Day 30: MSG
What is MSG?
MSG is a popular flavor enhancer, originally used as an addition to Asian food, but these days found in thousands of foods we consume on a daily basis. MSG is an excitotoxin (or neurotoxin), meaning that it overexcites your cells which can cause damage, or even cell death.
MSG was first identified as a natural flavor enhancer in seaweed. Later they made a man-made version of it that hit the food market. It consists out of almost 80% free glutamic acid and 20% sodium.
The weird thing is, although it is used as a flavor enhancer, MSG has very little taste. What it actually does is tricking your taste buds and brain in believing you are eating food with more protein and savory taste than it actually has. So glutamic acid works as a nerve stimulant to make the most disgusting food taste great.
MSG also prevents food from tasting old or stale even after it has expired or sat out too long. It is cheap and there is no shortage in production. Rather than adding expensive herbs or seasoning, MSG and MSG-related products can “enhance” flavor at a fraction of the cost. It helps to improve the sale of food that has sat out too long or food that has no flavor to begin with. To big food companies…MSG=Money!
Health Risks Of MSG Include
Nerve cell and brain damage
Weight gain and obesity
Promotes liver inflammation and dysplasia
Numbness, tingling or burning sensations
Chest pain and breathing issues
Diseases and disorders associated with MSG
All neurological disorders including – Multiple Sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or Stroke.
Cancer – stomach, brain, kidney, or liver.
Brain and eye disorder – retina degeneration, Huntington’s chorea, dementia, or Alzheimer’s.
Tips To Keep MSG Out Of Your Diet
Eliminate all processed food as much as possible. Stick to a fresh, whole food diet to avoid this danger toxin. Read all labels on packaged food or avoid them all together. Opting for fresh, whole foods will give you enough flavor without the need of tricking your brain into believing you are eating something delicious and will improve your overall health! Skip the processed junk and EAT REAL FOOD!
Watch out when eating out. You could ask the waiter for MSG-free products or not to add MSG to your meal. But you’re only 100% sure to eat a MSG-free meal in your own kitchen.
Unlike the food companies, most restaurants and chefs have no idea that MSG is in the products they use. Most of their foods come in big crates, depending on the restaurant or chain, and there are no ingredients listed. Sauces tend to be some of the worst sources of MSG. White and cream sauces on average will have more MSG than oil based ones. This is really what they are selling – Taste. This is why we go to one restaurant over another. When a restaurant claims to be MSG free, what they are really saying is “We didn’t put it in there ourselves”. This absolutely goes for all fast food chains, but many other types as well, not just Chinese, major chain, or cheaper restaurants. A gourmet steak that will cost you $40 can have just as much MSG in it and on it based upon the seasonings and sauces used, as a $2 hamburger.
Watch out for sneaky hidden names of MSG. The FDA requires monosodium glutamate to be listed on the label, but the food industry doesn’t have to label products that contain free glutamic acid, which is MSG’s main component.
Children are not little versions of adults. Children’s bodies and minds are not fully developed and are extremely sensitive to toxins. Since the FDA has not determined a safe level of MSG for adults, the consumption of MSG by infants and children then, can be much more dangerous.
Here’s a list of ingredients that always contain MSG
There are over 40 hidden names for MSG on food labels. FORTY?!? Yes. 40! 4-0.
So, foods labeled NO-MSG or MSG-Free may not have actual MSG added to it, but if they contain any of these ingredients, there is STILL MSG IN THE FOOD!
Here’s a list of ingredients that often contain MSG or create MSG during processing
Flavor, flavorings, seasonings or all phrases containing one of these words
Anything enzyme modified
Soy Protein or soy protein isolate
Anything protein fortified