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Obesity, MSG and Rats

Healthy foodHaving lived with health issues since a very early age, I admit I wasn’t always careful or concerned about what food I put in my body. Continually willing to learn as I go, (sometimes the hard way), I’ve been challenged with being both overweight and underweight at different times in my life. I also spent long periods of time where I couldn’t eat restaurant food at all.

During my ‘overweight’ years, it seemed I tried every diet and weight control plan I heard about. Mostly without any lasting results. Then my friend Nealon Hightower, who has devoted his life to sharing his weight release program with others, asked me what I knew about the link between obesity and MSG.

MSG is Directly Linked to Weight

Although I have been aware for a long time about MSG and the wide range of symptoms eating it can cause, I had to admit I didn’t know much about its direct link to weight. My curiosity piqued, I committed to find out what I could for him. The information I uncovered, about the relationship of MSG to obesity, was both eye-opening and shocking. I hope what I share here brings some new understanding and perspective to the impact this additive can have on the human body.

Rats are not normally prone to obesity. Although this may seem an unimportant fact, unless you have a soft spot for these often disdained rodents, rats are used by scientists to test new drugs; drugs that need to be tried out first before being used on humans to treat diabetes or new weight loss products.

When scientists inject the rodents at birth with MSG, like magic, they produce obese test subjects. Because MSG triples the amount of insulin the rat’s pancreas creates, the results are perfect: MSG-Treated Rats equals fat rats. When you search under “MSG Obese” at the National Library of Medicine at, you find over 100 studies to substantiate this.

Childhood Obesity at Record Levels

ObsesityChildhood obesity is at crises levels in North America, with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative committed to bringing awareness and change to this escalating problem. This obesity epidemic has led to another crisis, the large increase in Type 2 diabetes in children. In questioning why, people are drawn to sugar and fats, because they taste better to the palate than fruits and vegetables do.

Digging deeper, we find that it’s been a well-kept secret since the late 1970’s, that food researchers have known that MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), added to virtually all junk foods, is addictive. This flavour enhancer is found not only in junk food, but in an enormous range of processed foods as well.

MSG is considered a natural substance in the same ways salt and sugar are, as it’s derived from seaweed or corn. Healthy, you might think. The story of MSG is well documented by John Erb, a former researcher at the University of Waterloo in Canada, in his book The Slow Poisoning of America. The fact that MSG appears under many names can lead to confusion, as many of the names sound safe. Erb reports that MSG appears as the terms natural flavouring, hydrolyzed or textured vegetable protein, Accent, calcium caseinate, autolyzed yeast extract and gelatin.

MSG Isn’t Only in Chinese Food

chinese foodWhen I mention MSG to people they generally think of its use in Chinese food. However, when you start to look, you’ll find it in the coffees you buy at your favourite coffee shops and it’s even injected into turkeys, to make them plump. Erb encourages us to look closely at a wide range of foods, from Campbell’s Soups, Hostess Doritos, Lays flavoured potato chips, canned gravies and frozen dinners, to Kraft salad dressings. MSG is in fact everywhere; the list is virtually endless.

Obesity is not the only health issue MSG is linked to. Dr. George Schwartz in his book, In Bad Taste: The MSG Syndrome Complex, identifies research that links MSG and the dramatic rise in cases of asthma, ADHD, migraines, Parkinson’s disease and heartbeat irregularities too. Ingesting MSG can result in a wide range of symptoms like facial flushing and headaches, with gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety and depression reported by individuals as well.

The Food Industry Knows the Truth About MSG

The food industry and food processors do know the impact MSG has on the human body. The glutamate industry website, talks of the positive impact on food consumption in the elderly. “Studies have found that adding MSG to certain foods, such as soup and mashed potatoes has been successful in increasing the food intake of institutionalized elderly populations.” Is this really a good enough reason?

And, what about the rest of us, especially the children? MSG is even found in weight loss products, so do your own homework and read the labels. If you know someone who has tried to lose weight but couldn’t, even if they hardly eat anything, maybe it’s the MSG in the diet foods they are eating.

Curious how MSG causes obesity? Like aspartame, which is present in many diet foods and diet sodas, it’s an excitotoxin. Excitotoxins overexcite neurons to the point of cell damage and eventually cell death.

Doctors Explain MSG

Dr. Russsell Blaylock in his book Excitotoxins..The Taste that Kills, reports that in animal studies MSG creates a lesion in the hypothalamus that correlates with abnormal development, including obesity, short stature and sexual reproduction problems.

