Gout is the result of uric acid crystal formation within your joints, most commonly your foot, causing acute or chronic arthritis. According to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, gout has three main causes, including an increase in uric acid production, a reduction in the urinary excretion of uric acid, or an increase in purine consumption. Purine is a naturally available molecule that is typically broken down into uric acid and filtered out through your kidneys. A low-purine diet may help your reduce blood uric acid levels and reduce the risks of both acute and chronic gout.
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While purine is found in nearly everything, the key is to focus on foods that are lower in purine. Protein sources, like meats and fish contain the highest amount of purine. Fish, like anchovies, sardines, mackerel and scallops all contain very high purine levels according to Drugs.com. Game and organ meats, like deer, elk, liver and sweet breads also contain higher levels of purine. Instead of these choices, you can choose protein sources that are lower in purine, like eggs, tofu, nuts and peanut butter. However, medium level purine choices like red meat, poultry, shrimp and dried beans can be eaten, although should be done so sparingly. According to registered dietitian Joanne Larson, limit yourself to one serving per day of the medium level purine foods.
Fruits and Vegetables
Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables are nearly always considered extremely healthy. However, if you are suffering from gout, it may surprise you to learn that there are some vegetables that have medium levels of purine that may contribute to your gout. These vegetables include asparagus, mushrooms, green peas, cauliflower and spinach. However there are plenty of vegetables that are low in purine, including carrots, onions, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers and squash. Additionally, all fruits are low in purine content and should be liberally added to your diet to reduce complications associated with gout.
Alcohol consumption will significantly contribute to your purine intake. While all forms of alcohol contain purine, beer contains the most while certain types of wine may contain the least. Although, if you suffer from gout it is better to abstain completely from alcohol because it will cause dehydration that will increase uric acid levels in the blood, which could result in a gout flare-up.