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Low Purine Diet

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

A low-purine diet is a meal plan based on foods that are low in purine content. Purine is a substance that is found in foods and is produced naturally by the body. Purines are broken down by the body and changed to uric acid. The kidneys normally filter the uric acid, and it leaves the body through the urine. However, people with gout sometimes have a buildup of uric acid in the blood. This buildup of uric acid can cause swelling and pain (a gout attack). A low-purine diet may help to treat and prevent gout attacks.


Foods to include:

The following foods are low in purine.

  • Eggs, nuts, and peanut butter
  • Low-fat and fat-free cheese and ice cream
  • Skim or 1% milk
  • Soup made without meat extract or broth
  • Vegetables that are not on the medium-purine list below
  • All fruit and fruit juice
  • Bread, pasta, rice, cakes, cornbread, and popcorn
  • Water, soda, tea, coffee, and cocoa
  • Sugar, sweets, and gelatin
  • Fat and oil

Foods to limit:

  • Medium-purine foods:
    • Meats: Limit the following to 4 to 6 ounces each day.
      • Meat and poultry
      • Crab, lobster, oysters, and shrimp
    • Vegetables: Limit the following vegetables to ½ cup each day.
      • Asparagus
      • Cauliflower
      • Spinach
      • Mushrooms
      • Green peas
    • Beans, peas, and lentils (limit to 1 cup each day)
    • Oats and oatmeal (limit to ⅔ cup uncooked each day)
    • Wheat germ and bran (limit to ¼ cup each day)
  • High-purine foods: Limit or avoid foods high in purine.
    • Anchovies, sardines, scallops, and mussels
    • Tuna, codfish, herring, and haddock
    • Wild game meats, like goose and duck
    • Organ meats, such as brains, heart, kidney, liver, and sweetbreads
    • Gravies and sauces made with meat
    • Yeast extracts taken in the form of a supplement

Other guidelines to follow:

  • Increase liquid intake. Drink 8 to 16 (eight-ounce) cups of liquid each day. At least half of the liquid you drink should be water. Liquid can help your body get rid of extra uric acid.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol (especially beer) increases your risk of a gout attack. Beer contains a high amount of purine.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, you should lose weight slowly. Weight loss can help decrease the amount of stress on your joints. Regular exercise can help you lose weight if you are overweight, or maintain your weight if you are at a normal weight. Talk to your healthcare provider before you begin an exercise program.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.