If you’re changing your diet to help lower uric acid levels and reduce your risk of gout attacks, meat choices can have a big impact. Some meats are high in purines. Purines are substances found naturally in the body as well as in in foods. They are broken down in the body to form uric acid. When excess uric acid in the bloodstream builds too quickly or can’t be eliminated fast enough, it is deposited as needle-shaped crystals in the tissues of the body, including joints, causing intense pain. So, a high-purine diet puts you at greater risk for uric acid buildup. And a 2012 study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases showed that the risk worsens as more purines are included in the diet. But what if meats are your favorite food? Here’s what you should know about your options.
A diet that’s best known for promoting heart health may also help gout management. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, may lower serum uric acid (SUA) levels. In a study published in Clinical Rheumatology in March 2017, research findings showed that the diet reduced SUA [compared to the typical American (control) diet] within 30 days, with a sustained effect at 90 days. In an earlier study reported in Arthritis & Rheumatology in August 2016, researchers reported similar finding in some cases.