A PSA About MSG

Today, an interesting article came up on my FB feed. Many of you probably saw it too.

First, let me tell you how MSG works. MSG acts as a nerve stimulant that changes the behavior of your taste buds. Known as a flavor enhancer, it has the power to make something nasty taste amazing!

Before, I used to have a lot of respect for restaurants who had “No MSG” signs on their windows. “No MSG” told me that I wouldn’t be tricked into thinking their food is good. Little did I know at the time that MSG (monosodium glutamate) has over 40+ hidden names..!

Ingredients that always contain MSG:

  • Glutamic acid
  • Glutamate
    • Also includes monopotassium glutamate, calcium ” , monoammonium ” , magnesium ” , natrium “
  • Anything “hydrolyzed”
    • Ex: hydrolyzed protein
  • Anything “protein”
    • Ex: textured protein, whey protein concentrate, soy protein isolate
    • Also includes anything “protein fortified”
  • Anything “enzyme”
    • Also includes anything “enzyme modified”
  • Anything “fermented”
  • Anything “protease”
  • Yeast extract/food/nutrient
  • Soy sauce/soy sauce extract **aka MSG’s basically impossible to avoid if you like Asian food..!

Ingredients that often contain MSG:

  • Stock
  • Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
    • Ex: artificial flavor, natural flavor
  • Anything “ultra-pasteurized”
  • Most things “low/no fat”
  • Anything “enriched”
  • Anything “vitamin enriched”
  • Anything “pasteurized”
  • Milk powder
  • Protein powder (yes, protein powder, for you bodybuilders out there)
  • Citric acid
  • Seasonings
  • Malt extract
  • Corn starch
  • Syrup
    • Ex: corn, high fructose corn, rice, brown rice
  • Vinegar

Many of these sound familiar to you? This list isn’t even all of them!!

The FDA requires manufacturers to list MSG on their labels only if an ingredient they add is 99% pure MSG anddd MSG naturally occurs whenever proteins are broken down, which means that you’ll find it in most foods and processed products, including those that are supposed to be “healthy” and “organic.”

Now, whether or not they have a “No MSG” sign, I judge restaurants on the amount of MSG they use by how thirsty I get during/after the meal.

*For a more complete list of MSG’s hidden names, click here.

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