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Low Purine Diet - Tips, Advantages, and What to Eat

Written by
Garima Tolia Barfal
and medically reviewed by Roopa

Published on Jun 09, 2022 and last reviewed on Jul 11, 2022   -  3 min read

Abstract

A low-purine diet is an eating plan recommended for people with hyperuricemia. Read this article to know about this diet plan.

Contents

What Is a Low-Purine Diet?

A low-purine diet is often prescribed for people with hyperuricemia, which is characterized by high uric acid levels in the blood that might lead to gout and kidney stones. Purines in foods break down into uric acid in the body, so reducing dietary purine helps lower uric acid levels. The purpose of having a low-purine diet is not to altogether avoid purines. Instead, the goal is to manage the consumption of purines. While a low purine diet helps manage symptoms of certain conditions, it can also improve an individual's general health and well-being.

What Are Purines?

Purines are natural substances commonly found in foods and drinks. When the body breaks down these substances, uric acid is formed as a by-product. Therefore, a low-purine diet helps reduce the foods and beverages having the highest purine content to reduce uric acid. It also encourages the consumption of selected foods that may reduce uric acid levels.

Who Can Benefit From a Low-Purine Diet?

People with hyperuricemia can benefit from reducing high-purine food consumption. A low purine diet combined with physical activity or exercise helps manage uric acid levels. This diet helps prevent gout in people with hyperuricemia who have not yet developed the disease. In addition, it may also help avoid existing gout from progressing and prevent other hyperuricemia-related complications such as kidney stones.

What Are the Best Foods to Eat in a Low-Purine Diet?

Speak to a health care provider before starting a new diet to manage hyperuricemia. The doctor may recommend a low-purine diet that includes the following foods:

What Food Items Should Be Avoided in a Low Purine Diet?

Limit or avoid foods high in purine, including:

What Are the Advantages of a Low Purine Diet?

A doctor may recommend a low-purine diet to people who have gout or kidney stones because of its following benefits:

Reduces Uric Acid: People who have hyperuricemia may be able to manage their condition with a low purine diet to prevent further complications such as gout and kidney stones. In addition, by following a low purine diet, people who are diagnosed with gout or kidney stones may be able to avoid the formation of new uric acid crystals in their joints or kidneys.

Weight Loss: Avoiding high-purine foods such as alcohol, beef, pork, chicken liver, and yeast helps reduce weight as a secondary benefit. Weight loss lowers the risk of developing gout, and it also helps ease gout symptoms by taking stress off the joints.

Reduces Medications: A low-purine diet may not be as effective as medications for managing gout and cannot replace medications. But if followed correctly, a low-purine diet may help minimize the need for drugs.

What Are the Main Disadvantages of a Low-Purine Diet?

It limits foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as seafood. Seafood is the most important dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, and the low-purine diet allows them in moderation. Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits, including alleviating inflammation and joint pain from arthritis. However, it is not a cure. A low-purine diet may move the needle a little on uric acid levels in the blood, but it cannot be as effective as medications are. It is also true that medication alone is not enough to manage gout effectively, so the best approach is to combine them.

Conclusion:

A low-purine diet is a meal plan consisting of foods low in purine content. The diet centers around fruits, vegetables, low-fat and non-dairy products, and whole grains. Health care providers often prescribe a low-purine diet for people with gout and kidney stones. Low-purine diet has many benefits, including reducing uric acid and weight loss. Always consult a healthcare provider before embarking on a new diet.

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.

Which Foods Are High in Purines?

The following foods are high in purine:

- Sugary drinks and sweets.

- High fructose corn syrup in packaged food products.

- Alcohol.

- Certain seafood, including tuna, trout, and haddock.

- Red meat.

- Yeast and yeast extract.

- Gravies and sauces made with meat.

2.

Which Meats Are Not High in Purine?

Meats like chicken and red meat and seafood such as anchovies, shellfish, sardines, and tuna are relatively low in purine. So, they can be eaten in moderation (around four to six ounces per day).

3.

What Fruits Do Not Contain Purine?

Fruits like apples, pears, pineapples, strawberries, grapefruits, and avocados are low-purine fruits. They, therefore, can be eaten in moderation.

4.

What Vegetables Are High in Purines?

Vegetables with high purine content include spinach, cauliflower, and mushrooms. However, these vegetables do not increase uric acid production as much as the other foods.

5.

Is Rice High in Purine?

No, rice contains only small amounts of purine. So, it does not increase the uric acid level.

6.

How to Get Rid of Purine?

Limit or avoid foods high in purine, including:

- Sugary drinks and sweets (they trigger gout).

- High fructose corn syrup in packaged food products.

- Alcohols are high in purine. Alcoholic drinks prevent the kidneys from eliminating uric acid, pulling it back into the body and accumulating it in the body.

- Certain seafood, including tuna, trout, and haddock.

- Red meat.

- Yeast and yeast extract.

- Gravies and sauces made with meat.

7.

Does Chicken Produce Uric Acid?

Meats like chicken and red meat and seafood such as anchovies, shellfish, sardines, and tuna are relatively low in purine. Therefore, they should be eaten in moderation (around four to six ounces per day) as purines get broken down into uric acid in the body. Excessively eating purine-rich foods can buildup excess uric acid in the joints.

8.

Does Low-Purine Diet Prevent Kidney Stones?

People who have hyperuricemia may be able to manage their condition with a low-purine diet to prevent further complications such as kidney stones. In addition, by following a low-purine diet, people diagnosed with gout or kidney stones may be able to avoid the formation of new uric acid crystals in their joints or kidneys.

Last reviewed at:
11 Jul 2022  -  3 min read

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