Lower Uric Acid is an online blog featuring recipes that are both healthy and delicious. We share meal plans, tips and tricks, as well as other tips on how to live a healthy life while still enjoying the foods you love.
Food With Low Uric Acid
- Soup made without meat extract or broth
- Vegetables that are not on the medium-purine list below
- All fruit and fruit juices
- Bread, pasta, rice, cake, cornbread, and popcorn
- Water, soda, tea, coffee, and cocoa
- Sugar, sweets, and gelatin
- Fat and oil
What foods should I 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.
- 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)
- Meats: Limit the following to 4 to 6 ounces 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
What other guidelines should I 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.
Gout Diet: Foods to Eat and Those to Avoid
Skip foods and drinks that are high in purines to help lower your chances of an attack.
You should stay away from these types of food:
- Beer and grain liquors (like vodka and whiskey)
- Red meat, lamb, and pork
- Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, and glandular meats like the thymus or pancreas (you may hear them called sweetbreads)
- Seafood, especially shellfish like shrimp, lobster, mussels, anchovies, and sardines
- High-fructose products like soda and some juices, cereal, ice cream, candy, and fast food
Best Foods for a Gout Diet
You’ll want to go for low-purine options like:
- Low-fat and nondairy fat products, such as yogurt and skim milk
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Nuts, peanut butter, and grains
- Fat and oil
- Potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta
- Eggs (in moderation)
- Meats like fish, chicken, and red meat are fine in moderation (around 4 to 6 ounces per day).
- Vegetables: You may see veggies like spinach and asparagus on the high-purine list, but studies show they don’t raise your risk of gout or gout attacks.
What Can You Drink if You Have Gout?
Foods aren’t the only thing that can affect uric acid. What you drink matters, too.
It’s a good idea to drink lots of fluids — 8 to 16 cups a day. At least half of what you drink should be water. Vitamin C (think orange juice) also can help lower uric acid, but studies also show that the high fructose in OJ may boost uric acid levels, so drink it in moderation. Caffeinated coffee can cut uric acid, too, as long as you don’t overdo it.
Stay away from sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. You also may need to limit or avoid alcohol as well. Talk with your doctor to find out what’s right for you.
While a healthy diet can help control how much uric acid is in your system, you may still need medicine to prevent future attacks. Talk with your doctor about all your treatment options.
Which Foods are Safe for Gout?
Find out which foods to eat and which to avoid if you have gout.
Question: I have gout. Can you tell me which fruits, vegetables, meats or seafoods I should eat – or avoid? Is there any type of alcohol – wine, beer, spirits – that is better or worse for me than others?
Answer: Dietary management of gout is very restrictive and doesn’t always work to control gout, so a combination of medication and diet may be the best way to treat your gout. In addition to medications that treat the inflammation and other symptoms that occur during a gout attack, medications exist that can treat the underlying metabolic condition of hyperuricemia – too much uric acid in the blood. Hyperuricemia can occur either when the body produces too much uric acid or when the body does not excrete enough uric acid. Drugs exist to treat both causes.
Purine compounds, whether produced in the body or from eating high-purine foods, can raise uric acid levels. Excess uric acid can produce uric acid crystals, which then build up in soft tissues and joints, causing the painful symptoms of gout. Dietary management focuses on reducing the amount of uric acid in the system and attaining and maintaining a healthy bodyweight.
The primary dietary modification traditionally recommended is a low-purine diet. Avoiding purines completely is impossible, but strive to limit them. You can learn by trial and error what your personal limit is and which foods cause you problems.
High-Purine Foods Include:
- Alcoholic beverages (all types)
- Some fish, seafood and shellfish, including anchovies, sardines, herring, mussels, codfish, scallops, trout and haddock
- Some meats, such as bacon, turkey, veal, venison and organ meats like liver
Moderate Purine Foods Include:
- Meats, such as beef, chicken, duck, pork and ham
- Shellfish, such as crab, lobster, oysters and shrimp
What is uric acid?
Uric acid is produced when your body breaks down chemicals called purines. Uric acid is meant to be a waste product: It dissolves in your bloodstream, flows through your kidneys, and leaves your body in your urine.
However, if the uric acid in your blood isn’t filtered out efficiently and reaches a high level, called hyperuricemia, it can cause crystals to form. If these crystals settle in your joints, it could lead to gout, a type of arthritis. About 20% of people with hyperuricemia develop gout.
