It is truly mind boggling how MSG is added to so many products on the market. Endless pseudonyms and confusing labels that claim to have ‘no added msg’, yet somehow they still get away with having it in there (because if it is 99% pure msg or less, labelling is not required). For anyone trying to stay away from this cretin breed of food additive, labels must be read and deciphered appropriately. There are over 50 commonly used ingredients listed on labels which all mean the same thing- monosodium glutamate. The flavour enhancer from hell! So many people are experiencing ill health thanks to an overload of this neuro-toxin in 95% of all processed foods, organic or not. I’d like to give you some strategies on how to avoid MSG and give you the down low on what it really is.
Recently I listened to a show on coast to coast featuring Dr. Katherine Reid, a biochemist, who healed her daughters autism by extracting free glutamate and MSG from her diet. Her plight is inspiring and she has helped countless people with varied health problems associated to high levels of free glutamate in the diet. The thing with free glutamate, is that it’s a natural biproduct of protein breakdown. MSG is one (mono) sodium molecule bound to the amino acid, glutamic acid. Even though seemingly, it’s a naturally occurring amino acid, our livers have great difficulty processing and flushing unnatural added MSG which our bodies don’t need, especially when we are indulging with such ferocity. The resulting excess of free glutamate in the blood causes our nerves to fire excessively, aggravating many ailments such as…
- fatty liver
- metabolic syndrome
- neurological problems
- digestive issues
Those who are sensitive to MSG may react manifesting the following symptoms
- Burning sensation
- Facial pressure or tightness
- Chest pain or difficulty breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
So why is MSG a trillion dollar industry? Companies making processed food are in it for profit and monosodium glutamate greatly enhances the taste of even the most bland foods. It’s also used to extend shelf life, a double whammy in the processed food world.
When it comes down to avoiding MSG the best and simplest tactic is to eat whole unprocessed foods,fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, organic and free range meat and eggs. Dr. Reid talks about the importance of staying away from casein (dairy) proteins and gluten (wheat) proteins as a crucial step in lowering her daughters free glutamate levels. Gluten and Casein are processed proteins always containing higher levels of free glutamate than many other whole foods. Those sensitive to MSG or fighting an illness may find it beneficial to subtract dairy and gluten from the diet.
This is a comprehensive list of all MSG containing ingredients commonly used…
Various Ways Free Glutamate (MSG) is Labeled on Foods
Glutamic acid (E 620), Glutamate (E 620) Monosodium glutamate (E 621) Monopotassium glutamate (E 622) Calcium glutamate (E 623) Monoammonium glutamate (E 624) Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
Soy protein, soy protein concentrate Soy protein isolate
Whey protein, whey protein concentrate Whey protein isolate
Carrageenan (E 407)
Bouillon and broth
Any “flavors” or “flavoring” [i.e. natural flavors, raspberry flavor, vanilla flavor, etc..] Maltodextrin
Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
Any protein that is “ultra-pasteurized”
Pectin (E 440)
Anything “enzyme modified”
Anything containing “enzymes”
Milk powder Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
Soy sauce extract
Anything “protein fortified”
Any protein that has been “fermented”
Seasonings / Spices
Modified food starch
Lipolyzed butter fat
I know, that’s a big list! It’s worth looking over a few times since no amount of processed MSG is good for us. Our bodies just weren’t made to process such copious amounts of one amino acid. There are so many amazingly flavourful spices we can use to make our food taste delicious without neuro toxic effects.
Want to learn more about MSG, check these out!
Dr. Katherine Reids TED talk Unblind My Mind: What are we eating?
Dr. Katherine Reids TED talk Your Ecosystem on MSG
Dr. Mercola’s take on MSG