A List of 10 High Purine Foods

When it comes to your diet, eating the right foods can make all the difference when it comes to losing weight, being more energetic, and raising the level of your health and wellbeing.

However, there are many foods that are good for you in terms of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, proteins and the like that also contain purines which may have a very negative effect on your body when consumed in considerable quantities.

How Too Much Purine in Your Diet Can Raise Uric Acid Levels

The issue with purine is that when it is digested will break down and turn into uric acid. While purine is developed naturally in the body which turns into uric acid, the kidneys tend to flush out the uric acid on its own. However, a diet that is rich in foods that generate purine can add significantly to the amount of uric acid that builds up in the body.

For some people who do not process uric acid properly, the buildup can be such that the kidneys are not able to flush out all the uric acid.

How Too Much Uric Acid Can Lead to Gout

The issue with uric acid is that when it is not passed through the kidneys and out of the body, it tends to build up in the bloodstream. Because uric acid is heavier than blood, it tends to collect in the lower joints of the body such as the ankles or in the feet. At this point, the uric acid will actually crystalize which creates the painful condition of gout.

Gout in some ways mimics arthritis in terms of its effects of being so painful, particularly when it comes to walking. Over time, the crystalized uric acid will eventually dissolve and be passed out through the bloodstream, but that may take weeks or longer particularly if more uric acid is being built up. Kidney stones are often formed from uric acid which makes that an issue as well.

10 High Purine Foods

There are a considerable number of foods that are high in purine content, some of which may surprise you. By reducing or avoiding these foods, you can considerably reduce the uric acid levels in your body.

Caviar

Caviar is classed as a high purine food

Caviar is classed as a high purine food

The food of aristocrats and royalty is not good for your uric acid levels thanks to the substantial amount of purine found within the food. So much purine is found in caviar that it actually outranks beef with similar serving sizes. Caviar needs to be avoided in all, but the smallest amounts.

Chicken

Avoid chicken if possible to lower your purine levels

Avoid chicken if possible to lower your purine levels

There are few meats as popular as chicken thanks to its low calorie count, high amount of protein, and low amount of fat. In fact, chicken is the meat that is most consumed by Americans and that includes beef.

Unfortunately, chicken contains more purines that beef which means that you will probably need to avoid it as much as possible in order to keep your uric acid in check.

Duck

Duck is another high purine red meat

Duck is another high purine red meat

While not as common as many other meats, duck can show up in the menus of many restaurants and it is sometimes used to make hot dogs.

The issue for many Americans is that the descriptions many not directly indicate it is duck which has a high amount of purines, so it is best to know what you are ordering first before making your selection.

Fish

Herrings should be avoided

Herrings should be avoided

While there are many varieties of fish, most of them have more purines in them that chicken or beef. The worst in terms of purine count include the following;

  • Anchovies
  • Herring
  • Perch

So bad is fish in terms of the amount of purines that you should avoid it altogether unless your doctor specifically allows it in your case.

Ham

Ham can only be consumed in very limited quantities

Ham can only be consumed in very limited quantities

Ham is a very popular meat and those that are lean make a great protein source for those on a diet. Unfortunately, ham has a high amount of purines to the point where it is advisable that you do not consume it unless in very small amounts or with your doctor’s permission.

Lentils

Lentils are a very healthy food yet they contain high purine levels

Lentils are a very healthy food yet they contain high purine levels

Over the past few years in particular, lentils have become a very popular food for those on a diet thanks to their low fat and high number of health benefits which includes plenty of fiber and protein. Unfortunately, they are also loaded with purines which means that you will need to significantly limit the amount you consume.

Mussels

Mussels are another seafood that should be avoided

Mussels are another seafood that should be avoided

For those who have been diagnosed with gout or kidney stones that were caused by a buildup of uric acid, avoiding shellfish altogether is a good idea.

Mussels in particular are very high in purines and will need to be avoided if you want to keep the levels of uric acid down in your bloodstream. The good news is that avoiding shellfish and seafood is pretty easy to do if you avoid going to seafood restaurants.

Organ Meats

All of the organ meats are high in purine

All of the organ meats are high in purine

This type of meat offers a lot of benefits, including being a great source of vitamins and minerals such as iron or potassium. However, they also include a very large amount of purines which makes the unacceptable for those who suffer from gout attacks and kidney stones.

Typical organ meats include the following;

  • Hearts
  • Kidney
  • Livers
  • Spleens
  • Tongue

If you consume meat, you’ll want to limit the amount that comes from organs so that you can keep the purine count down.

Sardines

Sardines contain healthy omega 3 fatty acids yet they are also high in purine

Sardines contain healthy omega 3 fatty acids yet they are also high in purine

Sardines are loaded with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, but they also contain high amounts of salt and purine which are very likely to trigger a gout attack or kidney stones to those who are vulnerable. However, sardines are no longer the popular treat that they once were, so avoiding them is not too difficult these days.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds can be consumed in limited amounts

Sunflower seeds can be consumed in limited amounts

It is well known that sunflower seeds make for a great snack, but the very high purine count means that you will need to limit it considerably. This means that the problem may be more in line with adding too much purine even if you are otherwise consuming mid to low level purine foods. So, you may only want to occasionally eat sunflower seeds.

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