What is MSG?
A friend of my mom’s was telling me that she cannot eat MSG because it causes her horrible side effects. I really didn’t know what MSG was! Being interested in all things concerning food, nutrition and health, I took the opportunity to enlighten myself.
I really was shocked at what I learned!
What is MSG anyway? Is it in our food? Is it bad?
Simply put, Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer and like salt, it makes food taste better. It is an addictive substance that activates the part of your brain that tells you to eat more! This can cause overeating, binging and obesity!
Over the last 50 years since MSG was introduced, it has been added in larger and larger quantities to the prepackaged meals, soups and snacks that are common in today’s diet! No wonder 2/3 of the U.S population is obese!
However, it’s important to note that MSG is only one of the many contributing factors to our nation’s obesity epidemic. But I won’t get into that right now 😉
Huge food companies and fast food restaurants are not concerned about our health. They know about the addictive effect MSG has on the human body, making us want to eat more and buy more. Therefore, MSG can be found in almost all packaged and fast foods!
Because MSG is so bad for you and has been linked to causing cancer, endocrine problems and brain damage, food manufacturers disguise MSG on our food labels. They use many names to identify MSG on the ingredients list.
Names like Natural Flavors/Flavorings, Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Soy Extract and Seasoning almost always are a source of MSG.
What scares me most, is that this generation eats copious amounts of fast food, packaged chips, cookies and candy. My brothers love Doritos, they love fast food burgers! They don’t eat them all the time, but it’s not exactly a rare occurence!
However, Natural Flavors on an ingredient list does not always mean the presence of MSG. For example, I have seen Natural Flavors on the ingredients list on my favorite Luna Bar, but they state on their site that their food does not contain MSG!
Really, the only way to avoid the addictive effects, harmful medical problems and overeating issues linked to MSG is to stop eating these foods! I avoid prepackaged foods anyway (for the most part) but it’s always good to be aware!
Focus on eating whole, real, unprocessed, nonpackaged foods. Our diets should be made up almost entirely of vegetables and healthy proteins like fish, lean meat, eggs, tofu, beans, nuts and legumes.
I hope this was a little insightful!
What are your thoughts on this? Anything else about MSG?