Dr. Blaylock reports that:

“One can only wonder if the large number of people having difficulty with obesity in the United States is related to early exposure to food additive excitotoxins, since this obesity is one of the most consistent features of the syndrome. One characteristic of obesity induced by excitotoxins is that it doesn’t appear to depend on food intake. This could explain why some people cannot diet away their obesity. It is ironic that so many people drink soft drinks sweetened with NutraSweet® when aspartate can produce the exact same lesions as glutamate, resulting in gross obesity. The actual extent of MSG induced obesity in the human population is unknown.”

 Exercise Is Not Enough to Counteract MSG

ExercisingFor those who argue that they exercise faithfully, believing this should ensure weight loss, think again. The popular belief in the ‘calories in — calories out theory,’ when you expend more calories than you ingest you lose weight, is also debunked by Dr. Blaylock. “This MSG – induced obesity was characterized by a preference for carbs and an aversion for more nutritious foods, just as we are witnessing in our youth. Also, excess weight was extremely difficult to exercise off or diet off in these experimental animals.”

MSG is virtually everywhere in processed foods and is generously used in restaurants, especially fast food places. Almost vigilant about what I eat now, I still find that it can be tough to escape it. The best way is to stay away from packaged and processed foods.

When eating in restaurants, I see it becomes more of a challenge. Restaurant personnel aren’t always sure or even educated about where MSG might be hiding. Remember, just because a restaurant says they do not add MSG, it is almost always lurking in the soup and sauce bases they purchase from outside manufacturers.

Taking Individual Responsibility for Health

Healthy SaladPersonal responsibility for health and well being, starts with us as consumers. By being aware, we can use the power of our individual voices and say no to manufactured foods and products that have MSG. Protecting your personal health supports and protects society’s health. I believe it ultimately serves the health of our planet too.

Being committed to buying fresh, real foods, fruits and vegetables and eating organic as much as possible, is a place to start in managing your health and your weight. We all have the choice to stay informed and educate ourselves by checking labels and asking questions.

Those who know me, can expect me to ask even more questions and look more closely at the foods I’m choosing to eat. Love to hear some feedback on the places you’ve been surprised to find MSG. Here’s to good health and well-being for all!

Learning Health from Personal Experience

Of all the things I’ve learned on my own health journey, the one thing that cannot be understated is that what we eat matters. The popular quote that dates back to Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, an 18th century French politician who once said, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” speaks volumes.  At it’s core it means, “You Are What You Eat”. Doesn’t it make sense that health always starts with the food we choose to put in our body?

As a health and vitality consultant, I’m passionate about supporting people to live their healthiest lives. If you’re ready to take your health to the next level, I invite you to a complimentary wellness consult. Together we’ll create a customized easy-to- follow program for you, starting with the USANA True Health Assessment and it’s three-part report based on your answers.

P. S. 2017: Although this post was written in 2011, not too much seems to have changed. Childhood and adult obesity rates continue to climb, and the overall health and well-being of the North American population continues to be at risk. We can all be a part of this conversation and make the changes for ourselves, that contribute to the whole. Thanks for being part of the solution!

Beverley Golden

Beverley Golden is a writer, storyteller, peacenik and health & vitality consultant, who loves testing unconventional ways to shift paradigms in the playing fields of health and wellness, storytelling and creativity as a path to world peace. Her passion is turning the “impossible” into the possible, using her own experiences with a lifetime of health issues, to inspire and support others to live their life to the fullest. You're invited to a Complimentary Health Consultation, starting with the True Health Assessment that offers a customized personalized snapshot of how healthy you are in the areas of lifestyle, heredity and nutrition. Contact me to get started!


  • Wow ! Golden! I am unaware of these findings. I am surprised that the government knows about it but still allow Monosodium Glutamate to be added to virtually all junk foods? I glad that I eat a very healthy diet and encourage my family too. My mom has always been hard on us when we were growing. To her, a healthy diet is of uttermost importance.

    • So happy you learned some new info in this post, Apolline! Yes, the government knows all kinds of things that are kept from the consumer, which is making it even more important that we are educated and informed…and that we make wise choices! It is great that you had a mother who promoted healthy eating and how that has become your norm. I agree with her too, a healthy diet is of the utmost importance! Everything else in life starts with that!

