What is MSG and why is it so bad for you?

What is MSG (Monosodium glutamate) and why is it so bad for you? Furthermore, how do you avoid it if it’s in nearly everything we eat? This flavor enhancer is added to many foods, especially to Chinese cuisine.

You probably didn’t know it’s added to many foods you currently eat. It’s actually one of the worst additives you could ever sprinkle on your food. You might want to add more flavor to your vegetables. But, you might want to think twice before you start lavishly sprinkling on the MSG.

I used to eat ramen! I loved it! It was only 33 cents a bag. What could go so wrong? But, the flavoring has MSG in it. And, it must have an awful lot of it. I woke up the next day with numbness in my fingers and feet. Couldn’t figure out why until I itemized everything I ate the night before and did my research. Wow. Sorry, toss your ramen!

I couldn’t believe it! I had one of the common known symptoms some people have who are sensitive to MSG! Apparently, I must have an intolerance to the food additive. At least, the solution was easy: bye-bye my tasty friend monosodium glutamate! Just another example of ‘what tastes good isn’t necessarily good for you’!

MSG is an ‘excitotoxin’, which is what the word implies: it over excites ones body cells. This substance overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death! Do we need a more lethal warning than this! MSG can cause many problems for you, such as…

Reasons why to not use MSG

  • Brain damage
  • Potentially trigger or worsen learning disabilities
  • Damage eyesight
  • Headaches
  • Contribute to obesity
  • Rapid heart beat or heart palpitations
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Fatigue
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Tingling and numbness (like I experienced the morning after in my hands and bottom of my feet! No good!)
  • Burning feeling in the face, neck and other areas of the body
  • Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • May worsen Alzheimer’s disease and others below
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease and more

You will find MSG as an additive to canned vegetables, soups and many processed meats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers this food additive ‘safe’. But, there is debate about it. And, as for me, no more argument, even though the FDA requires that this ingredient be listed on the label. Buyer beware, use this toxin at your own risk! Acts just like poison to me!

If you are like most Americans, you likely eat the majority of your food processed at home or in restaurants. It’s also hidden in salad dressings, crackers and frozen TV dinners! Who knew! You, like me could be sensitive to MSG. It could be a silent but deadly killer! Read your labels and start tossing all the junk out the window!

Remember, if your food is processed assume it has MSG (or one of its other named masked-ingredients I listed below.) Therefore, to avoid MSG altogether, stick to a whole plant-based food diet. This is the easiest way. The only way you can guarantee you’ll avoid this hazardous substance is be your own chef.

MSG in restaurants is another thing to keep a close eye on. Ask your waitress which items on their menu don’t have MSG. Ask that none be added to your food. Do you trust the restaurant?

Again, the only way to be 100% sure of what’s in your meals is to prepare whole food in your kitchen. I don’t know of any other way. Be sure to read the ingredient list carefully on all packaged foods you buy at the store.

Ingredient names are listed below, but it’s not all inclusive. I did though, get most of them. But, keep on the lookout. Beware, because most often if not always they contain MSG! I think this is very sneaky of the manufacturer tricking you into thinking your food is healthy! What is MSG? In my book, not worth the flavor enhancement risk!

Look for these MSG ingredient danger flags…

• Autolyzed yeast
• Calcium caseinate
• Gelatin
• Glutamate or free glutamate – which is formed from the breakdown of protein which when combined with free sodium creates MSG
• Glutamic acid
• Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
• Monopotassium glutamate
• Monosodium glutamate
• Sodium caseinate
• Textured protein or protein isolate
• Yeast extract
• Yeast food
• Yeast nutrient

Avoid using these because they all most likely contain MSG…

• Broth
• Bouillon
• Barley malt
• Carrageenan
• Corn starch
• Citric acid
• Anything that says it has Enzymes
• Flavors or flavorings
• Malt extract
• Modified enzyme
• Maltodextrin
• Malt flavoring
• Many seasonings contain MSG
• Natural flavors or flavorings
• Natural chicken, pork and beef flavoring
• Pectin
• Protease
• Powdered milk
• Protein fortified and/or ultra-pasteurized, cheeses, parmesan cheese
• Soy Sauce (some don’t have MSG)
• Soy protein isolate
• Soy Protein

There is also naturally occurring MSG in foods including tomatoes and tomato juice, mushrooms, potatoes, peas, grapes, grape juice and other fruit juices. I don’t know how sensitive anyone is with it in plant based whole food, but personally, I don’t worry about that. I would avoid fruit juice because it is high glycemic raising blood sugar way too high and too fast.

To conclude, I don’t see how anyone can read everything all the time. It’s overwhelming. Is your head spinning at how prevalent MSG is in almost everything? I think the only real workable answer is in limiting processed and refined foods. And, this is done by adopting a diet of plant based whole food you prepare all by yourself.

Then, you don’t have to worry. Use spices without salt. Or, simply shake on a little salt and pepper. If you have to use sugar, use a little, but don’t overdo it. We have to make our food taste good as best we can, but without sacrificing our health in the process. Best advice, don’t do MSG or monosodium glutamate. No good, not worth the risk to your health or your loved ones.

Note- before you change your diet consult your doctor.