Low Purine Foods List
As the name suggests, low-purine foods have low purine content. What is purine? Purine is a substance naturally produced by the body and occurs in most foods, albeit in small amounts. Purine is broken down and transformed into uric acid.
The kidneys filter uric acid from the blood, which exits the body via urine. However, some people experience uric acid build-up in their systems. These build-ups usually comprise inflammation and pain, or what’s known as gout attacks.
If you have high levels of uric acid in your system, you’re diagnosed with a condition known as hyperuricemia, and you can benefit from eating low-purine foods. In addition, low-purine foods prevent persons with gout from developing hyperuricemia.
Therefore, this review will list low-purine foods or foods you should eat if you have hyperuricemia. This review will also explain how these foods will benefit you. Let’s go!
The research into the benefits of cherries for people with gout symptoms is in its preliminary stages, but the results so far are promising. This is because cherries are rich in antioxidants and can potentially help eliminate uric acid from the body. (1)
2. Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are recommended for people with gout symptoms because they can lower the amount of uric acid in the body. How? Because they slow down the breakdown and transformation of purines into uric acid.
Dairy products such as cheese, pasteurized milk, kefir, and yogurt are good ways to consume protein with low purine levels. Dairy is also good because it’s rich in calcium.
When consuming dairy, try and choose low or non-fat varieties. Full-fat dairy contains saturated fats, which can limit the excretion of uric acid from your body, worsening your symptoms.
4. Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and veggies are some of the best low-purine foods available. The variety of fruits and veggies with low purine levels is massive and should offer you antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins.
But you should limit your consumption of fruits like apples, pear, and grapes and veggies like asparagus, cauliflower, and kale because of their moderate to high levels of purine. Otherwise, you’re free to eat most fruits and veggies.
Grains like oats and wheat bran are recommended for people who want to eat low-purine foods. Regarding grains, you should control your intake. For instance, you shouldn’t take more than half a cup of oats per day or a quarter a cup of wheat bran per day.
When in the grocery store, remember to check the ingredient list of grains to see if there are any additives that could potentially trigger gout attacks.
Although people with hyperuricemia shouldn’t eat proteins with high purine content, like game meat, red meat, seafood, and processed meats like bacon and salami, there are some proteins that have low purine content, such as:
7. Cold-Water Fish
The omega-3 fatty acids present in cold-water fish like cod, salmon, and tuna can lower gout swelling. But to prevent gout attacks, you need to limit your consumption to one serving daily because these fish still contain some traces of purine.
Eggs are also low in purines, so you can eat them, albeit in moderation. The HPB (Health Promotion Board) states that you shouldn’t consume more than four eggs per week.
9. Nuts and Seeds
A gout-friendly diet should comprise about 30g of nuts and seeds daily. Some of the best low-purine nuts include almonds, cashews, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
10. Refined Carbs
Refined carbs such as pasta, ramen, and white bread are safe for people with hyperuricemia because they’re low in purine. Unfortunately, consuming too many refined carbs can cause a spike in blood sugar and increase the risk of contracting metabolic syndrome.
Whole grain foods such as whole grain bread and pasta are the healthier alternatives to refined carbs, but they have some purine in them, so they should be consumed moderately.
11. Starchy Tubers
You can enjoy starchy tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes; they have low purine levels and are rich in complex carbohydrates. Apart from complex carbs, these starchy tubers are also rich in calcium, iron, vitamin C and zinc.
The human body loses a lot of water via sweat or urine hence why hydration is important. Health experts recommend that people practice the 8 x 8 rule, which claims people should take eight 8-ounce cups of water per day.
Apart from water loss, you should also hydrate to eliminate impurities like uric acid from your body. This is sensible since uric acid is excreted from the body via urine.
Water also promotes kidney health, which is vital because if your kidneys aren’t functioning optimally, you’ll likely be diagnosed with hyperuricemia. When drinking water, don’t drink the eight cups at once; instead, split them throughout the day.
What are the benefits of these low-purine foods
Prioritizes Nutrient-Dense Foods
Most foods recommended for low-purine diets, like fruits, nuts, seeds, protein, and vegetables, are packed with nutrients. As a result, if you eat these low-purine foods, you improve your health and prevent nutritional deficiency symptoms like constipation, fatigue, and hair loss.
Prevents Kidney Stones
Several types of kidney stones are caused by massive amounts of uric acid in the body. Eating foods with high purine levels will make your urine very acidic because your body needs to excrete all the uric acid produced.
This makes it easy for kidney stones to develop, which are characterized by symptoms like blood in urine, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Protects Against Gout Flare-Ups
As we’ve mentioned several times, low-purine foods help limit gout flare-ups. Gout is a type of arthritis whose symptoms include discomfort, inflammation, and redness in the joints. Luckily, you can reduce gout flare-ups by eating the foods listed above and avoiding high-purine foods.
In conclusion, most people are able to balance the amount of uric acid in their bodies naturally. When there is no balance, such as when people have gout or kidney stones, uric acid becomes an issue, hence the need to consume low-purine foods.