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Question
Posted by: Ang | 2009/05/15

Sodium Benzoate Allergy

My son, 2.5 years old, was diagnosed with an allergy to sodium benzoate in February via blood tests. I’ ve just read that sodium benzoate is found naturally in cranberries, prunes, plums, cinnamon, ripe cloves and apples . . . should I avoid these foods as well ?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Ang
Although sodium benzoate does occur naturally in cranberries, prunes, plums, cinnamon, cloves and apples, I would first only cut out all processed foods that list sodium benzoate on their labels. See how your son reacts to a diet that is free of commercially added sodium benzoate. If you find that he is still manifesting symptoms then you can also cut out the listed foods, starting with the spices because they may well contain more concentrated amounts than the fruits. It is difficult to keep children on a diet free of added sodium benzoate, without complicating things with having to cut out whole unprocessed foods like apples. But if your son's allergy severe, then you may well have to be ultra strict. Contact the Allergy Association by visiting their Website at: www.allallergy.net to find out more about this allergy and foods that contain sodium benzoate.
If you find that you are struggling to give your son a healthy, balanced diet with these restrictions, then please contact a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), who will assist you in planning a diet that avoids the offending foods, but still promotes normal growth.
Best regards
DietDoc

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