What Is Purine?
Purine is a compound found primarily in foods of animal origin. It is especially high in organ meats, anchovies, mackerel, and sardines.
Why Should I Follow a Low-Purine Diet?
A low-purine diet is usually recommended if you have
. It may also be recommended if you have
or have had an organ transplant.
The body metabolizes purine into uric acid. A buildup of uric acid can worsen symptoms of gout. If you have gout, eating a low-purine diet can help minimize uric acid production and thereby improve symptoms.
Eating Guide for a Low-Purine Diet
|Food Category||Foods Recommended||Foods to Limit or Avoid|
- Enriched breads, cereals, rice, noodles, pasta, and potatoes
- Oatmeal (no more than 2/3 cup uncooked, daily)
- Wheat bran, wheat germ (no more than ¼ cup dry, daily)
- All except those on the “foods to limit or avoid” list
- Mushrooms, green peas, dried peas and beans, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower (no more than ½ cup per day)
- Nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
|Meat and Beans|
- Eggs, peanut butter, and nuts
- Red meat (eg, beef, lamb, pork, and veal), poultry, fish, and shellfish (no more than 4-6 ounces per day)
- Dried peas, beans, and lentils (no more than 1 cup cooked daily)
- Avoid: sweetbreads, sardines, anchovies, liver, kidneys, brains, meat extracts, herring, mackerel, scallops, gravies, goose, heart, mincemeat, and mussels
- Gravies and sauces made with meat
- Carbonated beverages, coffee, tea, cocoa
- Beer and other alcoholic beverages
- Low-fat milk-based or vegetable stock-based soups
- Sugars, sweets, gelatins
- Salt, herbs, spices, and condiments
- Baker’s and brewer’s yeast
- Stock-based soups (eg, bouillon- and broth-based)
In addition to following a low-purine diet, here are some other suggestions for decreasing uric acid production:
- Consider meeting with a registered dietitian to come up with a personalized eating plan.
The Arthritis Foundation
The Purine Research Society
The Arthritis Society
Dietitians of Canada
Choi HK, Liu S, Curhan G. Intake of purine-rich foods, protein, and dairy products and relationship to serum levels of uric acid: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Fam AG. Gout: excess calories, purines, and alcohol intake and beyond. Response to a urate-lowering diet.
Gout: is a purine-restricted diet still recommended? American Dietetic Association website. Available at:
. Accessed June 22, 2007.
Hyon CK, Mount DB, Reginato AM. Pathogenesis of gout.
Ann Intern Med.
Low-purine diet. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center website. Available at:
. Accessed June 21, 2007.
Nutrition care manual. American Dietetic Association website. Available at:
. Accessed January 3, 2009.