MSG, a common food additive, is a part of the everyday food we consume (whether we know it or not). Is this bad? Should we be more concerned and paying closer attention to ingredient labels to avoid potentially harmful side effects?
MSG In Your Food: Is It Bad For You?
What Is It?
MSG, also known as glutamate or glutamic acid, is defined by the medical dictionary as a "white crystalline compound used as a food additive to enhance flavor." While MSG itself will not be scripted across your ingredients labels, it will hide under other various names and labels such as yeast extract, seasoning, whey protein, protein-fortified, chicken flavoring, beef flavoring, ultra-pasteurized, low sodium, soy protein concentrate and textured protein.
More About MSG
Foods to Avoid
If you are worried about the presence of MSG in your food, here are some common foods to avoid:
Part of HuffPost Food Group
Have you ever wondered why passing by a McDonald's makes you drool? MSG is partially to blame. Put simply, MSG enhances the smell and taste of food; it even stimulates hunger. Even talking about a hot batch of salty fries can make you want to drop everything, run to the nearest chain and gobble to your hearts content. Folks, it's not your imagination: it's MSG.
MSG, more formally known as monosodium glutamate, is a manufactured sodium salt. It can lead to several potentially dangerous side effects, especially for those whose bodies react to the additive as a toxin.
The FDA requires that any product featuring MSG be labeled accordingly. However, MSG is often listed under misleading ingredient labels such as "yeast extract," "natural flavors," "hydrolyzed vegetable protein" and "sodium caseinate."
Could this food be creeping into your everyday dishes without you knowing? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.
To read more on MSG and your health, check out our slideshow above.