A benzoate & cinnamate (cinnamon) free diet is often recommended as a way of controlling a rare condition called Orofacial Granulomatosis, or OFG for short. This condition can also be called oral Crohn’s – indeed, it is a form of Crohn’s disease, however unlike most Crohn’s sufferers, whose symptoms affect a large portion of their gut, OFG symptoms are found on the face, lips, mouth and occasionally the throat. Sometimes OFG and gut-Crohn’s go hand in hand, and many people have both.
Either way, the standard treatment is to follow a strict diet, eliminating several dozen common foodstuffs which are natural sources of cinnamates or benzoates, or which have added artificial benzoate preservatives in them. This diet can be complex and although you can have a well balanced food intake it is not really something to follow along with any other elimination diets unless you have been advised to do so by a medical professional.
This page is devoted to the creation and sharing of recipes and food ideas for people who follow this diet. The same recipes and ideas can also be found on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BenzoateIntoleranceSupport.
All that remains is for me to remind readers that I am NOT an expert, nor am I a dietician, nor am I a chef, nor am I a medic of any sort. I am simply a sufferer who can hold his own in the kitchen. Any suggestions I give are purely from the point of view of a sufferer and enthusiastic home cook. They are NOT medical advice, nor are they scientific advice.
I can, and do regularly, get things wrong. I make mistakes. Sometimes I try a new food thinking it will be safe and my OFG reacts so badly I look like I’m doing a bad Mick Jagger impression. So, if you try something from my website and it makes you react, please tell me. If you see an ingredient in a recipe that you normally avoid, don’t use that recipe.
This site is for everyone who uses it and I hope that everyone will contribute in turn and help to improve the information, the meals and the range of food ideas.
UPDATE: MARCH 2017
I have just watched Dr Giles Yeo’s Horizon documentary on the fad of clean eating and with the dangers he raised in mind, I want to explain a couple of things for my readers and followers.
A benzoate and cinnamon/cinnamate free diet is not something a healthy person can just follow in order to feel better. It is a recognised treatment, medically prescribed, to help sufferers of a medically diagnosed condition.
People should not follow this diet simply “on a whim” or “to feel more healthy”. It won’t work like that, and that is not what it is for. If you have any type of oral crohns or related conditions or a diagnosed allergy to these chemicals, it can often (but won’t always) help. If you have none of these, this diet won’t make you miraculously healthier. If you think you need to be on this diet, I strongly advocate you get medical advice from a dietitian, a dentist or oral medicine specialist, an allergy specialist or a gastroenterologist first.