  • Joyce Hansen says:

    WOW, Beverley. I knew about MSG in Chinese food but not that it was so pervasive. I’ve even been concern about eating at some of the upscale restaurants. It seems it’s time to get healthy by either growing our own food or finding reliable organic sources. Thanks for taking the time to do such compelling research.

    • It’s amazing how many people know about MSG in Chinese Food, but think it is reserved for that only, Joyce! Happy I was able to share something new with you here. I agree with you about growing our own food or at least finding healthy local and organic sources. I appreciate that you appreciated this post too!

  • Audrey says:

    Great information Beverley. I know to stay away from processed foods – but geez – and the disguising of MSG on the labels! The deception of the food manufacturers continues and the solution really is to stay away from fast food and packaged goods.

    • I agree Audrey! Our challenge is that so many unhealthy ingredients are hidden and often very hard to find. Also, the ingredient might not even have to be listed, depending on the amount. I also agree with your solution…just stay away from fast food and packaged goods.

  • Changing one’s diet is a process and removing sugar and foods with MSG is a great start. I’m copying the link of this blog and putting it in my calendar to read monthly.

    The information you provided is excellent Beverley and so important to our health. I’m usually good about reading labels and I like the idea of not eating anything from a box or a can.

    I love the photos of food that is alive, bright and healthy!

    • I agree with you Candess! Changing how we eat is definitely a process, but in my experience, it is so worth it. Glad you found this post worth saving to refer back to. I appreciate that. The challenge for us all, is that so often the ingredients sound healthy but might not be. It takes a lot of discernment and understanding of the way manufacturers hide ingredients. Glad you like the photos too! A healthy salad always appeals to me!

  • Great article. VERY helpful (and your visual of the salad makes me want one right now!). I’ve been lax in eating exactly right all the time and I’m working on making better choices consistently. Your articles really help me keep a healthy perspective.
    Tandy Elisala recently posted…12 Laws of Leadership: Law of IntuitionMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Tandy! I really appreciate hearing that you find my health articles helpful. I hope you find your way to make better choices for yourself when it comes to food too. I believe it does take practice and once we exercise that choice muscle, it becomes second nature.

  • Tamuria says:

    It’s horrifying to realise how much is being added to our food that we don’t know about. Food labelling is getting better, at a snail’s pace, here in Australia, but still has a long way to go. I knew MSG was bad but had no idea it was hidden in so many foods.
    Tamuria recently posted…HOW TO MAKE A GROWING FLOWER – NO NEED FOR A GREEN THUMBMy Profile

    • That’s the really key point, Tami! Many people know about what’s bad for them, like MSG, and yet the food companies are ‘hiding’ unhealthy ingredients, that often go by other names in our foods. Europe is much better at food labelling than here in North America. I’m happy to hear things are changing slowly in Australia too. The challenge is the power of the corporations who control the food industry. I guess we consumers will just have to make our voices heard even louder, until change is not an option. I believe labelling laws are imperative for all of our health and wellbeing too! Y

  • Teresa Salhi says:

    Of all the healthy info I have learned – this one was still new to me. Thank you for the education on MSG Beverley.
    Teresa Salhi recently posted…Challenges Make Women StrongerMy Profile

    • So happy you learned some new things in this post about MSG, Teresa! It’s amazing how much we know and yet there is always something new to learn.

  • Meghan says:

    Thankfully I eat a healthy vegetarian diet that consists mostly of organic food. Persona responsibility is a big part of it, but I also believe that the food industry and corporations are dishonest, manipulative, and deceptive. MSG is just one of MANY things that should not be permitted, but like so much in our world, greed and money outweigh what is right or sensical. That photo really got to me! I wish society valued different things, but that’s just not going to happen.

    • I am 100% on the same page as you when it comes to how corrupt and deceptive the food industry is Meghan! It ultimately boils down to taking personal responsibility and being educated. I find many people ‘know’ that things like MSG aren’t good for them, but they may not know how it hides in many foods. Choosing wisely and eating healthy are just a part of my lifestyle. It sounds like you are doing the same for yourself and your family!

  • Lori English says:

    This is great article that has a lot of tips especially on MSG. I knew it wasn’t good for me, but I will not touch it. Being healthy is a choice, and I think making the right choices and learning more about our health. Thanks for the good tips and being able to get the tight information helps.

