MSG or Monosodium Glutamate is taste booster frequently used in soups, canned veggies, processed meats and even in Chinese food. It has been used for many years, but it is still subject of many debates. According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), MSG is a food ingredient that can be considered safe in general.
However, the FDA has got many complaints in the last few decades about health issues related to foods that include MSG.
Monosodium Glutamate Toxicity
This flavor booster is classified as an excitotoxin due to the fact that it has the ability to stimulate cells excessively and this intensity can be so high that some of them die. There are many people who believe that MSG consumption leads to poor memory, flushing, headaches and certain diseases including fibromyalgia. Studies have shown that MSG can create effects like muscle cramps, burning sensation in the oral cavity, stomach disturbance, hormonal disorders and obesity.
Lab studies involving monosodium glutamate and animals have determined that this flavor booster is actually toxic to the brain and scientists claim that it can lead to migraines in humans because it enlarges blood vessels and affects nerve cells located in the brain in a negative way.
According to a recent article published on Reuters, a new research which involved more than 10.000 individuals in China and lasted for more than five years was focused on measuring MSG intake. It turned out that women and men who consumed the highest amount of MSG (about 5 grams per day) has about 30% more chances to turn overweight after five years.
In addition, monosodium glutamate is one of the factors that contribute to neurological disorders like Parkinson’ disease, encephalitis, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, brain infections and stroke.
Foods That Contain MSG You Wasn’t Aware Of
The fact is that there are too many foods that come with MSG, but there are certain foods with MSG that we usually don’t suspect. Monosodium glutamate is part of many packaged and processed foods.
If you visit the official website of Chick-Fil-A, you will notice that their chicken sandwich comes with spices, sugar, salt, paprika and MSG. in case you want to enjoy their meals without consuming MSG, take the grilled chicken sandwich.
Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup
This noodle soup has the specific taste thanks to MSG. Cream of Mushroom, Vegetable Beef, Chicken Noodle – almost all of their soups come with MSG.
Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing
That’s right; this salad dressing has MSG too. Of course, we should point out that most (prepackaged) salad dressing options today have MSG in them.
Snacks containing MSG
The majority of snacks, including chips, come with MSG as a taste booster. Some of the commonly used chips that have MSG in them are:
- Pringles chips
- Planters peanuts
- Knorr and Unilever dip products.
Are you aware of the fact that one container of peanuts can contain more than just peanuts and salt? As a matter of fact, it usually has 13 ingredients in it and MSG is one of them.
People who love pasta definitely love parmesan cheese too. The prepackaged version of this pasta topping contains wood pulp and MSG and this is clearly shown on this product’s label.
No fat and low fat dairy products usually come with milk solids that have MSG in them.
Are you aware that MSG is part of more than 40 ingredients approved by FDA? The truth is that food manufacturers can use monosodium glutamate as part of other ingredients and in this case they don’t have to add MSG on their products’ labels.
Yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein and glutamic acid are some of the MSG-rich ingredients found in these products. So, in case you want to stay away from MSG, check for these ingredients on your food’s label.
In order to avoid any confusion, we have created a list of most of the ingredients that contain MSG in them. What is even worse is that these products are often found in specialized health food stores.
- Citric acid
- Glutamic acid
- Amino acids (the vast majority of them come with glutamic acid)
- Autolyzed yeast
- Monopotassium glutamate
- Hydrolyzed protein
- Whey protein concentrate.