Nuts can be a convenient and healthy snack option for those on the go, a rich source of protein and heart healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. Naturally low in carbohydrates, nuts can be an alternative snack option for those with diabetes. They are also considered low in purines and can help to reduce overall uric acid accumulation. Low uric acid levels are associated with a decreased risk for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and gout.
Purines are naturally occurring substances that are found both in our bodies and in the foods we eat. Nearly every cell in the body contains purines. When cells break down, the purines within are broken down as well. Uric acid is a byproduct of purine breakdown. While uric acid is normally filtered out of the body by the kidneys, occasionally it can build up and form crystals, which can accumulate in joints throughout the body and cause swelling and pain otherwise known as gout.
Low Purine Diet
A low purine diet is often recommended for those who are at risk for or have a history of gout. On a low purine diet, foods to avoid include organ meats, anchovies, fish, shellfish, game meats, broth, gravies, yeast and products made with yeast, including beer. These foods all contain well over 150 mg of purines per serving. Foods that contain low amounts of purines, which are safe to eat daily, include eggs, nuts, low-fat dairy products, fruits, bread, pasta, rice, coffee, tea, sugar and oils. Low purine foods contain less than 50 mg of purines per serving.
Purines in Nuts
Nuts are naturally low in purines and can be eaten daily by those on a low purine diet. With the exception of peanuts, most nuts contain less than 40 mg of purines per cup; peanuts contain about 79. Brazil nuts contain only 23 mg purines per cup, followed closely by walnuts, which contain only 25. Almonds and hazelnuts both contain about 37 mg purines per cup.
Other Nutrition Facts
While nuts are relatively low in purines, they are somewhat high in calories and fat and should be consumed in moderation. Depending on the type, nuts contains roughly 750 to 900 calories and 70 to 90 g fat per cup. This includes peanuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and almonds. Consuming just one cup of nuts each day meets over one third of your daily calorie needs, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.