MSG stands for monosodium glutamate.
What is MSG any way? Monosodium glutamate is used as a flavor enhancer in almost all processed foods and restaurant foods. It works in two ways- obviously the first being as a flavor enhancer but the second by being potentially damaging your brain and body. MSG is considered an excitotoxin. Its a type of chemical transmitter that warrants the brain cells to communicate. This is dangerous because excitotoxins can literally excite your brain cells to an early death. Besides wrecking havoc with your brain, MSG has been the criminal in headaches, fatigue, disorientation, depression, diarrhea, and eye damage. YIKES! Even if you are not physically sensitive to MSG exposure, you are still being effected!
By the FDA’s definition, all MSG is “naturally occurring.” “Natural” does not mean “safe.” “Natural” only means the ingredient started out in nature.
As I had mentioned above, MSG is found in almost ALL processed foods. That is your goldfish, your breakfast cereal, bread, Hamburger Helper, Wheat Thins, sweeteners, gum, frozen dinners, frozen chicken nuggets, pasta sauce, your beloved cookies… every thing! The scary part about MSG is that it can be hidden,disguised by a different name. There are over 40 different names in which MSG can be hidden. In other words, if you pick up an item at the grocery store and it says “Natural” be cautious because MSG may be hidden in there somewhere.
The question is, what are the names in which MSG is hidden in and how can I avoid it? By reading the label of every single item you pick up, you can help eliminate your exposure to MSG.
These ALWAYS contain MSG
Hydrolyzed protein (any protein that is hydrolyzed)
Hydrolyzed corn gluten
Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium)
These OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing
Natural pork flavoring
Bouillon and Broth
Natural chicken flavoring
Soy protein isolate
Natural beef flavoring
Soy sauce extract
Whey protein concentrate
Soy protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Anything protein fortified
Flavors(s) & Flavoring(s)
Anything enzyme modified
Seasonings (the word “seasonings”)
When I pick up something at the store and it says “natural flavors” or “spices” I automatically put it down and move towards the next thing. If something has a natural flavor it shouldn’t have to be labeled, natural flavor.. don’t you think?
Not only is MSG in your food but it can also be found in some shampoos, soaps, hair conditioners, and cosmetics. It can be hidden in the ingredients with names that include the words “hydrolyzed,” “amino acids,” and/or “protein.”
MSG can also be found in low-fat or non-fat items. I used to eat a lot of non-fat/low-fat items but as I changed course in my eating habits, I found that the right fat is essential. Not only that, non-fat/low-fat items actually MAKE you fat!
Binders and fillers for medications, nutrients, and supplements, both prescription and non-prescription, enteral feeding materials, and some fluids administered intravenously in hospitals, may contain MSG.
According to the manufacturer, Varivax–Merck chicken pox vaccine (Varicella Virus Live), contains L-monosodium glutamate and hydrolyzed gelatin both of which contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG) which causes brain lesions in young laboratory animals, and causes endocrine disturbances like OBESITY and REPRODUCTIVE disorders later in life. It would appear that most, if not all, live virus vaccines contain MSG.
MSG is virtually every where but fortunately it is not in our whole, fresh foods. This is one more reason why we need to do our best in reading the labels and spend time in the kitchen making nourishing foods.
Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul