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.

Low Purine Diet Tips

Tip 1

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.

Tip 2

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.

Tip 3

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.

Tip 4

Total diet matters – not single foods. Some food choices are better than others. But you can only judge them against total diet. For example, I used to be obsessed by gravy. Because lots of low purine articles mention it. But what really matters is all the food you eat each day. Measured against your daily purine allowance. Then you can adjust the serving size of certain foods in order to meet your target.

Tip 5

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 break down its own tissues, which can lead to gout.

Tip 6

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 its 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. Or in the feedback form below.

Low Purine Diet Comments

GoutPal visitor responses include:

Is Gravy OK in a Low Purine Diet?

It’s a common question influenced by lots of articles that tell you to avoid (among other things) “mackerel, scallops, game meats, and gravy”. But these are just words copied from one article to another without scientific foundation. These days we have a better understanding about different types of purines. Also, about the limitations of low purine diets as part of gout treatment plans. Therefore, I will rewrite this page once I’ve reviewed the latest studies[1-4]. Note that this will form part of my updates to the GoutPal Dieters Plan.

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Low Purine Diet References

  1. Kaneko, Kiyoko, Yasuo Aoyagi, Tomoko Fukuuchi, Katsunori Inazawa, and Noriko Yamaoka. “Total purine and purine base content of common foodstuffs for facilitating nutritional therapy for gout and hyperuricemia.” Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin (2014): b13-00967.
  2. Lockyer, S., and S. Stanner. “Diet and gout–what is the role of purines?.” Nutrition Bulletin 41, no. 2 (2016): 155-166.
  3. Al-Masri, Soheir Ahmed. “BENEFICIAL ROLE OF HIGH PLANT PROTEINS IN THE TREATMENT AGAINST HYPERURICEMIA IN EXPERIMENTAL RATS.” JAPS, Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences 26, no. 3 (2016): 619-626.
  4. Chiu, Tina HT, Chin-Hsiu Liu, Chia-Chen Chang, Ming-Nan Lin, and Chin-Lon Lin. “Vegetarian diet and risk of gout in two separate prospective cohort studies.” Clinical Nutrition 39, no. 3 (2020): 837-844.



Low Purine Diet Document Change History

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