Low Purine Diet

Purine is a natural substances that are usually found in several healthy foods. After digestion, purine leaves behind a waste product that is known as uric acid. This uric acid can accumulate and when they form crystals in the joints, they can bring about gout, a kind of arthritis.

Low Purine Diet – What is It?

A low-purine diet is simply a diet formulated to ensure that foods that have purine are restricted or reduced. It is impossible to totally avoid purines, so creating a low-purine diet involves restricting or limiting as well as monitoring the amount of purine that is in the food that you eat. Having a low-purine diet also serves to show you how your body reacts when you eat a variety of foods that have purine.

Who Should Follow It?

Your doctor might advice you to start a low-purine diet if you have hyperuricemia (high amounts of uric acid) or if you have gout. These conditions usually involve several, unpleasant symptoms which includes pain, tenderness, and redness in the joints.

Researchers have revealed that gout is highly affected by the eating habits of a person. But this is not to say that changing the person’s diet solely relieves him of the symptoms of gout. For some, doctors might still order medications for gout, which means that these medications need to be taken unless the doctor advices otherwise.

Where to Start?

In order to begin a low-purine diet, you must first become aware of the foods that you usually have and which of these have high purine content. As soon as you identify them, try to resist eating them, while those foods that have only moderate amount of purine, try to limit the amount that you eat.

What to Avoid, What to Limit, and What to Enjoy

Knowing which foods to avoid, which to moderately consume, and which to enjoy most is very important. The foods that will have to be avoided include beer, soda or beverages containing sugar, fatty foods, organ meats (liver, or other animal sources), bacon, venison, veal, yeast, sardines, herring, mussels, codfish, anchovies, scallops, haddock, trout, and gravy. It is important that you keep away from them unless you are ready to suffer severe pain.

Foods that are not allowed in this diet include beef, pork, chicken, duck, shrimp, lobster, oysters, crab, lunch meats (particularly venison that have high fat content), and liquor.

Furthermore, here is a run-down of foods that you can still enjoy while in a low-purine diet.

  • 12 cups of water or juice (fruit)
  • fruits and vegetables
  • wine and coffee (moderate intake)
  • beans
  • fat-free or low-fat dairy products (cheese, yoghurt)
  • eggs (eat in moderation)
  • nuts
  • peanut butter
  • rice
  • pasta
  • noodles
  •  potatoes

It is important to note that while this list of foods to avoid and to enjoy might be helpful, individual responses may vary for each person. Over time, you will discover the foods that affect or don’t affect you. You will then have to adjust your diet accordingly. Aside from that, weight control is also a helpful way to lessen gout symptoms. But losing weight quickly should be avoided because uric acid actually is increased when the body is experiencing fasting or fast weight-loss diets. In addition, low-carbohydrate diets should be avoided because they usually are high in fat and protein, which are known to have high purine contents.

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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