Low Purine Diet Tips
A low purine diet is universally recommended as a way of reducing gout attacks. GoutPal has a few more tips and a note of caution to help you manage your diet.
Do not get bogged down with Numbers. The nutrition tables that you use for your low purine diet are only a guideline. Focus on what works best for you. Always consider the total nutrition value per serving. Many tables show values for nutritional density, and often rank foods that you are only likely to eat in small quantities very badly. A small quantity of a high purine food will not normally cause a problem in isolation, but you must consider your total purine intake.
Do not get bogged down with Purines. Just because uric acid is produced from the breakdown of purines does not mean that all foods with purines are bad. You can usually enjoy variety beyond a restrictive low purine diet. There is significant evidence to suggest that vegetables do not cause problems and that dairy products can actually help reduce uric acid levels.
Water is good for gout – drink as much as you can. Opinions vary on how much is enough, but it is important to be constant. Drink water before, with and after each meal. Keep a glass of water by the bed to drink when you wake during the night because of all the water you’ve been drinking! Your urine should be clear at all times – if it isn’t drink a large glass immediately. It might take a few days to get into the habit, but it is well worth the effort.
Milk or fruit juice make useful substitutes to relieve the boredom.
Gravy is bad for you – avoid it like the plague! Many gout sufferers can tolerate moderate amounts of meat and fish in their diets, but hit problems due to sauces. The meat and fish stocks that are used in many sauces and gravies are poison to the gout sufferer. (Sauces with lower amounts of purines, especially dairy-based sauces, should not be a problem as part of a well-balanced, vegetable rich meal.)
Watch your weight. There is evidence that being overweight is a major risk factor for gout. It is certainly much easier to cope with a gout attack when you don’t have extra pounds of body weight pressing on swollen joints. But remember – Do Not Starve – if your body has no food available it will breakdown it’s own tissues, which can lead to gout.
Balance your weight with exercise. Though not a diet tip as such, it is important to consider exercise at the same time as you consider diet. Light to moderate exercise is good for the gout sufferer. Vigorous exercise can actually cause gout attacks as the body consumes it’s own purine rich tissue to supply energy.
If you are following all this advice, but still cannot seem to manage your diet, then you should seriously consider keeping a food diary and seek the advice of a nutritionist who understands gout.
If you have any tips for a low purine diet or general tips for managing gout, please share them on the gout forum.
This page (first published 15th Jan 2006) is copied from the old style GoutPal website, as part of an ongoing upgrade. Most food, drink and lifestyle advice is now contained in the Gout Diet Section.