It's a mouthful all right: monosodium glutamate.MSG is found in nearly all processed foods. That means your soup, sauces, chips, crackers, sausages, salad dressing, frozen dinners and countless other items lining your pantry and refrigerator shelves, likely all contain it.
MSG is a flavor enhancer. Simply stated, it makes food taste better. But since the introduction of MSG in the American diet, many people (likely still unaware of the cause) have a physical reaction to consuming foods that contain this additive.
While the FDA states that these are short term reactions and defines it as "MSG Symptom Complex", the symptoms are disturbing and range from burning sensations of the mouth, head and neck, to weakness in arms or legs, chest pain, headache, upset stomach and hives.
But it gets worse. New studies link MSG to obesity, eye damage and depression.
So how can you protect yourself and your family against the side effects of MSG?
1. Become an informed consumer.
MSG hides behind many names on nutrition labels. Choose products from companies that do not use MSG. But be aware that it can be deceiving.
These ingredients ALWAYS contain MSG:
|Autolyzed Yeast||Calcium Caseinate||Gelatin|
|Glutamate||Glutamic Acid||Hydrolyzed Protein|
|Monopotassium Glutamate||Yeast Extract||Sodium Caseinate|
|Textured Protein||Monosodium Glutamate||Yeast Food|
These ingredients often contain MSG:
|Flavors and Flavorings||Seasonings||Natural Flavors and Flavorings||Pectin||Bouillon|
|Natural Chicken Flavoring||Soy Sauce||Soy Protein Isolate||Soy Protein||Natural Beef Flavoring|
|Stock||Broth||Malt Extract||Malt Flavoring||Barley Malt|
|Anything Enzyme Modified||Carrageenan||Maltodextrin||Natural Pork Flavoring||Enzymes|
|Protease||Corn Starch||Citric Acid||Powdered Milk||Anything Protein Fortified|