Combining the FODMAP diet and cinnamon/benzoate free diet

If you have both OFG/oral crohns or are otherwise benzoate/cinnamate intolerant, and at the same time suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), then you may be faced with the decision about whether or not to attempt to combine these two very restrictive diets.

The diet I am most familiar with is the cinnamon and benzoate free diet, sometimes called cinnamate/benzoate free, benzoate free or C&B free. Most of the rest of this site is devoted to this diet only.

The FODMAP diet, which works for some, but not all, IBS sufferers involves reducing the intake of certain carboyhydrates. These are Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. (Thats where the initials FODMAP come from). Interestingly, most FODMAPs are poorly absorbed in everyone, but its only when they are suspected of worsening IBS that they need to be restricted.  Certain other chemicals in foods, for example caffeine, are also restricted as they too can trigger IBS.

Both diets work fine, and have sufficient choice to make for interesting meals, when used by themselves.  But when a combination is attempted, food can rapidly become a stressful battleground where, it sometimes feels, that 99% of available foodstuffs are off the menu.

I’d like to reassure anyone facing this diet combination that this is not the case.  There are plenty of foods that can still be eaten. Some are easier to incorporate than others depending on what you are used to eating already.  And some lend themselves to new meal ideas or new combinations of foods that perhaps wouldn’t otherwise have been considered. However, no one should ever attempt to combine these diets without medical advice as the result can be very restrictive if you are not careful.

What follows is a list of the foods that are permitted if you are combining these two diets.  There ARE LOTS OF OTHER FOODS which are allowed on either diet.  The reason why this list is significantly shorter than other ‘permitted’ lists is that it combines both the FODMAP diet AND the Benzoate/cinnamate free diet.

Please note that I have included some foods that may be reactors for a few people or which need to be eaten in small quantities only, but which can be eaten at least in some quantity by the majority of people.  In particular, I have NOT taken citric acid intolerance or histamine intolerance into account at all.

If any reader has both significant benzoate/cinnamon intolerance and severe IBS symptoms controlled by the FODMAP diet, yet is able to eat something else not on this list, please tell me as soon as possible so that I can update it and expand the suitable foods advice.

Starches
Rice/rice bran
Potato
Oats/oat bran
Buckwheat
Polenta
Tapioca
Cornflour/maize flour/maize meal
Yam
Sorghum flour
Spelt (in sourdough bread only)

Vegetables
Alfalfa
Aubergine
Bamboo shoot
Beansprouts
Cabbage
Carrot
Cassava
Chard
Courgette
Cucumber
Endive
Green beans
Lettuce
Olives
Pak Choi
Parsnip
Sweet pepper
Plantain
Potato
Radish
Green part of spring onions
Swede
Turnip
Water chestnuts
Yam
Broccoli
Beetroot
Brussels sprouts
Butternut squash
Celery
Peas
Sweetcorn
Sweet potato

Fruits
Banana
Clementines/mandarins/navel oranges
Honeydew melon
Lemon
Lime
Pineapple
Rhubarb
Pomegranate
Green grapes
Kiwi fruit

Nuts and seeds
Coconut
Macadamia
Peanut
Pecans
Pine nuts
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
Poppy seeds

Baking/cooking ingredients & sugars
Baking powder (gluten-free)
Bicarbonate of soda
Cream of tartar
Salt
Glucose/glucose syrup
Sucrose
Sugar
Dextrose
Golden syrup
Maple syrup
Treacle
Jam made with safe fruits
Marmalade made with safe fruits

Herbs, spices and similar
Chilli
Chives
Ginger
Fennel
Basil
Coriander
Fenugreek
Garlic infused oil (not whole garlic)
Parsley
Pepper
Rosemary
Thyme
Turmeric
Vinegar
Mint
Oregano/marjoram
Cumin
Paprika
Cayenne

Dairy and alternatives
Lacto-free/lactose free milk
Rice milk
Oat milk
Coconut milk
Coconut-based yoghurt
Coconut-based ice cream
Lactofree/lactose free plain yoghurt
Cheddar cheese (full fat)
Feta cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Butter
Dairy-free sunflower based butter alternative spread
Sour cream
Crème fraiche
Eggs

Meat and fish
Beef
Chicken
Duck
Lamb
Pork
Bacon
Ham
Turkey
White fish (except cod)
Oily fish
Tinned fish in brine or oil

Fats
Certain cheeses (see dairy section)
Butter
Dairy-free sunflower based butter alternative spread
Olive oil
Sunflower oil
Vegetable oil
Ghee
Lard
Suet

Drinks

Peppermint tea
Decaffeinated coffee
Lactose or dairy free milks (see dairy section)
Safe fruit juices (see fruit section)

 

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