Gout and low purine foods

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Gout is a metabolic condition that leads to deposits of monosodium urate crystals.

These crystals cause an inflammatory response in joints and in other organs as well.

MSU or uric acid is a byproduct of purine metabolism. Purines are an ingredient found in many types of food. When purines are broken down they form uric acid. Most people with gout are unable to get rid of the uric acid fast enough. This leads to a build up of uric acid in the body.

While medications can often manage gout, sometimes they don't work completely and sometimes people develop side effects. A significant component of a comprehensive program for managing gout is a low purine diet.

Eating the right foods can help reduce the amount of purines. This will decrease the amount of uric acid in the body.

Start a diet that has at least 50% of calories as carbohydrates. Do this by eating 6 to 10 servings of bread or starchy foods, and 5 fruits and vegetables each day.

Limit the amount of fat intake to 30% or less of total calories.

Reduce the amount of alcohol. Alcohol can cause gout flare ups.

Maintain ideal body weight. Here are some foods that can be eaten when a person wants to manage their gout through diet.

Breads and cereals: low fiber, white flour, or refined grain types
Coffee and tea
Cream-style soups made with low-fat milk
Fruits and fruit juices
Fats and oils...small amounts
Low-fat and fat-free cheeses
Milk: skim or 1% (limit to 24 ounces per day)
Nuts and peanut butter
Pasta and macaroni
Soda pop
Soups made without meat extract or broth

The following foods are purine-rich and should be avoided, if possible. Vegetables that contain purines are probably not as big a problem as meat. A person should not view this list as an absolute proscription against the foods on the list. Just be cautious. A serving of meat, fish, or poultry is 2 to 3 ounces cooked. A serving of vegetables is 1/2 cup. A serving of liquids is 1 cup.


Beef, lamb, pork, and other red meats

Broth, consommes, and bouillon, or soups made with meat or poultry stock


Dried beans, peas, lentils

Fish and shellfish

Fresh beans and peas

Meat soups, broths, gravies


Oats and oatmeal



Wheat germ and bran

Whole grain foods

Yeast: all types

The following foods are loaded with purines. Avoid these!


Broths, boullions, and consommes

Caviar or roe

Game meats, like goose, duck, and partridge


Some fish such as herring and mackerel

Meat extracts


Organ meats such as brains, heart, kidney, liver, sweetbreads


Scallops and mussels

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