Considered one of the most painful of the rheumatic conditions, gout afflicts an estimated 840 out of 100,000 people, accounting for about 5% of all cases of arthritis. Since it is typically recommended that people who have gout symptoms or recurring gout attacks reduce their intake of purine-rich foods, which foods are purine-rich? Purines are found in all protein foods. It is not recommended that all purines be eliminated from your diet -- simply cut back enough to control gout attacks.
According to the American Medical Association, purine-containing foods include:
- Beer, other alcoholic beverages.
- Anchovies, sardines in oil, fish roes, herring.
- Organ meat (liver, kidneys, sweetbreads)
- Legumes (dried beans, peas)
- Meat extracts, consomme, gravies.
- Mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower.
Beneficial Foods for People With Gout
Foods which may be beneficial to people with gout include:
- Dark berries may contain chemicals that lower uric acid and reduce inflammation.
- Tofu which is made from soybeans may be a better choice than meats.
- Certain fatty acids found in certain fish such as salmon, flax or olive oil, or nuts may possess some anti-inflammatory benefits.
Avoiding purine-rich foods is only one aspect of treatment. It is important to take prescribed medications as directed, maintain a healthy/balanced diet, drink plenty of fluids/water, exercise and maintain a healthy body weight. Diets designed for quick or extreme weight loss will work against you though -- they increase uric acid levels in the blood.
According to the American Medical Association, a balanced diet for people with gout include foods:
- High in complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, vegetables)
- Low in protein (15% of calories and sources should be soy, lean meats, poultry)
- No more than 30% of calories from fat (10% animal fat)
Gout Fact Sheet, American College of Rheumatology
Questions and Answers About Gout, NIAMS
What Lifestyle Measures Can Help Prevent Gout? U.C. Davis