    Lori English

    • Thanks so much Lori! I am happy you appreciate the info in this post about MSG. I think most people know it isn’t good for them, but I wonder if they know how many foods it is hidden in. That’s where I think the education needs to happen. Being healthy is a choice, indeed. And it amazes me how many people still don’t choose themselves the it comes to good health.

  • MSG is so scary, and it really is so prevalent in so many manufactured foods. What works is what always has–eat low on the food chain, fresh, organic, and local if you can! Interestingly, TODAY has had a series this week on Blue Zones–places all over the world where people are living to 100, living well, with no major issues or even dementia/alzheimer’s. Guess what they found? They ate a plant-based diet, and exercised as part of their normal daily life (rather than going to the gym).
    Susan Mary Malone recently posted…8 Ways to be Present in the Moment even if Life SucksMy Profile

    • I agree with you, Susan! It is scary how many food products MSG is found in. Most people have no idea how prevalent it actually is. I also eat as low on the food chain as possible, and find when I don’t, I feel the impact. Thanks for sharing about the series on TODAY that featured people who live in ‘purer’ environments and eat a healthier diet. And I am all about getting our exercise from our daily activity too! Just did some walking and gardening today, and that feels perfect to me!

  • Katarina says:

    Thanks, Beverley, a very interesting article. And I did not know this much about MSG so it was really a very useful post.

  • Beverley, It always makes me smile when you and I are on the same wavelength. This article reminds me of the corn wars.
    As a general rule, if the food’s shelf life is more than one week, it’s probably got some sort of MSG or other nasty preservative in it. there are certain cans that I buy (tomato sauce, green beans for our malamute), but we try to go organic as much as we can, which is soooo much easier to do this time of year. Great article.
    Liz Benoit Cozby recently posted…Dear Cupcake, After Careful Consideration, We Regret To Inform You That You Failed. (Why the Laws of Attraction Seem To Reject Some People.)My Profile

    • Thanks for always being on the same wavelength, Liz. I’m smiling too. For all of us, to maintain our health it is becoming increasingly important to be vigilant in the foods we choose…even for our malamute. 🙂 The fact that MSG and even sugar, can go under so many different names, is what I think makes finding it in processed and fast foods, so challenging. Choose wisely and eat clean. Love this idea and yes, it is much easier during growing season to eat organic and fresh. Thanks for the thumbs up on the article too!

  • Hi Beverley,
    Thank you so much for sharing this life – saving information. One of the biggest problems with obesity and other medical conditions related to eating habits is most of us are not aware of the ingredients we are putting in our bodies. I read the nutrtition facts before I purchase food in the store. By doing that and cooking my own food has helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle
    Sharise Hemby recently posted…Test postMy Profile

    • Thanks also for sharing, Sharise. My hope is always to share information that will raise awareness and hopefully lead people to make more conscious choices for themselves when it comes to health and wellness. Sounds like your own awareness has you right on track for eating well and maintaining optimal health for yourself. Kudos for being part of the solution!

  • Can’t imagine you being overweight Bev.. however, I get it. while foods may be low cal or quick.. I have been educating my children that we pay for convenience too… they have to put lots of additives into those foods to make them last longer. Good points!
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Is your Website KILLING your Traffic?My Profile

    • You’ve got it Kristen. And they put the additives in to make them taste better too. That’s why so many people are addicted to fast food and processed foods. The amount of stuff added is quite disturbing. Glad to hear you are educating your kids, as once addicted, it is more difficult to break free and enjoy the “real” taste of foods again.

  • Beth says:

    I eat very little processed food and when I order from a Chinese restaurant it is usually just steamed, no sauce but I didn’t know that I had to consider MSG in coffee???? Great article as always Beverley.
    Beth recently posted…Life Is Like A Game Of PokerMy Profile

    • Thanks Beth! Yes, so many additives are hidden in so many foods that sometimes as careful as we are, it is challenging to keep on top of. And yes, if you choose healthy coffee you will be okay. There are so many flavoured coffees, it might be challenging to keep up with what is or isn’t in them. Thanks for reading and appreciate your thumbs up on my writing too!

  • Lori Ann says:

    I knew MSG was in many things and I’d heard about the link to health issues, but hadn’t read the specific data related to it. Thank you!
    Lori Ann recently posted…Next StepsMy Profile

    • Glad to hear there was some new information in this post for you Lori Ann. Because so many additives are hidden by various names, it is always good to have new info on hand. Thanks for reading and you are welcome!

