Health Library

Low-Purine Diet

What Is Purine?

Purine is a compound found mostly in foods that come from animals. It is very high in organ meats, anchovies, mackerel, and sardines.

Why Should I Follow This Diet?

You may need to be on this diet if you have gout. You may also need to be on it if you have kidney stones or have had an organ transplant.

The body processes purine into uric acid. Too much uric acid can make gout worse. Eating a low-purine diet means less uric acid and less health problems from gout.

Eating Guide

Food Category Foods to Eat Foods to Limit or Not Eat
  • Enriched breads, cereals, rice, noodles, pasta, and potatoes
  • Oatmeal (no more than 2/3 cup uncooked, daily)
  • Wheat bran, wheat germ (no more than ¼ cup dry, daily)
  • All except those on the “foods to limit or not eat” list
  • Mushrooms, green peas, dried peas and beans, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower (no more than ½ cup per day)
  • All fruit and juices
  • Nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Eggs
Meat and Beans
  • Eggs, peanut butter, and nuts
  • Red meat (beef, lamb, pork, and veal), poultry, fish, and shellfish (no more than 4 to 6 ounces per day)
  • Dried peas, beans, and lentils (no more than 1 cup cooked daily)
  • Do not eat: sweetbreads, sardines, anchovies, liver, kidneys, brains, meat extracts, herring, mackerel, scallops, gravies, goose, heart, mincemeat, and mussels
  • Gravies and sauces made with meat
  • Carbonated beverages, coffee, tea, cocoa
  • Beer and other alcoholic beverages
  • Low fat milk-based or vegetable stock-based soups
  • Sugars, sweets, gelatins
  • Salt, herbs, spices, and condiments
  • Baker’s and brewer’s yeast
  • Stock-based soups (bouillon- and broth-based)


Here are some other tips to reduce uric acid:

  • Limit or do not drink alcohol, especially beer. Alcohol does not contain purines, but it increases your production of purine.
  • Drink 8 to 12 cups of fluid each day. This will help water down your urinary uric acid. This can help prevent kidney stones.
  • Consume low fat or nonfat dairy products, such as milk and yogurt. Research shows that these foods may help prevent gout from occurring.
  • Limit your intake of fat to 30% of your daily calories.
  • Do not follow low carbohydrate diets.
  • Do not lose weight too quickly. This can raise your uric acid levels. Lose weight gradually.

Think about meeting with a dietitian to create an eating plan.


The Arthritis Foundation

The Purine Research Society

Canadian Resources

The Arthritis Society

Dietitians of Canada


Gout. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: Updated November 23, 2018. Accessed March 12, 2019.

Low-purine diet. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: Updated February 15, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2019.