Purine free diet for gout sufferers

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 disorder where there is an excess amount of uric acid present in the system.

This may be due to over production or underexcretion of uric acid. Uric acid is a product of purine metabolism. Purines are substances found in certain foods.

What is the proper dietary treatment of gout? Medications can be prescribed to help control gout and there are lifestyle recommendations. A totally purine-free diet is difficult to achieve but a low purine diet is not. People with gout are advised to:

• Avoid alcohol or drink alcohol in moderation
• Drink plenty of water and other fluids
• Maintain an ideal body weight
• Lose weight if overweight but avoid fasting or quick weight loss schemes
• Avoid eating foods high in purines

Dietary restrictions tell people what not to eat, but what should people eat? What foods will help control gout attacks? The American Medical Association recommends the following dietary guidelines for people with gout, advising them to eat a diet:

• high in complex carbohydrates (fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, and vegetables)
• low in protein (15% of calories and sources should be soy, lean meats, or poultry)
• no more than 30% of calories in fat (with only 10% animal fats)

Recommended Foods To Eat

Fresh cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and other red-blue berries
Vegetables including kale, cabbage, parsley, green-leafy vegetables
Foods high in bromelain (pineapple)
Foods high in vitamin C (red cabbage, red bell peppers, tangerines, mandarins, oranges, potatoes)
Drink fruit juices and purified water (8 glasses of water per day)
Low-fat dairy products
Complex carbohydrates (breads, cereals, pasta, rice, as well as aforementioned vegetables and fruits)
Chocolate, cocoa
Coffee, tea
Carbonated beverages
Essential fatty acids (tuna and salmon, flaxseed, nuts, seeds)
Tofu, although a legume and made from soybeans, may be a better choice than meat

Foods considered moderately high in purines but which may not raise the risk of gout include: asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, peas, spinach, whole grain breads and cereals, chicken, duck, ham, turkey, kidney and lima beans. It is important to remember that purines are found in all protein foods. All sources of purines should not be eliminated.

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