Low purine foods are helpful for managing gout, but food and diet are only one aspect of controlling this merciless disease. Some foods are higher in purines than others, so being aware of and taking advantage of low purine foods makes logical sense.
However, there is a downside to obsessing over low purine foods for gout treatment: Gout attacks primarily result from your kidney’s inability to excrete enough uric acid . . . NOT from your consumption of too many purines. To get over gout, the foods you need to avoid are processed foods, because these are significant contributors to decreased kidney function . . . which leads to gout attacks.
Again, high-purine foods do NOT cause gout; highly-processed foods do!
The Importance of a Low Purine Diet
When the conversation turns to gout, adhering to a low purine diet inevitably comes up. This is understandable due to the metabolic breakdown of purines into uric acid. When uric acid becomes excessive in the blood, the potential for gout attacks increase.
The pain of a gout attack is the result of uric acid crystallizing in a given joint. From this perspective, it makes sense to limit dietary intake to low purine foods.
However, purines and uric acid are not the “cause” of gout – poor kidney function and reduced capability to maintain the pH of the body chemistry is the cause. Limiting purines in your diet can be helpful, but not a panacea.
Low Purine Foods in Everyday Life
The easiest way to take advantage of low purine foods in your everyday life is by adopting an acid/alkaline diet. Food sources generally fall into two categories:
Alklaline-forming foods are broadly identified as organically grown vegetables and fruits. Dark-skinned fruits and leafy green vegetables are especially nutrient dense and loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various health promoting phytochemicals.
Incidentally, alkaline-forming foods are also low in purines.
Foods that are acid-forming are equally important to strong health and gout prevention. Healthy acid-forming foods are typically protein sources like organically raised meats and various kinds of beans. They also contain an important array of essential minerals, fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins. (mayoclinic.com)
Meats, beans and other sources of protein can be higher in purines.
The correct ratio of alkaline-forming foods and acid-forming foods is 80% alkaline, 20% acid. By following this ratio, you ARE following a low purine diet.
Foods and Purine Content
The damaging misconception that is widely promoted is that purine rich foods cause gout – again to reiterate, it is poor kidney function that results in gout – many types of foods and other health-related factors can contribute to poor kidney function as much or more than high purine foods.
The biggest offender that promotes gout is processed foods and beverages. The food supply is largely made up of adulterated, modified, synthesized, chemically-infused substances that make it questionable to even call these edible food-like substances “food” anymore.
Fast foods and anything that comes in a box, bag, can, or bottle is suspect. Many healthy foods like liver, organ meats, many types of fishes and seafood, and some vegetables are wrongly accused as the cause of gout.
These foods, when eaten in smaller portions and infrequently, are incredibly valuable for building robust health and strengthening kidney and liver function.
Below is a chart of foods that have the amount of purines per milligrams/per one hundred grams of food source.
In addition to eating low purine foods and following an acid/alkaline diet, staying focused on what nutrients the body needs to survive, goes in a specific order:
- Air/Oxygen – without it we die in 5 minutes
- Water – without it we die in 5 days
- Food – without it we die in 5 weeks
Learning to breathe fully and completely is the first order of business when it comes to a successful gout treatment. Studies have shown that people with Sleep Apnea (20 to 30 second episodes of not breathing during sleep) are at greater risk for gout. This lends testimony to the fact that most gout attacks happen at night or you wake up with them.
When blood oxygen saturation drops too low, the blood becomes acidic. This acidity can be from many different metabolic substances but often with uric acid. Good habits of posture and full breathing are a long term preventative measure for controlling the causes of gout.
If there are imbalances in health or the presence of illness like gout, the most basic way to change the unfavorable condition that exists in the body, is to change that which the body is mostly made of – which is water.
The human body is 75% water. We constantly lose water by breathing, sweating, and excreting. Changing the water continuously is the best way to relieve gout and all other ill-health circumstances.
Simply by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily, (ex: 200lbs / 2 = 100oz of water p/day) of filtered tap water is fundamental. The foremost way to alleviate a gout attack and prevent future gout attacks is to invest in a high-quality water ionizer.
Stress produces acidic chemistry within the body. Those acidic chemicals – cortisol and adrenaline – add miniscule amounts of toxicity to the over-acidic load that the kidneys are struggling to manage. The antidote for stress is greater awareness around your breathing and strong breathing techniques.
Avoid Toxic Environmental Chemicals
The toxicity that compromises kidney and liver health comes from many sources. There are so many synthetic chemicals in our ever day environments; detergents, cosmetics, cleaners, solvents, paints, inks, etc. These toxic and acidic substances enter and become part of the pH of the inner body terrain, and then have to be processed by the kidneys.
This overload comes in through the mouth, nose and all the orifices, as well as into the blood through the skin.
Exercise and Sleep
Finally, in addition to low purine foods and all the other recommendations, proper exercise and sleep are essential to a well-rounded program of gout prevention.
Exercise keeps the flow of all the body systems running properly and serves to keep the blood well oxygenated.
At the cellular level, all the tissues of the body need some downtime to rest, repair, and rejuvenate. This is of paramount importance for the kidneys and liver.
Low purine foods are but one tool in the gout toolbox.