  • I’m sensitive to MSG so I can tell when I’ve had it. Small amounts don’t bother me, but I still notice it. Sadly I still struggle with weight as there are so many other factors.
    Heather Cameron recently posted…Weekly Spark: 3 Steps to Apply Leverage to Your BusinessMy Profile

    • As you said, MSG is only one of many factors that contribute to our own health and wellbeing, including our weight Heather. It is always about finding what works for us and customizing from there. Thanks for sharing, as seems so many people are highly allergic to MSG. It would be lovely if the brands that still use it, and often liberally in their products, would listen to the consumers who are saying NO. Here’s to health and wellness for all.

  • Kaz says:

    Very informative and interesting read! I 100% agreed with you. All those chemicals invested into foods are not good for our health even though they make foods to taste bette. However, I’m not sure that’s really called “better taste”. When you eat fresh vegetables from garden and put them into your mouth, that’s amazing flavour and I think that’s called “better taste”. It’s important to teach our body “what real taste is like”. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading it a lot!
    Kaz recently posted…Power Of PainMy Profile

    • Thanks for being part of the highly aware solution Kaz. More and more I see all ages of people really getting that we have to be conscious in what we spend our dollars on to optimize our health. You are a great example of someone who shares valuable information to others so they can make informed choices when it comes to what they eat, how they live their lives and how they take care of their overall well being. Many thanks for your contribution as well. Together, I believe we all can make a big shift in our world.

  • Isn’t it terrifying to realize some of the “stuff” in our food??? For a long time, I and most of my family & friends also believed that MSG was really just something in asian foods. Reading labels, we realized… NOPE! It’s everywhere!!! No wonder we are slowly killing ourselves and there are 22M+ obese people in North America!
    Coach Natalie Palombi recently posted…Entering the Ultimate Reset Home StretchMy Profile

    • My hope always is that the more awareness we bring to the “unhealthy” things we are being bombarded with in our food products, the more people will speak up and choose differently. When enough people use their voices for good, I believe brands listen and make changes. Maybe I’m an optimist, Natalie, however, we all can do our part to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Happy to hear you truly get this and are making your own choices based on solid information and knowing.

  • I must admit the title of your blog post got me very intrigued, Beverley, thank you for that!

    As I was reading through, I realized how all 3 of these topics are related 😉 Obesity in my opinion is something that I feel can definately be prevented in our young children by just feeding them the right kinds of food at the start and eventually, they will grow into more healthy adults.

    MSG makes me think of chinese food yes lol but you are right it is in a lot of our other foods as well, I just do not think we realize.

    Thanks so much my friend for sharing this awesome information on these 3 topics 🙂

    Always find your posts interesting because I always come away with something I learned.

    Great post!

    Big Hugs,
    Joan Harrington recently posted…Are You Talking to the Right People?My Profile

    • Love hearing how my posts get you thinking and that you come away with something new for yourself, Joan. And yes, MSG is insidious and being aware of where it is lurking and under what names, will go a long way to making sure the foods we choose are healthy to put in our bodies. Obesity continues to be at epidemic proportions in North America and we can do something about it. Be conscious and make smart choices. Eating healthy is affordable and available to all. We owe it to our future generations to use of buying power to change things around. Thanks for your support! It is always wonderful to read your comments after you read my posts. 🙂

  • Erika Kalmar says:

    Very informative article Beverley! Although I never really had issues with my weight, I just feel the difference when eating healthy food or processed food. The whole energy level is different, Luckily I’m eating lots of fresh food… It makes me so sad reading that this was written in 2011 because indeed, not too much has changed since then in that respect. People need more awareness and more education around this topic!

    • Thanks so much Erika for sharing that you are one of the conscious choice people in regards to your health and wellness. The sad part is indeed that not much has changed in the last 5 years and it makes the issue even more pressing and urgent. The more we share the information and raise both the awareness and the consciousness around the declining health in America, hopefully the better chance things will change.

  • Lori Thayer says:

    Great information. I have a friend who gets migraines from MSG and that really opened my eyes as to how prevalent it is.
    Lori Thayer recently posted…Week In Review June 12th-19th 2015My Profile

    • Thanks Lori. I think many people who get overt symptoms from ingesting MSG are the ones who stay away from it at all costs. The question is always what about us who don’t know the effects it is having, as the hidden aspects of these additives are even more dangerous. We all need to be alert and aware and do our diligence with what we choose to put in our mouths and bodies.

