Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Monosodium glutamate, usually referred to simply as MSG, is ubiquitous in processed foods. It breaks down in the body into glutamate, a known excitotoxin — a substance that literally stimulates brain cells to death!
A truly alarming thing about MSG is that it is in just about everything, yet it is not required to be on labels. This makes it very difficult to avoid.
It is required to be listed on a label only if it’s 100% pure MSG. Spices, flavorings, and natural flavorings can all contain up to 99% MSG with no mention on the label!
Generally the saltier the food, the more MSG it will have, with worst offenders including canned soups, snacks, and ramen noodles.
And don’t think that shopping at a health food store will protect you. Health food items are not immune, especially refined soy products like soy burgers.
Top MSG Sources
Here are some ingredients to watch out for that always contain MSG:
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Hydrolyzed plant protein
- Hydrolyzed protein
- Plant protein extract
- Calcium caseinate
- Sodium caseinate
- Yeast extract
- Textured protein
- Autolyzed yeast
These ingredients can contain MSG:
- Malt extract
- Malt flavoring
- Natural flavoring
- Beef flavoring
- Chicken flavoring
Another huge source of MSG is fast food restaurants. MSGTruth.org has a list of the worst offenders with KFC being at the top of the list. Even their salads and green beans contain MSG!