Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer used in Asian foods and commercial food products. Studies have shown that MSG can lead to short- and long-term health problems, including headaches, nausea, fatigue, pancreatic disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and even obesity. X Research source MSG does not affect some people, but others have an acute sensitivity to the product. To avoid MSG, you must be proactive in restaurants and learn to read product labels very carefully.
Avoid MSG in your daily life
Avoid non-food products that may contain MSG. Some cosmetics, soaps, shampoos and hair conditioners may contain MSG if the ingredients contain the words “hydrolysate”, “protein” or “amino acids”.
Some medications, vitamins, and dietary supplements have MSG in their binders and fillers. Check with the pharmacist if you are not sure.
Eat a natural and fresh diet. MSG is in almost all processed foods. This means that if you buy pre-packaged foods, there is a good chance those foods contain MSG. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables, use only basic seasonings (like salt and pepper).
Instead of seasoning salts and pre-packaged seasonings, try fresh spices and herbs to flavor your food.
Cook yourself. MSG is in almost all prepackaged food products, frozen dinners, and restaurant foods. Start cooking from scratch so you are in control of what goes into your body.
Buy natural and fresh ingredients instead of canned or processed.
Avoid common food products that may contain small amounts of MSG if you are highly sensitive to MSG. These foods include foods that are low-fat, fat-free, enriched, vitamin-enriched, contain corn starch, modified starch, corn syrup, lipolyzed butterfat, dextrose, brown rice syrup, rice syrup, milk powder or 1 or 2 percent milk.
Avoid MSG in the supermarket
Read the labels. Don’t trust a label that says “MSG free” on the front of the box. MSG is mentioned in many ways on a label. Learn about other ways manufacturers label MSG. Even though a product probably doesn’t contain MSG, that doesn’t mean MSG isn’t present. There are other ways that MSG is found in your food. Look for any of the following ingredients:
Processed free glutamic acid, monosodium glutamate
Calcium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, magnesium glutamate, monoammonium glutamate, natrium glutamate
Sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate
Yeast extract, autolyzed yeast
whey protein concentrate
The textured protein, the vegetable protein extract
Hydrolyzed products, including hydrolyzed protein or vegetable broth
The US Food and Drug Administration requires that hydrolyzed protein sources appear in the list of ingredients on labels. For example, if a product contains unprocessed tomatoes or wheat, they may be listed as “tomato” or “wheat.” If the ingredient says “tomato protein” or “hydrolyzed wheat protein,” the product contains MSG.
Be careful with salty snacks. Many processed salty snacks contain MSG. Be careful when buying flavored chips, cookies, or nuts.
Foods like Doritos, Cheetos, and almost all flavored potato chips have MSG.
Avoid cold cuts. In general, cold cuts always contain MSG. Chicken and sausages contain products with MSG.
Be careful with dressings. Ranch dressing always has MSG, but most salad dressings do too. In addition to the dressing, be careful with vegetable sauces.
Pay attention to soy sauce, Parmesan cheese, dressings and sauces.
Pay attention to broths and soups. It is very likely that the broths always contain MSG. Even popular soup brands add it to their cans.
Avoid MSG when eating out
Tell the waiters that you want your food without the MSG. These days, many restaurants have desisted from using MSG in their kitchen. Still, it’s a good idea to ask and be firm about adding MSG to your food.
Avoid certain foods when eating out. If you want to eat out and avoid MSG, you need to know what foods to avoid. Common foods that contain MSG include vegetable broths, breads, dressings, soy products, sweeteners, and flavorings.
Be careful of fast food. Most fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut and Chick fil A add MSG to their meals. If you’re curious about which particular products have MSG, visit the restaurant’s website and look for the list of ingredients.