You open a packet of potato crisps or some crunchy, salty corn snacks thinking you are just going to eat one pack but moments later, your fingers are scraping the bottom of the bag. All gone leaving you wanting more but ……guilty? But wait, it is not your fault. The culprit is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or Ajinomoto, also responsible for making you hog at the Chinese restaurants, only to feel hungry in an hour. MSG or monosodium glutamate is a sneaky food additive that creeps into a lot of stuff that we eat. It is present in processed foods-potato crisps, tinned soups, salad dressings, packet noodles, cold cuts, packaged cookie, cake frostings and the delicious Chinese at your favorite restaurant—-making it all taste better and eat more.
Also known as Ajinomoto or Chinese salt, it makes your taste buds believe that they are eating something better than you actually are, which is why it is used to enhance flavor. It over stimulates the brain, tricking you into thinking that food tastes really great, so you not only want to have more of that food but you also want to go back to it. This is the magic ingredient that food companies love to use as a flavor enhancer in their products, in order to develop an addiction in you for their food items. Whether you are sensitive to it or not, it is a chemical and we need to stay away from it.
How It Alters The Taste
Chemically speaking, it belonged to a salt of the amino acid family – glutamic acid (glutamate). The debate on MSG stems from the fact that scientists believe that there is a good ‘ ‘glutamate’ which is naturally present in the body, and there is an ‘added’ glutamate which is bad for the body – because too much glutamate in the body can lead to strokes.
The food industry uses MSG to confuse the issue by focusing on the “fifth” taste sense they call “Umami”. It changes your perception of not just taste but also the nutritious qualities of what you put into your mouth. The body thinks you are having protein and the brain helps you eat more of it.
MSGs In Disguised Names
MSG: Silent Killer is the reason why your chicken flavor noodles taste more “Chickeny” than real chicken broth, despite the former having just a few shreds of dried chicken. MSG comes disguised as the following:
- Glutamic acid,
- Monpotasium glutamate,
- Yeast extract,
- Yeast food,
- Yeast nutrient,
- Autolyzed soy protein,
- Hydrolyzed protein,
- Hydrolyzed pea/corn,
- Calcium caseinate and many more.
MSG Food Cause Symptoms like
Foods that contain MSG might make you feel bloated, cause dryness in mouth and produce acidity. Other effects include:
- Numbness of the face more so among people who are sensitive to it
Diseases Caused By MSG: Silent Killer
Regular use of this ingredient can cause long term issues like:
- High blood pressure
- Hormonal imbalance
- Food allergies
- Reduction in bile formation
- Sterility in females
The best option is to work on altering food techniques and balance ingredients in a way that extracts maximum flavor from meat, veggies and spices instead of using MSG. We need to go for natural foods instead of processed ones where silent killer hides.