If you or someone you know is suffering from gout or kidney stones, then chances are uric acid is the culprit. At its core, uric acid is a combination of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. Seems harmless enough, right? Actually, while uric acid itself is relatively safe, the problem lies with its predisposition to form salts.
Normally, uric acid goes through the liver and is then flushed away. But, an excess of this compound can cause the formation of salts that can stay in the kidney (as kidney stones) or in the various joints of the body (in the case of gout).
Purines breakdown into uric acid. These nitrogen-rich compounds are found in a lot of foods you wouldn’t normally think twice about. Here’s a list of the top purine-rich foods you should be avoiding if you are suffering from high levels of uric acid.
Beer or anything with malt – Any drink that has malt or is made from wheat or other grains have high levels of purine.
Legumes – Yes, peanuts are not nuts but legumes so gout-sufferers should stay away from them. Other examples are peas and dried beans.
Organ Meat – Liver, kidney and sweetbreads are all no-no’s if your trying to maintain your uric acid level. Stay away from gravy and consomme as well.
Instead of eating the above mentioned foods, look for alternatives that are lower in uric acid but can still provide you with the nutrients and protein they possess. Tofu is a good substitute for meat. It is very rich and protein without the added purines. Eating dark berries have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects so these are great for those with gout. Cheeses and other dairy products are also low in uric acid.
Be mindful of what you eat to prevent or lower the severity of gout or kidney stones. It only takes a discerning eye and knowledge of food to keep yourself healthy and strong.