MSG: The Hidden Ingredient to Avoid

I teach my clients that all foods are acceptable in moderation.
 
If certain foods or macronutrients (carbs, proteins & fats) are on the “no, no” list it makes us want them so much more – right?
 
There’s always room to include unhealthy foods in your meal plan. With that, you do want to watch for hidden ingredients that may be wrecking havoc on your body in the long run.
 
The ingredient I’m talking about today…
 

Monosodium Glutamate! Otherwise known as MSG.

Ever wonder why you keep craving certain foods even if you’re not physically hungry? You may be able to trace it back to MSG.

 

What is MSG?

MSG is a food additive that enhances the flavor of foodprimarily processed foods – that makes us want it more.
 
That savory, meaty, salty taste in your mouth that MSG leaves behind…
 
That was originally founded in glutamate-rich foods like Asian seaweed broth.
 
However, after the commercialized production of MSG, it went from being extracted from seaweed broth to being produced by the fermentation of starch, sugar beets, sugar cane and molasses.
 

The FDA says MSG is “generally recognized as safe” while other studies show that this food stimulant can trigger adverse reactions in those with sensitivities

 

Adverse Reactions to MSG

Reactions that have been reported after consuming MSG include but are not limited to…
  • headaches
  • flushing
  • sweating
  • facial pressure and tightness
  • numbness
  • rapid heartbeat

According to one study, MSG can have toxic effects on the body, as well as disrupt energy balance.

 
It’s “addictive” effect can stimulate one’s appetite and contribute to weight gain overtime.
 
Wonder what foods contain MSG? Keep reading…
 

Foods Containing MSG

MSG can be found in so many foods including…
  • Chinese food
  • Canned/Jarred soups and veggies
  • Meats – especially processed meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Frozen meals
  • Crackers and other processed foods
MSG can also naturally be found in some foods like tomatoes and cheeses.

The Many Names of MSG

MSG can be a hard ingredient to recognize on a food label if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
 
This additive can be disguised on food labels because it goes by several different names including…
  • hydrolyzed protein
  • hydrolyzed corn and soy protein
  • autolyzed yeast
  • monosodium salt
  • monohydrate
  • monosodium glutamate monohydrate
  • hydrolyzed yeast
  • yeast extract
  • soy extracts
  • protein isolate
  • carageenan
  • citric acid
  • pectin
  • textured vegetable protein
  • L-Glutamic acid

There were definitely some products in my kitchen that had these hidden names…

Check Your Pantry for MSG

I have to admit that while I keep very few processed foods in my house, I am surprised to see “healthier” foods with MSG.
 
Foods in my pantry that I found to have MSG are…
  • Soy sauce
  • Jarred Roasted Red Bell Pepper Strips
  • Wild Blueberry Jam
  • Non-Dairy Yogurts
I’m challenging you to take a look at your own food pantry and refrigerator!
 
What foods are you surprised to see with MSG? Let me know in the comments.
 
 
 

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/questions-and-answers-monosodium-glutamate-msg

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/monosodium-glutamate/faq-20058196#:~:text=Monosodium%20glutamate%20(MSG)%20is%20a,but%20its%20use%20remains%20controversial.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938543/

https://www.businessinsider.com/msg-goes-by-many-different-names-2016-1#:~:text=MSG%20can%20go%20by%20these,%2C%20monosodium%20salt%2C%20and%20monohydrate.

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