7. A Low-Purine Diet
Purines are nitrogen-containing chemical compounds that are naturally created in the body and found in some foods, that break down into uric acid once ingested. Purines aren’t deadly, but a diet high in purines can raise the risk of uric acid build-up. Food and beverages that are very high in purines include liver, kidneys, brains, bacon, beef, lamb, pork, anchovies, sardines, scallops, gravy and beer. These should be avoided as often as possible, in favour of low-purine foods.
One third of the uric acid created in the body is made by the breakdown of purines from food. For those with a high level of uric acid, or frequent attacks of gout, a low-purine diet might be an effective remedy.
Foods that are low in purine include green vegetables, eggs, nuts, tomatoes, fruit, coffee, skim milk and other low-fat dairy products and lean meats like chicken and fish. Avoid excessive alcohol, as this increases purine production and leads to high uric acid levels, and limit foods that are high in fat. This includes salad dressings, gravy, ice cream and fried foods.
However, a low-purine diet doesn’t have to sound miserable. The Mediterranean diet is one naturally low in purines, focusing instead on heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oils, herbs, spices, fish, poultry and red wine. Limit sugary sweets like biscuits, cakes, fruit juice, cereal bars and some condiments like jam and mayonnaise, and ensure you drink a lot of water.