  • Had no idea MSG had that kind of impact on health. That’s scary stuff right there. Thanks for the info.

    • There is a lot to know when it comes to our health and well-being Jackie, so I am always happy when something I write offers some new insights so people can hopefully make new choices for themselves.

  • Thanks so much for bringing more awareness on this issue, Bev! Reading all the comments here, I had no idea MSG is related to headaches, wow! I’m doing the best I can to eat healthy, but as you said it’s so hard to control everything that goes in your diet.
    Delia @ Happy Blogger Plaza recently posted…How to blog when you don’t have timeMy Profile

    • Glad there was something new in this piece for you Delia. It is a topic very near and dear to my heart. How do we empower people to not only become more aware, but to make healthier choices for themselves. Happy to hear you are conscious of the choices you make for you and your family.

  • Ginny says:

    This says it all… MSG triples the amount of insulin the rat’s pancreas . Diabetes is an epidemic. Every time someone says they are ‘only’ pre-diabetic it makes me want to scream, there is no disease called pre-diabetic… it just means you are diabetic but not at the point of needing medication. It is your cue to do something now before it is too late.
    Great article!
    Ginny recently posted…Salsa, Fajitas and more… oh my!My Profile

    • I so hear you Ginny! This idea of being pre-diabetic, as if that is better than being diabetic, is still as dramatic as getting to the point where you do need medication. It is very much up to each individual person to take responsibility, be conscious, educate themselves and make choices that promote health not decline. You and I are definitely on the same page and the more we can spread the information for others to digest, my hope is always that a light goes on and someone steps up and chooses health for themselves. Glad you enjoyed this post!

  • Michelle says:

    Shocked at the amount of MSG that I’m probably unaware I’m ingesting on a regular basis. Wow! Thank you for sharing this information.I’m glad you included personal responsibility – that seems to be something that’s often overlooked in our society, but ultimately it is my responsibility (and choice) to know what’s in the food I’m eating and the risks to my health.

    • Appreciate you acknowledging that it is up to us all to take the responsibility necessary to make sure we are optimizing our own health. It is becoming increasingly important in a world so laden with unhealthy hidden additives, Michelle. Here’s to everyone becoming more aware, making healthy choices and hopefully the food manufacturers will start moving in the direction that enhances our health.

  • Beth Niebuhr says:

    Isn’t it lovely that food manufacturers care so little about our health? I’d forgotten that MSG used to be worried about only in Chinese food. Hopefully people realize how widespread it really is. We need to be diligent in reading labels.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…Tada! My TelesummitMy Profile

    • My thoughts are the food industry is still all about profit, Beth and the unfortunate part of that, is we consumers pay the price. Unless we are conscious, aware and diligent about what we choose to eat. I also hope that with so much information out in the world, people are becoming more aware of how widespread putting unhealthy ingredients in foods still is.

  • Great article! My Mother in law gets so sick if she eats anything with MSG. I never though much of it until I started logging our food. I didn’t realize how much stuff MSG was in. Now, we don’t eat processed food at all and feel so much better! Thank you for the wonderful article, I’m going to share it on my Facebook page and Twitter too, I think it’s very informative.
    Gisele Grenier recently posted…How I Found 2 Hours a Day with No Effort!My Profile

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story about your mother-in-law’s reaction to MSG and how a simple thing like logging your own food, can lead to more awareness and understanding of what healthy choices to make for yourself. I appreciate hearing that processed foods are out for you and that the change in how you feel is noticeable. Congrats and thanks for spreading the word by sharing this info too!

  • Knikkolette says:

    I’m short (5′ 1″) so dealing with food and weight has been an issue for as long as I can remember. 5 pounds on me looks like 20 pounds because of my height. My weakness was chocolate and any type of sugary food. Since I changed my lifestyle – the way I eat, no bread (causes migraines), no greasy foods or dairy (makes me very sick), reduced my sugar by about 80%, trying to eat all organic foods – I can honestly say I don’t have to diet any more. At 50, that’s such a relief – and while I don’t concentrate on MSG (yet) eating healthier has definitely made a HUGE difference in my life.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your very inspiring story here Knikkolette. You are proof that all things are possible when you take responsibility for your choices, especially when it comes to health and well being. It really sounds like all the changes and choices you have made have paid off enormously and that you are experiencing a dramatic and positive shift for yourself.

