Purines are naturally occurring chemical compounds in the body and they are also present naturally in some foods. When the body processes this chemical compound, uric acid is formed. Most of this acid can be dissolved in the blood and is usually excreted as urine. Excessive levels of uric acid can lead to serious health problems and the most common one is gout. People who consume a lot of foods high in uric acid will experience problems like arthritis, which could be really painful and debilitating.
1. Red Meat
This is meat obtained from mammals and is rich in myoglobin. Red meat contains large levels of iron, vitamin B complex, various minerals such as phosphorus and Zinc and creatine. Although this is one of the healthiest cooked meats in the world, it is also one of the foods that carry high levels of uric acid. The same is true for white meats and poultry. Make sure to consume about 4 to 6 oz a day of meat per meal. It is better to add more fruits and vegetables for your meals and snacks.
2. Offals and Internal Organs
Just like red and white meat, the organ meats contain relatively high concentration of uric acid. Many people enjoy having livers for their dinner, but you have to prioritize health by cutting down the consumption of this meat (examples are tongue, sweetbreads, pate and tripe).
3. Seafood and Fish
Seafood and fishes are rich sources of protein with low calorie as well as variety of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins B complex, D and A, iodine, iron, selenium and zinc. However, even if these foods are known to be healthy, they are also known to contain high concentration of uric acid in the form of purines. Therefore, if you are suffering from gout, you have to cut down on your consumption of anchovies, herring, sardines, tuna and other oily fishes and other seafood delicacies. If not, they can trigger a new gout problem and aggravate the existing one. Nevertheless, if you have your gout under control, you can consume shrimp, scallops, crab salmon, eel and lobster. Per recommendations, consume only about 4 to 6 oz a day.
4. Beer and Alcohol
Beer and alcohol – the two beverages that most people want to drink after a busy and tiring day at work. They may be great refreshment, but they can be dangerous especially for those diagnosed with gout. They have uric acid levels that are twice as much with seafood and meats. These beverages will increase the uric acid production in the body and in turn, make the body have a hard time removing excess uric acid. Alcoholic beverages are not that harmful in comparison to beer, but still have the capability of raising uric acid levels.
5. Drinks High in Sugar
These beverages contain high fructose corn syrup and this substance will increase the uric acid production in the body. Based on the various researches conducted all over the world, individuals who drink lots of beverages high in fructose content and with high concentration of fructose corn syrup increase their risk of developing gout. Start minimizing and then eliminate sugary beverages in your system and start drinking more of water as well as tea. Aside from carrying purines, these drinks can also trigger the early onset of Type 2 Diabetes, even in children.
6. Asparagus and Spinach
Meat is not the only food with high levels of uric acid. There are some vegetables like spinach and asparagus that are established to have high uric acid content and can lead to the early onset of gout symptoms. However, the harm these vegetables can do to you is lesser compared to animal-based foods. Fortunately, the uric acid from these vegetables is excreted with ease from the body in comparison from seafood and meats. So if you have to choose the lesser evil, it would be best to err on the side of vegetables.
Another vegetable that is known to cause increase uric acid in the body is the bland cauliflower. However, just like the vegetables listed above, it can help the body in eliminating the purines and the uric acid and purines. There is no need to get rid of these vegetables from your diet. Aside from that, these vegetables have the essential nutrients necessary for the reduction of insulin resistance, which is vital in controlling the flare-ups of gout.
8. Beans, Peas, and Other Legumes
Beans, peas, and other legumes are widely known to contain high levels of uric acid. People diagnosed with gout should limit their intake of these foods. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, peas contain 5 – 100 mg of uric acid per 3.5 oz of serving. Eating these foods in their raw form is less harmful in comparison with the cooked ones but still, you have to consume them in small quantities or moderate amounts.
Some consider mushrooms as a great alternative to consuming meat. You have to reconsider this idea. This is because mushrooms, similar with legumes, are known to contain moderately high concentration of uric acid. There are different schools of thought here, because some people actually consume mushrooms because they have gout and arthritis. It boils down to which foods you’d rather have and avoid. If you think about it, a serving of mushrooms would be better than one serving of organ meats in terms of uric acid levels.
Oats are deemed healthy in general, but they are also known to contain uric acid. However, the exact range of uric acid oats contain is still up for discussion to this date. But one thing is for sure, oats as well as foods containing oats, deliver moderate amounts of the uric acid. Still, people are encouraged to eat oats because of their high fiber content. They help lower cholesterol levels and reduce heart diseases.
Word of Advice
High uric acid levels can lead to arthritis and gout, which is both painful and uncomfortable. The best way to treat it is to prevent it from being triggered by the food you eat. Take stock of the foods high in purine listed above and try to avoid them as much as possible. A few bites here and there won’t hurt, but consuming platefuls at a time will surely cause problems.