MSG by any other name?

May 16, 2009 by  
Filed under At Home

If you love the flavour – but not the accompanying headaches – of MSG (mono sodium glutamate), then here is a natural recipe to duplicate the flavour enhancing effect. Just mix together equal parts of Celery salt, Dill, Turmeric, Cayenne pepper and Paprika and use it to coat meat before cooking.

MSG by any other name?

May 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition

Chinese restaurants many years ago got a bad reputation for over use of MSG (mono sodium glutamate), with people reporting symptoms such as headache, numbness in the arms, palpitations and increased risk of asthma attacks. None of these have ever been scientifically verified, though I certainly had a headache or two from some Chinese restaurants, which made me avoid the flavour-enhancing additive wherever possible.

If you are similarly sensitive, it may help you to know that MSG, or E621 to give it the chemical label, may have vanished from restaurants or food products but in many cases has been replaced with other substances have the same effects, but you may not be familiar with their names.

You may not be as sensitive to some, or all of these, but it is worth checking labels for these added ingredients if you want a headache-free dining experience: yeast extract, torula yeast, autolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, calcium caseinate, sodium casinate, and textured protein.

The sweet truth about your food

January 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Diets, featured, Food & Nutrition, Health, Wellness

As a health-conscious consumer you naturally eat the best, unadulterated diet that you can – with the occasional treats! However, unless you are a compulsive label-checker, and I am afraid that I am, then you may not be aware of the additives that get into your food and can carry serious health risks.

There are several chemicals, known as excitotoxins, which are added by some food companies to their products in order to stimulate hunger and disrupt normal appetite control. These taste-enhancing chemicals – of which the main ones are MSG and aspartame – are linked to cancer, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic disorders, obesity, infertility, migraines and cancer.

What you need to look out for are the following on the labels of any packaged food that you buy:
** monosodium glutamate (MSG)
** aspartame

If you see these on the label, then be aware they are forms of MSG and appear as:

** yeast extract
** hydrolysed vegetable protein
** autolyzed proteins
** autolyzed yeast
** sodium caseinate
** hydrolyzed yeast

Check your food labels now
Of course the occasional food with these chemicals in is not going to cause a problem, but if you habitually consume the following items on a frequent basis, then please read the label and see what they contain:

· Diet soda
· “Sugar-free” anything
· Canned soups
· Frozen pizza
· Vegetarian foods
· Potato crisps
· Diabetic foods
· Salad dressing
· Frozen foods
· Baby foods
· Dips and sauces
· Gravy mixes and dip mixes
· Stock cubes and sauce packets

Many of these chemicals are linked to migraine and headache symptoms so these should never be ignored. ‘Diet’ products are extremely popular, but be aware that consuming them in high quantity may put your health at risk.

My advice for a good diet? Eat less fat, more protein, less sugar, more water and eat anything you want in moderation.