      I agree that regardless of our age, we can always optimize and improve our lives. Like you, I seem to have learned my lessons by trial and error and I can honestly say that eating clean and organic foods and cutting out the foods that I used to love but that aren’t healthy for me, have contributed greatly to how healthy I am now compared to when I was younger.

  • Carol Rundle says:

    This is disturbing. Not much to do except read labels and pray.
    Carol Rundle recently posted…Removing Toxins From Your LifeMy Profile

    • Awareness and education are the key, Carol. It is troubling for sure and my wish is that people will wake up and take responsibility for themselves and their environment and make the changes needed to turn this all around. The power is with the people and the more who demand cleaner and healthier choices, I believe the brands are listening and things will change.

  • Lisa Swanson says:

    The scariest part, for me, is how much the public is lied to when it comes to what we put in our bodies. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves and treat our bodies well. This means eating whole foods and ditching the processed. Wonderful article Beverly; very informative.
    Lisa Swanson recently posted…I Never Had to Worry About Belly Fat BeforeMy Profile

    • That is one of the scariest things of all, Lisa. The consumer is being lied to and so many people still do not do their own due diligence and educate themselves. Several people, after reading this post, told me how many MSG is liberally used in Thailand and the people believe it is good for them. So much still to uncover and share and once the critical mass shifts, hopefully our food supply will be cleaner and safer. Thanks for adding your valuable comments here!

  • Processed food in general is bad for you in so many ways. Thanks for an informative article.
    Shawn Griffith recently posted…Travel Signs Cee’s Which WayMy Profile

    • Agree Shawn. Processed foods and most packaged foods generally have hidden ingredients and because of this, I also stay away from them. Glad you enjoyed this article, as my goal is always to share information.

  • A pox on MSG! I never would have guessed you had a weight challenge, Beverley.

    It’s been a life-long challenge for me.

    Now I’m wonderng if jenny Craig and other frozen food packages carry the stuff.

    • Yes, indeed Sharon! A pox on MSG. I have had my very ups and very downs when it comes to weight, Sharon, which is why I am so conscious of what I eat and balancing my blood sugar too. You sound like a 5-day reset programme might be perfect for you if you’d like to get this challenge under control. It is very possible, although I would hope not, that all frozen food packages carry some flavour enhancers (ie. MSG derivatives)to make them taste better.

  • Wow! I didn’t realize that MSG was in so many things!

    I definitely have a sensitivity to it — I get headaches from it.

    I’m going to have to really read those labels more carefully!

    Thanks, Beverley.
    Cathy Jennings recently posted…A New Year, A New Kind of NetworkingMy Profile

    • Glad this article shed some light on how many things MSG can appear in, Cathy. Sounds like you, like so many of us, don’t do well with it in your system and the key is to be aware, read labels and do the best you can to avoid it. At all costs. Appreciate your voice in this conversation.

  • Funny thing is the only place people used to talk about MSG was Chinese Food and now it’s known to be in many, many more things. Great info shared here and really makes you think about what you are eating.

    • You’ve got it right, Michael. Chinese Food was always thought to be the MSG culprit, yet it has been included in so many foods for so long that we do have to become detectives to make sure what we eat is clean and healthy for ourselves and our families. Thanks for sharing.

  • Deb Nelson says:

    Sad but true, seems no improvement since you first addressed this in 2011. I continue to read that we can’t exercise our way out of bad diets, and this info underscores that theory. We’ve got to be advocates for ourselves and read labels, ask questions, and just say no to MSG and GMOs we don’t want in our food.
    Deb Nelson recently posted…Cia: Building Community Through Coffee, Ice Cream, and ArtMy Profile

    • The rose-coloured glass optimist in me would like to believe that things are getting better, Deb, however as you say, now we have both MSG and all food additives and GMO’s to be aware of. Self education is a start and reading labels a must. Two unfortunate pieces are that food grade regulations does not require all ingredients are listed and also the multitude of names things like MSG go under, can make it challenging to detect. Appreciate your stand for health and wellbeing in everything you do. Thanks!

  • Fortunately for me, Beverley, my Mom is a mother tigress when it comes to nutrition and she shielded her family from aspartame and MSG when we were young .

    Yet we recently had a shock when the Indian Government banned Nestle’s Maggi Noodles for high quantities of lead and MSG. A fact that was not known to the Indian consumer market and I am still reeling from the realization that a product that has been in the Indian market for more than 3 decades and is the undisputed market leader for instant noodles and a much loved product could actually have had harmful substances that generations have consumed as a healthy fast food.

