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Ever wonder if the food additives in your meals are bad? Studies show avoiding MSG is critical for attaining good health.
There are many drugs and substances out there that we are aware are bad for us. We know excess alcohol consumption destroys our liver. We know that nicotine is addicting and constant smoking will destroy your lungs. But, did you know there is a food additive that is worse for you? It is worse than these aforementioned drugs and substances. The food additive? MSG. Learn why avoiding MSG is critical to your good health.
What exactly is MSG?
MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate, is a food additive that is found in canned soups, crackers, meats, salad dressings, and frozen dinners. This additive can even be found in baby food and formula! What is the purpose of MSG? MSG does more than just add flavor to a food product. It preserves freshness. It enhances the overall effect of the food. It makes the food smell better and seem less disgusting than it already is. Obviously MSG is benefiting food processing companies. But, is it benefiting the consumer equally as well?
MSG can be considered an excitotoxin. This is because of its effects on cells. When your cells come in contact with MSGs glutamic acid component it can damage or kill cells. Glutamic acid is used by the body for a plethora of processes. However, MSG excites these processes far further than the body can handle. It can lead to brain complications. It can worsen diseases like Lou Gehrig’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Regular consumption of MSG products can also lead to other complications. These include: obesity, eye damage, headaches, fatigue, and depression. The FDA even acknowledges a syndrome for people who negatively react to MSG. This reaction is called MSG Symptom Complex. However, the FDA classifies the following as “short-term reactions”.
- Burning sensation
- Facial pressure or tightness
- Chest pain or difficulty breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
It can be noted that not everyone reacts poorly to MSG. It is estimated that roughly 40% of Americans are intolerant to MSG food products.
Avoiding MSG and It’s Potential Health Effects
How can we be avoiding MSG from our diets? The answer is not as easy as cutting sugar. You can try to look at food labels under the ingredient section. Look out for “monosodium glutamate”. The FDA requires that food manufactures list this as an ingredient. However, the FDA does not require companies to list ingredients that contain free glutamic acid. This free glutamic acid is the main component of MSG. Below is a table of ingredients that always contain MSG. If you see any of these, avoid the food product.
|Autolyzed Yeast||Calcium Caseinate||Gelatin|
|Glutamate||Glutamic Acid||Hydrolyzed Protein|
|Monopotassium Glutamate||Monosodium Glutamate||Sodium Caseinate|
|Textured Protein||Yeast Extract||Yeast Food|
Below is a table containing ingredients that often contain MSG during their processing.
|Flavors and Flavorings||Seasonings||Natural Flavors and Flavorings||Natural Pork Flavoring||Natural Beef Flavoring|
|Natural Chicken Flavoring||Soy Sauce||Soy Protein Isolate||Soy Protein||Bouillon|
|Stock||Broth||Malt Extract||Malt Flavoring||Barley Malt|
|Anything Enzyme Modified||Carrageenan||Maltodextrin||Pectin||Enzymes|
|Protease||Corn Starch||Citric Acid||Powdered Milk||Anything Protein Fortified|
Keep an eye out for these ingredients at the store. Still do not trust food manufactures? Avoid eating processed foods. Ensure your diet consists of whole, fresh foods. These types of foods will not contain MSG.
Hopefully you are now aware of the harm MSG has. It is important that we are avoiding MSG from our diets as much as possible. You may not be sensitive to MSG. Even if you are not MSG sensitive it still can cause adverse effects to your health. Avoid processed foods as much as possible to ensure the well-being of your health.