This is a time of year when a lot of people are taking a closer look at their diets and trying to eat healthier. A very unhealthy ingredient to avoid is monosodium glutamate – more commonly known as MSG. Common symptoms of MSG sensitivity include headaches, difficulty breathing, nausea, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, and weakness (not a fun list!). Regular consumption of MSG has also been linked to obesity and depression.
While I think a lot of people avoid Chinese food because of the frequent addition of MSG, there are also a number of other foods that often contain MSG such as snack foods, condiments, seasoning mixtures, and bouillon cubes. But MSG is not the only ingredient to be on the lookout for! Monosodium glutamate is one of several forms of glutamic acid found in foods and glutamic acid can also be found in a many other food additives.
In addition to MSG, here are the other names to be on the lookout for when you’re reading ingredient lists:
- hydrolyzed vegetable proteins
- autolyzed yeast
- hydrolyzed yeast
- yeast extract
- soy extracts
- protein isolate
Hopefully you are reading ingredient lists before you buy so you can spot these “bad guys” before they make their way into your home and stomach!