You may have an increased risk for high uric acid levels if you have:
- Been undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer
Your uric acid level can be measured with a blood test. For women, it should be under 6 milligrams per deciliter of blood. For males, it should be under 7 mg/dL. If your uric acid levels are too high, here are some of the best ways to lower them naturally:
1. Eat foods with less purines
Purines are chemicals that are naturally produced by your body and are also found in certain foods. Animal purines from meat and seafood can especially affect your uric acid level.
“Most people eat more [purines] than they think,” says Dr. Monya De, an internist in Los Angeles.
The following foods contain high amounts of purine, so those seeking to lower their uric acid level should avoid or limit eating them:
- Organ meat like liver or kidneys
- Shellfish and oily fish such as anchovies and tuna
- Some vegetables, including asparagus, mushrooms, and spinach
On the other hand, the following foods contain low amounts of purine, so eating them won’t increase your uric acid level:
- Nuts and peanut butter
- Low-fat or nonfat dairy products including cheese, milk, and yogurt
- Cherries and other fruits
Following a healthy diet can also help lower your uric acid levels. For example, a 2016 study published in the American College of Rheumatology journal Arthritis & Rheumatology found that following the DASH diet for 30 days helped people with prehypertension and hypertension lower their uric acid level by as much as 1.3 mg/dL.
2. Get more vitamin C
Researchers have found that vitamin C may help lower your uric acid levels. In a 2005 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, participants who took 500-mg vitamin C supplements daily for two months had significantly lower uric acid levels — an average drop of 0.5 mg/dL — than participants who took placebos.
For people who already have gout, however, the same may not be true. A 2013 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism found that participants with gout who took 500 mg of vitamin C daily for eight weeks did not significantly lower their uric acid levels.
In addition, if you have had kidney stones, you should talk to your doctor about your vitamin C intake, as it may increase your risk of stone formation.
3. Limit alcohol and sugary drinks
Drinking beer and liquor appears to raise your uric acid level, according to the Third US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey published in Arthritis Care & Research.
Alcohol increases the purines in your blood, which results in the production of more uric acid. Beer contains the most purines, while wine has the fewest.
“The dehydration from alcohol can be a reason for high levels, plus alcohol independently stops the body from urinating away uric acid due to an interaction with higher lactic acid levels,” De says.
Soft drinks that contain sugar or high-fructose corn syrup were also linked to increased uric acid levels, according to results from the same survey. When your body breaks down the fructose, a natural sugar in these drinks, it produces purines, which then produce uric acid.
To help lower your uric acid level, you should stay away from these drinks:
- Soft drinks with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup
- Juices with high-fructose corn syrup
4. Drink coffee
Coffee contains an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid that can lower your uric acid levels and may even prevent gout.
For example, men in a 2007 study who said they drank four to five cups of coffee a day had a 40% lower relative risk of gout when compared with men who didn’t drink coffee.
Drinking up to about four cups of brewed coffee each day appears to be safe for healthy adults, the Mayo Clinic reports. But drinking more could lead to caffeine-related side effects like headaches, insomnia, and nervousness.
5. Try to lose weight
In addition to avoiding certain foods and drinks, losing weight can also lower your uric acid level. Being overweight or obese makes your kidneys less efficient at eliminating uric acid through your urine. The risk of getting gout is 10 times as high for people who are obese as it is for people who are at a healthy weight.
A 2017 study published in Oncotarget of 4,678 people in China with high uric acid levels found that those who lost more than 22 pounds over two years had “significantly” lower uric acid levels. This was especially true for obese middle-age men.
For overweight and obese people who have gout, a 2017 review of 907 patients from 10 studies found that those who lost from 6 to 75 pounds lowered their uric acid level by about 0.3 to 1.9 mg/dL.
6. Don’t take certain medications
Some medications may raise your uric acid level because they cause you to produce less urine. These medications, available with a prescription, include the following:
- Diuretics, also called water pills, such as Demadex (torsemide), Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide), and Thalitone (chlorthalidone)
- Antituberculosis antibiotics such as Rifater (pyrazinamide) and Myambutol (ethambutol)
- Immunosuppressant drugs such as Gengraf (cyclosporine)
Low-dose aspirin may also raise the level because it can interfere with your kidneys’ ability to excrete uric acid.
It’s important to let your doctor know if you’re taking any of these medications. “A good physician will look at the patient’s medication list and swap out ones that potentially make the problem worse,” De says.