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What is MSG?

May 29, 2011

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.

there is slightly more wheat flour than MSG in these Doritos

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?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. spoonfulofsugarfree permalink
    May 29, 2011 7:45 pm

    Ugh…MSG is so nasty! I seriously cannot believe people have created this stuff for others. It is horrible.

  2. May 29, 2011 7:50 pm

    MSG is so icky! It’s a terrible thing. It makes me sad that it is so common in today’s food. 😦

  3. May 29, 2011 7:55 pm

    Sick. Absolutely disgusting & sickening that so many companies knowingly use it!!

  4. May 29, 2011 8:02 pm

    MSG is gross. I barely eat prepackaged foods because I get sick when I eat MSG. It has the worst side effects.

  5. May 29, 2011 8:15 pm

    MSG is awful!!! I had no idea how many names it could be called on nutrition labels, though!

  6. May 29, 2011 8:45 pm

    Interesting post! I will definitely be on the lookout for the “secret listings” of MSG.

  7. May 29, 2011 9:16 pm

    MSG scares me. I have to remember to look out for it more often. My mom thinks that MSG may have partly been the cause of her gluten intolerance

  8. May 29, 2011 9:37 pm

    My mom was always kinda paranoid about MSG when I was a little kid, so she raised me to avoid it. I definitely agree that it’s a harmful substance though… I had Doritos once, I think, and they made me so nauseous that I thought I might die.

  9. May 29, 2011 10:01 pm

    I think the FDA needs to turn themselves around seriously. They “try” and knowledge people but that’s people who actually care about their health. I think they need to put a stop to allowing stuff like this into our foods…

  10. May 29, 2011 10:15 pm

    I avoid MSG at all costs.

  11. May 29, 2011 10:34 pm

    Ew ew ew stuff with MSG tastes so nasty. I didn’t know it had so many undercover names though!!! The FDA needs to buckle down, because MSG for sure is not a natural flavor!!!

  12. May 29, 2011 10:42 pm

    I try and avoid everything and anything MSG. I don’t eat 90% of the things its in anymore these days anyways.

  13. May 29, 2011 10:52 pm

    YUCK!!!! MSG is nasty!!! It is so sad that companies put in in everything so people become addicted to it so the companies can squeezet he money out of us. MSG should be avoided like the plague!

  14. May 29, 2011 11:01 pm

    I HATE that companies get away with this while the news and whatnot drone on and on about peoples’ health problems. These corporations are one of the biggest causes of it, because they churn out cheap frankenfood and make it more affordable than lots of healthy foods.
    I hardly eat prepackaged anymore unless it’s organic. I like making my own food, and I wish more people would realize that it really doesn’t take that long. Make a giant pot of soup and you’re set for a couple of days, and there’s always overnight oats and sandwiches and whatnot.

  15. May 29, 2011 11:19 pm

    Yuck! I really wish the FDA would cut the crap and have food companies be required to clearly label when MSG is in foods.

  16. May 29, 2011 11:32 pm

    My friend’s really allerigc to MSG and not to sound racist or anything (’cause we’re cool like that) but he’s Asian and natrually, Asian restaurants usually have a ton of MSG in their food so there are only a few places we can go to eat when we’re all hanging out. Hey, at least his allergy helps keeps us away from it too!

  17. May 30, 2011 12:31 am

    That’s so interesting! I don’t really know much about about MSG but that’s kind of scary! I will definitely have to watch out. I don’t eat a LOT of packaged food or fast food, but it’s scary to think I could be eating it and not realizing it…

  18. May 30, 2011 7:45 am

    EW! this is horribl!!! i had no idea they ere sneaking it into packaged foods! tbh i only thought it was chinese food ahah cuz thats what so many ppl had told me aboutit! thanks for this awesome post!

  19. May 30, 2011 9:07 am

    Very interesting! I didn’t know much about MSG, but I did know that it’s not supposed to be good for you. I had no clue that it was in so many packaged foods. Scary!

  20. May 30, 2011 10:47 am

    Great post! I didn’t really know what MSG was before reading this! It’s crazy how companies sneak it in packaged foods! And I didn’t kow it had so many different names – I’ll definitely be looking out for this on food labels now!


  21. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! permalink
    May 30, 2011 12:20 pm

    I am horribly allergic to MSG too! In china they use it to flavor their food like salt and I had horrible stomach issues while I was there. Its awful that so many food companies include it in their foods!

  22. May 30, 2011 6:58 pm

    I am def not an MSG fan..I prefer “bland” tastes as it is, so I don’t need crazy flavors to jazz up my food. MSG with all the other additives like hydrogenated oils and words I can’t pronounce are not something I like to incorporate into my diet!

  23. littlehealthjunkie permalink
    May 30, 2011 9:41 pm

    I’ve heard so many bad things about MSG too! My one friend’s mom has an allergic reaction to it so she can never have chinese food out at a restaurant….their food is FULL of it!! and unfortunately, so is thai food, a lot of it anyway, but I love it to much to mind;)

  24. May 31, 2011 4:24 pm

    Ugh yes MSG is vile, they use tons of the stuff in chinese restaurants and chinese take aways as well, its just so..yak!

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