Monosodium Glutamate, better known by its abbreviation of MSG, is mainly a substance consisting of sodium and naturally occurring substances already existent in the human body, such as glutamic acid.
For the longest time now, the preaches of the damage MSG has on the health and general well-being of the population has been spread around, and many people have developed a degree of fear (albeit slightly misinformed) about MSG, thanks to the efforts of advertisements, campaigns, and the likes.
Many have coined it with being responsible for asthma, headaches and heart palpitations.
MSG is most commonly found in the cooking of Asian foods. It was first developed by Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese chemist in 1908. The Professor had derived it from dried seaweed and with it, developed the now very popular AJI-NO-MOTO.
Based on studies done over the last few decades, there have been no discovered relations between MSG and the reported symptoms. While many identify themselves to be sensitive to MSG, scientists could not ascertain this claim as they were not able to consistently trigger MSG reactions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has in fact since passed MSG as safe.
Fun fact! There is more sodium in the average table salt than there is in MSG.
Cutting out MSG from one’s dietary intake would mean having to cut out glutamic acid altogether as well. That includes ceasing the ingestion of many everyday foods such as eggs, fish, meat, poultry, protein-rich vegetables and beans (and that is just to name a few).
Ultimately, MSG is not your enemy. Poorly executed moderation resulting in excessive MSG intake, is.
We live in a day and age where we are privileged and fortunate enough to indulge in the luxuries of good food at a decently frequent rate. If we wish to continue this lifestyle without consequences, we’ll need to monitor our sodium intake.
MSG, at the end of the day, is merely a flavour enhancer, much like salt. On its own, it is inconsequential, but always remember; too much of a good thing, is a bad thing! Watch what you eat and stay healthy, everyone!
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