Health + Wellness

Dealing with MSG in your diet

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Monosodium glutamate, commonly known as MSG, is a food additive that enhances the flavouring of your food. MSG is usually included in Asian cooking and processed food in Western countries. Found in a majority of food such as salad dressings, snacks and even baby food, high intake of MSG will cause adverse effects such as headaches, depression and even obesity. Depending on its severity, such conditions do not require medical treatment.

Glutamate in our body helps to facilitate signals between your neurological and immunological system, as well as your metabolic function. However, excessive consumption of glutamate could increase the stress levels in your body.

With MSG being present in the majority of the food, here are several tips on minimising the intake of MSG in your diet.

Read labels carefully

Always check the labels of the food that you’re purchasing. With more people knowing about MSG and its effects, food manufacturers tend to use alternative terms when including MSG.

Look out for terms such as Glutamate, Glutamic acid, Calcium caseinate and Yeast extract.

Food containing certain ingredients, often include MSG during the processing as well. Try to avoid ingredients such as natural chicken flavouring, soy sauce etc.

Consume natural food

Raw and fresh food are always free of MSG. Not only would you enjoy its natural flavour, you would also reap its health value and vitamins better.

Preparing your own food might initially be seen as time-consuming. However, once you’ve cultivated such habit into your lifestyle, you will find that it’s easier and healthier to prepare fresh foods.Aim to reduce the number of processed food on your grocery list. Processed food tends to contain a high amount of MSG to preserve the food, allowing you to enjoy the ‘real flavour’ anytime and anywhere.

Refrain from purchasing flavoured snacks such as Dorrito’s. Go for plain crackers instead.

Limit sodium intake

MSG consumption is inevitable unless you are determined to start a gluten-free diet. Flushing MSG out of your system is the next best solution. To do so, you need to ensure a low level of sodium intake in your diet as well.

Sodium boosts water retention that stops your body from cleansing MSG effectively from your body. Abstain from processed meats or salty snacks.

Drink water

Besides keeping your body hydrated throughout the day, water is also useful in helping your kidneys absorb and flush the MSG out of your system. As compared to sugared or sports drinks, drinking water is the most efficient method to eliminate MSG from your body.

If you are really keen on eradicating MSG from your diet, you might want to start a clean-eating diet, replace processed foods with whole foods in your meals, and enjoy the natural taste of certain types of foods.

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