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MSG: Not Just for Chinese Food

Do you cringe when someone mentions MSG (monosodium glutamate)? While it gets a bad rap as causing Chinese Restaurant Syndrome, most scientific studies prove that moderate amounts of this flavor enhancer have no adverse effects on healthy people. The studies don't seem to really matter though, since MSG has the reputation of causing headaches, nausea, dizziness, numbing of the lips (weird), and heart palpitations, so most people try to avoid it.

It's hard though, since MSG can be found in many food products, and the list of ingredients won't necessarily say "monosodium glutamate." Other food additives contain MSG too such as hydrolyzed soy protein, glutamic acid, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, and autolyzed yeast. That means many common products have hidden MSG in them. Want to know which ones? Then

Hidden MSG can be found in: Doritos, Chex Mix, Stove Top Stuffing, Bologna, and even some salad dressings contain monosodium glutamate or other ingredients that also contain MSG. Honestly though, many of these products contain a lot of other unhealthy ingredients and not much actual food, so you're probably not eating these too often anyway. It's definitely good to be aware though, especially if you found that your body is sensitive to MSG.

Have you come across any other foods that surprisingly contain MSG? Share the details in the comment section below.


Join The Conversation
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
I don't eat much processed food (or eat out much either), so I don't have to worry about getting MSG without knowing about it, but it wouldn't bother me. I LOVE MSG. I use it with my cooking at home. It makes everything taste better.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
MSG doesn't really bug me, and I actually have some in my spice cabinet, but I use it only once every three months or so, so I don't really think I'm harming myself (hopefully). I have gotten some weird dreams before though.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
wakeupandora, best comment ever!
kahla1 kahla1 9 years
my friend has a wheat and gluten allergy and she can't eat lettuce from most chain restraunts because they put MSG on it. i would hope that my salads were fresh and clean, but maybe not!
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
<3 chex mix- that's so sad
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
nooooooooooo i <3 chex mix
eroca87 eroca87 9 years
I'm a little hazy on the details, but some of those things (like hydrolyzed yeast) contain free glutamine, which is naturally occuring and only one compononet of MSG...unless the other components are added, it's not really MSG. I work in a health food store and get asked about it from time to time...the products we carry like chicken broth and such will have hydrolozed yeast, but not MSG. Shadier companies that would market to big name grocery stores might mask full blown MSG as hydrolozed yeast so they don't have to list MSG an ingredient. However, the FDA does have regulations on this, and I think they require to manufacturers to list if products have MSG.
michlny michlny 9 years
I read this in the NY Times today....I don't trust that it's safe. All these chemical-type products really should NOT be snuck into our food. It's unfair that it's so difficult to avoid.
Fitness Fitness 9 years
wakeupandora - those nightmare trolls seem like another reason to avoid processed food! ;)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
All the more reason to READ YOUR FOOD LABELS! :) Know what's in your food, what's being added, and change your diet accordingly. I've never had a reaction to MSG, but if I were sensitive to it I'd make sure every last thing I put in my mouth didn't have it in any shape or form.
wakeupandora wakeupandora 9 years
my sister had a nightmare about trolls when she ate an entire bag of doritos one night
cubby_2 cubby_2 9 years
MSG always made me feel ill, and seemed to trigger my migraines that I suffered from through college. Only after changing my diet to more whole/organic foods, and avoiding additives such as MSG, i barely get them anymore. Thanks for letting us much as food companies should be posting warnings for hidden additives we all know that's going to take some time to accomplish, so its good for consumers to be aware and accountable for what we eat.
EmyAnne EmyAnne 9 years
ohh thats creepy it's in some of those others food additives. i never knew that! how much msg is too much anyway?.... i know the chicken broth i buy at whole foods for making soups has autolyzed yeast in it. now i don't want to use it anymore!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
oh no! I didn't even know about all of this!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Freaking a steak in a fine dining restaurant was coated in MSG by the chef. And I bought a bowl of chili once for a place called "Chili Up" or something and it tasted weird. I went back just in time to watch the cook making a new batch and dumping in Accent (which is MSG). I believe they may have stopped this practice but they were advertising fresh varieties of chili that were free of addictive and preservatives. And "fresh soups" from a certain restaurant that serves only soup that shall remain nameless. They add or did at one time add MSG to their soups. Not a good thing to find out after you've eaten it and had a reaction.
ley ley 9 years
I dont know.. MSG was born in Japan. And people in Japan are relatively one of the healthiest people around.
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