Uric acid is created in your body as a byproduct of the breakdown of purines, compounds that occur naturally in a variety of plant- and animal-based foods. Your kidneys remove uric acid from the blood and eliminate it in your urine. If your diet contains too many foods with a high or moderately high purine concentration, your uric acid level may rise enough to cause kidney stones or gout, a type of inflammatory arthritis that develops when uric acid crystals collect in joints. To keep your uric acid low, you may need to follow a diet that restricts or eliminates these high-purine foods.
Steer Clear of High-Fat Foods
A diet high in fat can interfere with your kidneys' ability to rid your blood and body of uric acid, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Avoid full-fat dairy products like whole milk or regular ice cream, baked goods such as muffins or cakes that may incorporate a high amount of fat or oil and salad dressings. Do not eat fried foods or foods served with rich gravy or cream or cheese-based sauces. Aim to limit your total fat intake to no more than 30 percent of your daily calories.
Avoid Certain Vegetables
While most vegetables are low in purines, several contain a moderately high concentration ranging from 50 to 150 milligrams of purines in every 100 grams of the food. These vegetables include all dried beans and legumes, mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower and asparagus. You should consume no more than two servings of these vegetables weekly to keep your uric acid levels low. A serving is equivalent to 1 cup of the vegetables raw or 1/2 cup cooked.
Take It Easy on the Protein
If you're concerned about your uric acid level, eat only a moderate amount of animal-based protein daily -- a maximum of 6 ounces per day with a limit of 3 ounces per meal. Meat, poultry and seafood with a high purine content of over 150 milligrams in every 100 grams should be strictly avoided. Organ meats like liver or kidneys, game meats, goose, partridge and shellfish such as mussels, scallops, anchovies, shrimp and herring fall into this category. Skinless chicken or turkey, fish like salmon and lean cuts of beef or pork can be eaten in moderation.
Other High-Purine Foods
Meat extracts are high in purine compounds. Avoid meat-based stews or soups that include a broth or bouillon stock prepared from concentrated meat extracts. In addition, do not supplement or cook with baker's or brewer's yeast. Some types of alcohol, especially beer, may be rich in purines. Alcohol also stimulates the production of purine compounds and can increase your uric acid level. If you do choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation -- one drink per day for women, or up to two daily for men -- and choose wine over beer when possible.