It is often recommended to follow a low-purine diet as part of gout treatment. A low-purine diet involves avoiding or limiting the consumption of certain foods and drinks that are high in purines for reducing the uric acid levels in your body. A low-purine diet can help in reducing the gout symptoms as well as helps in improving your general health and overall well-being.
Purines are organic compounds that do not cause any serious harm to your body. Your body itself contains small amounts of purines. The problem arises when the purines break down to form uric acid, which is a waste substance. When the levels of uric acid increase in the blood, it becomes difficult for the kidneys to filter and remove it from your body.
The uric acid levels in the body increase by 15% with the breakdown of purines. When you start consuming more purine-rich foods, the breakdown of purine into uric acid also increases, which causes exceeding levels of uric acid in your body. When the uric acid levels increase, it gets converted into uric acid crystals and get accumulated in your joints. This will lead to gout.
Benefits Of Low-Purine Diets
Following a low-purine diet is very helpful in managing gout because it helps to minimize the amounts of purines in your body and thereby keep the uric acid levels in check. This will help in preventing the formation of uric acid crystals and ensures that there is no build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints and tendons.
According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians, following a diet that contains low-purine foods helps to reduce the levels of uric acid in your bloodstream and thereby reduce the risk of developing gout and other health problems.
Which Foods Should Be Avoided?
There are several foods we normally consume that are very high in purines. Seafood, including mussels, trout, haddock, scallops, codfish, tune, etc. contains high levels of purines. Another common high purine food that we usually consume is red meat.
It is also recommended to reduce the consumption of organ meat, such as liver, thymus glands, etc. You should also limit the consumption of high-fat foods like dessert, and full-fat dairy products to reduce the risk of developing gout. You may also have to limit or completely avoid alcohol consumption because it can raise uric acid levels.