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Okay, so we all know we are supposed to avoid MSG like our life depends on it…but what the heck is it??

MSG aka Monosodium Glutamate is basically a food flavor enhancer. It is a free amino acid salt that is designed to trick the brain into thinking that whatever we are eating is nutritious, flavorful and full of protein.

msg

Food companies add it to their products to essentially save money. The more MSG they add, the less of a need to create nutritious and tasty food products. Why spend more money on actual ingredients when they can just add MSG??

Glutamate is found naturally in our bodies and other foods like mushrooms and tomatoes but it is different than monosodium glutamate. MSG is “free” meaning it acts as a neurotransmitter whichs stimulate processes in our body, the same neurotransmitter used by our nervous system.

But it doesn’t end there. MSG also stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin; higher insulin levels are correlated with fat storage and aging. MSG also stimulates our appetite which encourages us to eat. Because MSG makes us think that what we are eating is nutritious and healthy, we end up hungry only a short time after eating the meal with MSG because of the drop in blood sugar.

What are the potential side effects from consuming MSG products?

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Asthma Attacks

…just to name a few!

Always read the ingredient labels to protect your body from the harmful effects of MSG. However, we cannot only look out for the ingredient “Monosodium Glutamate”. We must be wary of its other nicknames including:

Autolyzed Yeast, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, Plant Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Yeast Extract, Textured Protein (Including TVP), Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Corn Oil

After a while, checking ingredient labels becomes a habit. Soon you’ll be checking everything you put in your cart for MSG!

Check out these helpful links for more info:

http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/msg-reaction.html

http://www.scq.ubc.ca/msg-more-than-meets-the-tongue/

http://www.msgtruth.org/whatisit.htm

Peace, love & coconuts!

– Zeena

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