We’ve all heard about the health risks associated with the food additive MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate), but did you know that MSG hides behind 25 or more names? The harmful substance is concealed in everything from a fast food burger to your Tim Horton’s coffee. This week’s blog will provide you with the reasons why MSG may be contributing to your poor health and weight gain and give you a list of ingredients to stay away from!
During his research, John Erb, author of ‘The Slow Poisoning of America’, discovered that in hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies. They make these creatures morbidly obese by injecting them with MSG when they are first born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing rats (and perhaps humans) to become obese. Shocking, isn’t it?
What’s even more shocking is the amount of foods that contain this harmful substance. Take a look through your kitchen pantry and refrigerator. Are any of the following in there?
• Campbell’s soup
• Lays flavored potato chips
• Ramen Noodles
• Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper
• Heinz canned gravy
• Swanson frozen prepared meals
• Kraft salad dressings
Given the poor reputation of the substance, most companies are not likely to contain MSG in their listed ingredients but it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. “Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein”, “Accent”, “Ajinomoto”, “Natural Meat Tenderizer”, and “Natural Flavoring” are all names for Monosodium. So, while the products listed above may not list MSG as an ingredient it’s there, just concealed by another name.
Most of us are aware of MSG presence in Asian take-out food but did you know that it’s also in most other fast foods?
• Burger King
• Taco Bell
• Kentucky Fried Chicken
All of these restaurants have items on their menu containing MSG! What’s worse, most will deny that they do and can get away with is because MSG isn’t a listed ingredient.
So, why is MSG in so many of the foods we eat?
In ‘The Slow Poisoning of America’, Erb states that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body.
MSG manufacturers themselves admit that it addicts people to their products. It makes people choose their product over others, and makes people eat more of it than they would if MSG wasn’t added. Using MSG, in this case, makes sense—well, at least from a corporate standpoint. If consumers become addicted to certain products then obviously, they will be buying more.
The Scary Facts
Since its introduction into the American food supply fifty years ago, MSG has been added in larger and larger doses to the pre-packaged meals, soups, snacks, and fast foods we are tempted to eat every day.
The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food and claim that it is safe to eat in any amount. But how can they claim it’s safe when there are hundreds of scientific studies indicating that there is a link between obesity and MSG? And that’s not all!
Many of the studies mentioned in John Erb’s book link MSG to diabetes, migraines and headaches, autism, ADHD, and even Alzheimer’s.
Clearly, taking the precautions necessary to avoid MSG is important if you want to remain healthy. However, it’s no easy task; especially, for those of you dependent on quick, processed foods. My best advice is to eat as natural and organic as possible. And when that’s not possible, read the ingredient label to ensure that there is little to no MSG in what you are about to consume.