Though many people, especially meat eaters, may have to avoid some of their favorite foods and adjust their diet, understanding which foods are a no-go opens up opportunities to foods you may've never considered. The following list are just a sample of available options to replace foods high in purines. For more foods, see our more comprehensive list.
The list of foods to avoid includes a lot of protein from both meat and grain sources, and so knowing which proteins and starchy foods you can have will help build ideas on what to prepare.
- Fermented soy/tofu
- Yogurt (unsweetened)
- Nuts and Seeds (but not poppy or sunflower seed)
- Nut butter (peanuts are a legume, not an actual nut, and may increase uric acid in the body)
- Quinoa (this is a seed, not a grain)
- Broccoli, spinach, and other deep greens have moderate amounts of protein, but are also packed with amino acids that many who avoid meat tend to become deficient in. Be wary though, as foods like peas should be avoided.
- Certain meats are okay in moderation, like chicken or catfish. What meats your body responds to may take some trial and error, but also eat smaller portions.
- Protein powders are available. Whey, a byproduct of dairy, is an excellent source that can be baked with, mixed into soups or other substances, or made into a pudding for a quick snack.
If you are allergic or sensitive to dairy, goat's milk-derived protein and egg white protein are other options. Vegetable-based proteins are more difficult. Avoid pea and rice protein. Concentrated soy protein does not assimilate in the body as well as whey. Hemp protein is another option, but is debated in assimilation. It does have a good amino acid profile, however bodybuilders would benefit better from whey or another animal-derived protein source.
Starchy vegetables stick to the bones just as protein, and can be used in meals for nutrition and to feel full even in the absence of meat or grains. People with extreme cases of gout should avoid starchy vegetables, as they still contain low amounts of purines. If you have high blood-sugar levels or are trying to lose weight, consume starchy vegetables in moderation.
- Sweet potatoes (Yams)
- Squash (including pumpkin and zucchini)
Dairy products may help lower uric acid in the body. Herbs and spices can be added to dishes.
For more recipes and ideas, download our free recipe cookbook.
From quick to adventurous, how you experiment with meals is up to you. Here are a few recipe ideas for nutritional diversity.
Outside the House Salad or Wrap
Many people cringe at the mention of salad, however with dressing fit for reducing uric acid and some hearty ingredients, this sweet and savory salad is nothing to scoff at. Be sure to chew your food slowly to better bring out the complex flavors.
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 2c Spinach
- 1 Avocado, slicked into chunks
- 1/4c Hazelnuts, chopped
- 3/4c Sweet corn
- 1/2c Strawberries or Dates, chopped
Optional: 1/4c chicken or salmon chunks, or 1/4c millet cooked and cooled to room temperature
Cook Spaghetti Squash by halving squash and heating on 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Use fork to scoop out squash into long strips that look like spaghetti.
Optional: Spinach can be steamed or eaten raw. If steaming, bring 2c water to boil, reduce to simmer, and use steamer. Let the spinach begin to wilt: don't cook for too long.
Mix together salad ingredients
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tsp dried or fresh juiced turmeric
- 1 tsp powdered or fresh juiced ginger
- Pepper, to taste
Mix together ingredients for dressing and pour over salad, mixing everything together thoroughly.
If the idea of salads is still repulsive, turn them into wraps by finely chopping ingredients, mixing together, and scooping into cabbage leaves
Kick Up and Go Smoothie
- 8-16oz water, depending on desired consistency, or combination of water and ice
- 1 Scoop Whey Protein: the flavor is up to you
- 1 Fresh Squeezed Orange
- 1 Mango, skin removed
- 1/4c Strawberries
- 2 tbsp fresh, chopped or ripped basil, mint, rosemary, or other green herb.
- 1c Kale, spinach, or other green. Feel free to mix and match. This will subdue the sweetness of the smoothie, but also provide that boost of needed morning energy. If greens are off-putting, replace with celery or cucumber.
- Optional: 2 tsp cinnamon
Add ingredients into blender. Start on low or pulsing, and increase to highest power for 10-30 seconds before decreasing to lowest setting for another 20 seconds. Enjoy over ice. Don't refrigerate for more than two hours, otherwise the substance will thicken.
Protein Packed Lavender Vanilla Pudding
Homemade pudding is simple, healthier, and more versatile. Adding in herbs such as lavender, or even basil or rosemary, gives pudding a certain maturity and richness that goes beyond store bought mixes or late night guilt.
To start, make the pudding mixture:
- 1 cups whole milk or milk substitute (such as coconut or almond milk)
- 1-4tsp lavender flowers (depending on strength desired. Lavender is potent even in its dried form)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
Heat ingredients over medium-low flame, stirring gently for 2-3 minutes until milk is well heated. When melted, cover lid and turn off heat for 3-7 minutes. Remove lavender flowers.
In a bowl, combine:
- 3-4 tbsp sugar, brown sugar, or appropriate sugar substitute
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
While mixing, add in 1-2tsbp water to create a paste. Add into milk mixture, whisking. and increase heat to medium. Mix with a wooden spoon until substance thickens and starts to bubble, around 4-6 minutes.
Remove from heat and add in:
- 2 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 if using flavored whey protein
- 1-2 scoops whey protein, flavor is your choice
- Optional: 1 tsp almond or orange extract for more complexity
Transfer mixture to bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Add blueberries, strawberries, carrot shreds, or chunks of other produce before consuming for added nutrition.