioxidants.
- Select regular table sugar over HFCS (high fructose corn syrup.) HFCS has been shown to increase the production of purines.
- Select a fruit juice that is 100% pure with no additives or fillers. Some fruit juices contain HFCS.
- Vegetables such as cucumbers, lettuce, radishes and tomatoes are the lowest in purines.
- A white sauce and spices can add flavor to most meals. Dairy based sauces are lowest in purines.
- Stay hydrated; this helps flush uric acid from your body.
- Drink water, 100% fruit juice and low fat milk.
- Add fresh lemon juice to your water throughout the day. Lemons have vitamin c; the vitamin c helps wipe out uric acid crystals and nourishes connective tissue in the body.
Foods to Avoid
- Avoid processed and refined carbohydrates including candies, cakes and white bread.
- Consuming alcohol, this includes beer made with yeast which can interfere with the elimination of uric acid from your body. Drinking beer seems to be the worst of the offenders.
- Be wary of fruit juice; most have fillers. Read the labels and purchase 100% pure fruit juice with no additives.
- Sweetened soft drinks do not have purines, but they do have fructose syrup. The fructose syrup raises the levels of uric acid.
- Fish, meat and poultry should be limited because of their high purine content.
- Saturated fats should be severely limited because they lower the body’s ability to eliminate uric acid.
- Although vegetables are healthy, asparagus, mushrooms and spinach contain high amounts of purine and should be avoided.
- Gravies, broths and meat extracts are extremely high in purines. Purines are leached out during the cooking process.
Other Factors to Consider
- Both mental and physical stress on the body can cause gout to flare up.
- If you are overweight, this can put a stress on your overall body. Consider a healthier active lifestyle that includes an exercise program to promote weight loss.
- Don’t lose weight too quickly, doing so can promote a gout attack.
- Lack of sufficient calories and nutrients can put your body under distress.
- Avoid getting dehydrated and rundown.
- Keep a food diary when flare ups occur.
- As with any individual gout suffers will have various triggers that can cause an attack.
- Making modifications to your diet puts you in control of it.