Filled Under: U.S. Foods
What is MSG? Side effects explained
Tags: MSG, side effects, excitotoxins
(NaturalNews) Did you know that a substance added to the foods you may be eating every day has been connected to a multitude of physical ailments, including everything from obesity to Alzheimer’s? And here’s the worst part: The food industry has been aware of this issue for decades yet uses this substance anyway. The troubling ingredient is monosodium glutamate. Read on to learn more about the hidden poison, commonly known as MSG, which may be lurking in your next meal.
What is MSG?
MSG, a salt form of a non-essential amino acid, is a flavor enhancer and common food additive. While many people exclusively associate MSG with Chinese takeout and salty processed meats, the truth is that MSG is contained in processed foods we eat every day, including salad dressing, barbecue sauce, bouillon cubes and canned soups and vegetables. It’s also an additive in many infant formulas and baby and children’s foods.
In short, MSG tricks the taste buds and brain into thinking that food tastes delicious. An excitotoxin, MSG works by triggering the brain to produce excess quantities of the feel-good drug dopamine. This allows food manufacturers to cut back on quality in order to increase their profits.
Unfortunately, the rush of good feelings caused by MSG doesn’t last, but the consequences do. MSG doesn’t just hook us by making food taste better. It is actually physically addictive, which keeps consumers coming back again and again. This not only leads to overeating but also wreaks havoc on the body’s comprehensive wellness.
Side Effects Explained
We’ve all heard of MSG headaches and nausea; this is often attributed to “MSG sensitivity.” Unfortunately, the problem goes far beyond that.
MSG has been linked to weight gain and even obesity by researchers. And it’s not just because MSG makes people want to consume more. In fact, groups of participants in one research study were restricted to the same caloric intake and physical activity, yet those who ate foods containing MSG were nearly three times more likely to be overweight than their non-MSG ingesting peers. (1)
Researchers have also connected MSG to liver and kidney damage as well as increased blood pressure. (2) (3) Furthermore, excitotoxins have been linked to brain damage, leading to a host of neurological diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and many others. (4)
How to Avoid MSG
If you regularly rely on the “No MSG” labels on your food, it’s still likely that you are eating foods containing MSG. How? Because the FDA’s and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s regulations only require that MSG be disclosed when it’s added as a single ingredient. In other words, if MSG is added on its own, it must be listed on food labels. Otherwise, it may be lurking in your food under one of many seemingly innocuous names. The following items are likely to contain MSG (5):
- yeast food, autolyzed or hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, textured protein (including TVP [textured vegetable protein])
- hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, plant protein extract, hydrolyzed plant protein
- soy protein (concentrate and isolate)
- dough conditioners
- malt (flavoring and extract)
- malted barley
- sodium caseinate
- calcium caseinate
- seasoning, spices
- flavoring of any kind (may be listed as “natural flavors” or “natural flavoring”)
- whey protein concentrate
- hydrolyzed oat flour
- bouillon, stock, broth
And don’t assume that it’s safe just because it came from the local health food store. Many “natural” and “organic” products also contain MSG.
One simple way to avoid consuming MSG is to buy whole foods and prepare them yourself. However, this isn’t always possible. The best defense against MSG is information. By being vigilant about checking food labels, knowing what to look for and asking the right questions, you can avoid ingesting this known toxin and enjoy a healthier life.
Back in September, I wrote about Mosaic, a forward thinking company based in Oakland, CA that puts people together with solar projects. The idea is to fund projects via crowd sourcing and pay investors interest on the loans they make. For as little as $25, you can invest in any number of projects that are posted on the company’s site.
When I first ran across the idea, it appealed to me on several levels. I am a firm believer in solar energy and had solar panels installed on my condo. Doing so has lowered my utility bills by about $1,000 annually. I was familiar with crowd sourcing, having participated in KIVA loans for several years, but earning income was a new twist that intrigued me. I investigated Mosaic and decided to stick my toe in the water to see what would happen. I am fortunate to have a nest egg to usher me through my golden years and I sold some stock in Exxon—something I have been doing slowly over time to avoid paying huge capital gains taxes—and invested $2,500 divided evenly between two projects. One of the projects, U.S. Foods in Albuquerque, NM, pays 5.75% over 120 months. The other is a bee farm in Red Bluff, CA and that one pays 5.5% over a period of 144 months.
On October 22, I was notified that U.S. Foods was fully funded and had signed the note. My payback was soon to begin! I have not yet received notification that the bee farm has signed their note, but upon checking the Mosaic site, it should be soon because the loan is now fully funded.
Today I am reporting that I have received my first payment from U.S. Foods in the amount of $13.57. That represents my interest earned as well as repayment of part of the principal on the loan.
If U.S. Foods is any indication of how this thing works, I should be getting a payment from the bee farm next month. I have no doubt that I will. The bee farm is round 2 of a project that was fully funded and has been up and running since before I invested in the second phase.
I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider the interest rate I’m earning, it’s a great deal more than I made in dividends from Exxon, which pays under 3% annually. Not to mention that I believe—no, I am certain—that not only are fossil fuels harming our environment, they are part of the past. I wish to go forward into a sustainable future and I think it’s great that I can put my money where my mouth is and make money while doing so. As I said in my first article, it gives a whole new meaning to going green. I feel good about investing in green energy and making a bit of green by doing so. You can be sure that I will be looking into more projects and investing more of my money with a company that is on the cutting edge of a new direction for small investors.
Ann Werner is a blogger and the author of CRAZY and Dreams and Nightmares. You can view her work at ARK Stories.
Visit her on Twitter @MsWerner and Facebook