MSG stands for monosodium glutomate and is a salt naturally found in foods such as tomatoes and cheese. The food industry uses a chemically manufactured version as a flavour enhancer (umami) for savoury foods and it can be found in commercial sauces, soups, gravies, savoury snacks such as crisps and of course, Asian-style restaurant and fast foods. It was originally identified in the late 1800s and has been available commercially since the early 1900s. It was originally made by adding an acid to wheat gluten but is currently made using a bacterial fermentation process.
Is MSG Safe?
Although the US Food and Drug Administration have rated MSG as “generally recognized as safe”, many people believe that consuming MSG in large quantities can cause adverse side effects including but not limited to headaches, nausea, dizziness, excessive sweating, numbness, thirst, etc. Of course, the internet will give you lots of evidence to prove both sides of the debate, so whether or not to consume MSG is a decision everyone has to make for themselves.
However, it is interesting to note that some countries, such as Australia, Canada and parts of Europe, have chosen to ban MSG altogether.
I believe that one should always consider avoiding over-indulgence of any factory manufactured chemical. If y
ou react badly to MSG, it would be in your best health interests to avoid it altogether where possible.
How To Avoid MSG
If you wish to avoid it, MSG also goes by other names on food labels. Some names to look out for are:
- Monosodium Glutomate
- Autolyzed Yeast
- Monopotassium Glutamate
- Textured Protein
- Yeast Nutrient
- Glutamic Acid
- Yeast Extract
- Hydrolyzed Protein
- Yeast Food
If you react to MSG we would love to hear how it affects you. Please leave a comment below.