Aloha again loves!
Today, I thought I would address one of the largest issues concerning processed and pre-packaged foods. This issue comes in a variety of names, but essentially means one thing; bad news.
A very silent killer that’s ultimately worse for your personal health than any alcohol, nicotine or drug is likely hiding your kitchen cabinets as we speak.
This widespread toxin is monosodium glutamate (MSG). A flavor enhancer that’s known to have been an addition to Chinese food, but that's only the beginning. This substance is actually added to most ALL of the foods you and your family regularly eat. This is especially true if you are like the common American, where the majority of your food intake comes from processed foods or restaurants. Hey, this isn't a bad thing either. No judgements here because I am just as guilty! We are ALL busy. Especially during the summertime here in "The Hamptons." There's nothing easier than grabbing take out on your way to work or buying that granola bar to quickly inhale during your 5 minute break!! But now, let's dig a little deeper into what MSG is, and how we can stray away from it.
MSG is in fact one of the worst food additives on the market right now. It is used in canned soups, granola bars, cookies, crackers, meats, salad dressings, frozen dinners and so much more. MSG is found in restaurants, school cafeterias and surprisingly enough, even in baby food and infant formula!!!
MSG is more than just a seasoning like your regular table salt. This product basically enhances the flavor and effects of all foods. Literally tricking your brain! So having anything from canned foods, to processed meats and frozen dinners will taste fresher, smell better and be more enjoyable! It completely shows why MSG is all over the market. The food industry is benefitting endlessly from having us as consumers keep coming back for more! This could be a reason why the FDA keeps claiming that MSG has no harmful effects on the body.
But, MSG has been proven to be an excitotoxin which means that it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death. The effects of this cause brain damage of varying degrees while potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities. Other common effects that have been linked to the consumption of MSG include but aren't limited to: obesity, headaches, eye damage, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, tingling or numbness and depression.
Studies have even suggested that 25 to 30 percent of the US population was intolerant of MSG at levels that were found in food! Recently, studies have been showing that after the consumption of a food fortified with MSG, numerous glutamate receptors have been found both within the human heart's electrical conduction system and the heart muscle itself. This can potentially be damaging to your heart AND could even explain the sudden deaths sometimes seen among young athletes.
"When an excess of food-borne excitotoxins, such as MSG, hydrolyzed protein soy protein isolate and concentrate, natural flavoring, sodium caseinate and aspartate from aspartame, are consumed, these glutamate receptors are over-stimulated, producing cardiac arrhythmias.
When magnesium stores are low, as we see in athletes, the glutamate receptors are so sensitive that even low levels of these excitotoxins can result in cardiac arrhythmias and death." - Dr. Blaylock
In general, if a food is processed you can assume it contains MSG (or one of its hidden names). So how to avoid this toxin? Sticking to a whole, plant-based, fresh food (and hopefully vegan) diet will ensure that you stray away from MSG. The other place where you might need to watch out for MSG is whenever you eat out. Restaurants, cafeterias, etc... You are 100% free to ask your server which menu items are MSG-free and request that no MSG be added to your meal! Of course, only when you are in your own kitchen are you able to be entirely sure of what is being added to your food!
MSG in processed foods comes under all different types of names, so check out this list here for the ingredients that ALWAYS contain MSG: Gelatin, Calcium Caseinate, Monosodium Glutamate, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, Flavoring, Maltodextrin, Pectin (often times), Enzymes, Ultra Pasteurized anything.
Alright folks, there you have it! The inside scoop on MSG, what it is and how to avoid it! Happy eating! XO