If your doctor has placed you on a low-purine diet, you'll need to avoid certain foods, including organ meats, shellfish such as mussels or scallops, meat-based gravy, goose and certain fish such as mackerel. The purines in these foods is converted by the body to uric acid; too much uric acid can exacerbate gout and kidney stone symptoms. You'll also need to plan your meals to include only limited amounts of foods moderately high in purines. Ask your doctor or a nutritionist for help developing a low-purine diet program that works for you.
Fill Up on Low-Purine Produce
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that a healthy dinner should consist of at least 50 percent fruits and vegetables. While variety is important, anyone on a low-purine diet should avoid avocados and have purine-rich beans, legumes, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus and cauliflower no more than twice a week. For dinner on the diet, try getting your produce from a serving of steamed broccoli and a salad of mixed lettuce greens tossed with vegetables such as chopped radishes, tomatoes and cucumbers. Use a fat-free dressing to flavor the salad.
Go for Enriched Grains
Although the USDA recommends that you make at least half of the grains you eat daily whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice or oatmeal, these products are high in purines. People trying to control their purine intake should limit themselves to two servings of whole grains a week. Instead, reach for enriched grains. A low-purine dinner menu might feature enriched white rice and a dinner roll prepared from enriched white flour. If you'd like a topping on your roll, choose margarine instead of butter and have no more than 3 teaspoons per day.
Pick Lean Protein
You can still have lean cuts of meat, poultry and fish low in purines on a low-purine diet, but limit your total daily consumption of these animal-based protein sources to 4 to 6 ounces a day, advises the NYU Langone Medical Center. An appropriate choice for a low-purine dinner menu could be 3 ounces of baked or grilled boneless skinless chicken breast. If you are a vegetarian, eggs and nuts are low in purines and allowed on the diet.
Keep Your Dairy Low-Fat or Nonfat
A 2004 study published in the "New England Journal of Medicine" reported that regularly eating dairy products is linked to a decreased risk of gout, and dairy products are recommended on a low-purine diet. Pick low- or nonfat products like milk, yogurt or cheese. Incorporate dairy into a low-purine dinner menu by drinking a glass of skim milk or having nonfat Greek yogurt with fruit for dessert. People who don't consume dairy products can substitute calcium-fortified juices, white breads or plant milk products.
- UPMC: Low-Purine Diet
- Boston University Medical Campus: Online Gout Study
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: 10 Tips to a Great Plate
- NYU Langone Medical Center: Low-Purine Diet
- The New England Journal of Medicine: Purine-Rich Foods, Dairy and Protein Intake, and the Risk of Gout in Men
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Dairy -- Tips for Making Wise Choices in the Dairy Group