    If there is anything good about this event, it is that a lot of products are now being tested and banned for harmful substances.
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…Self-Help Tip for HappinessMy Profile

    • Sounds like you are very aware and careful about your food intake, Vatsala and all thanks to a wonderful “mother tigress”. Your story about a popular food product that millions of people have eaten thinking it was safe, is quite fascinating. We just don’t know and this is what is the somewhat scary part. We alone can only be so vigilant and do our due diligence, yet some things are still hard to uncover. The fact that the Indian Government stepped in to ban it, is very serious indeed. And yes, now that more testing and banning of potentially harmful substance is happening, it seems this builds more awareness as well, for consumers to beware and aware of the foods they are eating. Thanks for sharing this story, as it truly highlights on much we know and also how much we do not know when it comes to our food supply.

  • MSG is the devil! I have been avoiding it like the plague for decades. The first question I ask when dining at a new restaurant is whether it is used and can it be left out. Great info, Beverley!
    Coach Niquenya recently posted…Successful? 3 Dream Killing Reasons You’re NotMy Profile

    • Love how empathic you are in your view of MSG, Niquenya. It is definitely not good for anyone to consume. I have also been avoiding it, however, knowing it goes by so many other names, often even restaurants aren’t 100% sure if it is in a sauce or another packaged product they use to make their food. Seems most people are more aware of MSG’s negative impact on us and all we can do is stay aware and ask questions to safe guard our health. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ian Campbell says:

    I have long known that I was allergic to MSG when it used to be added in copious amounts to Chinese foods. I would get massive headaches and extreme lethargy when I had it. Interesting that it is also in so many other processed foods too, but called something different. Here in Australia manufacturers are required by law to add the MSG identification numbers in the ingredient list, but as you say it can also be in restaurant foods as well. Luckily, we do not eat many processed foods so we seem to miss this problem most of the time. Great information in the article Beverley. 🙂
    Ian Campbell recently posted…Your Website Traffic Quantity Versus QualityMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing your own experiences with MSG with us Ian. So many people do have a high sensitivity to it and yet, it is hidden and goes by other names in too many foods to imagine. I love that it is regulated in Australia and I wonder if that includes all the other pseudonyms it goes by. I have had people report that in Asian countries it is liberally poured on almost everything, and that people believe it is good for them. Not eating many packaged foods either, I always ask in restaurants and although most Chinese food restaurants say they don’t add any, it is still often in sauces and other packaged items they use to make their dishes. Diligence is always good and having an allergy, certainly makes you much more aware.

  • Renee Becket says:

    MSG is the worst food additive that has ever been invented. And it’s used in the fast food industry precisely because it is addictive, which is so horrible, considering it is young people who are most attracted to fast food. Nothing is changing because it’s profitable to keep people addicted to junk! It’s very sad.
    Personally I make a point to keep my kids well educated about fresh ingredients, organic produce, gluten-free diets, and also to understand how the fast food industry can manipulate our modern culture. We like to shop for groceries at the market, prepare and cook our meals together. It starts in the home! Not always easy but well worth the hard work!
    Renee Becket recently posted…Benefits, Insurance, and InvestmentsMy Profile

    • It is so wonderful to hear that you are both aware and proactive when it comes to your family’s health and well being Renee. I agree that MSG is one of the most insidious of all additives, although there are many more equally as damaging to our health. The industry is very aware of the negative impact it has on our health and I believe they do use it because it is addictive. Especially in junk foods which so many young people can’t seem to break free of. Love hearing how you make shopping a family outing and how education is a key part of the process. It is always interesting to see how kids then take this into their lives as they grow into adulthood. Congrats on all the steps you are taking on behalf of your family! I love hearing about it.

  • As someone who is allergic to MSG I hardly eat processed food. I can tell in a second if it is in my food in a restaurant meal and often check. I never knew any of this info, just knew it was not good for me.

    • The very interesting thing is people still are not aware of how far reaching MSG is in so many foods, under so many names. I imagine we all have some sensitivity to it and being allergic offers you the chance to be more vigilant about your choices to protect your health. Happy there was some new information in this piece that adds to your growing body of information and wisdom, Roslyn.

  • Thanks for commenting Ernestine. I really appreciate you taking the time to both visit and read this post.

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    • freewill says:

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