Purines are substances that are found in some foods. Your body turns purines into uric acid. High levels of uric acid can cause gout, which is a form of arthritis that causes pain and inflammation in joints.
You may be able to help control the amount of uric acid in your body by limiting high-purine foods in your diet.
- Plan your meals and snacks around foods that are low in purines and are safe for you to eat. These foods include:
- Green vegetables and tomatoes.
- Whole-grain breads, rice, and cereals.
- Eggs, peanut butter, and nuts.
- Low-fat milk, cheese, and other milk products.
- Gelatin desserts, chocolate, cocoa, and cakes and sweets, in small amounts.
- You can eat certain foods that are medium-high in purines, but eat them only once in a while. These foods include:
- Legumes, such as dried beans and dried peas. You can have 1 cup cooked legumes each day.
- Asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, and green peas.
- Fish and seafood (other than very high-purine seafood).
- Oatmeal, wheat bran, and wheat germ.
- Limit very high-purine foods, including:
- Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and brains.
- Meats, including bacon, beef, pork, and lamb.
- Game meats and any other meats in large amounts.
- Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, and scallops.
Current as of: December 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Mary F. McNaughton Collins MD, MPH - Internal Medicine