MSG: What It Is and Why You Should Avoid It


If you have researched healthy eating at all, it is likely that you’ve come across MSG a time or two. It may make you wonder what exactly it is and why it is so important that you avoid it. Let’s answer those two questions right here.

What is MSG?

MSG is short for monosodium glutamate and it is a salt-based additive that is put in food to make it taste better. Some foods that typically have MSG in them are Chinese food, canned veggies and soups, and a variety of different meats that are processed. 

Because MSG has a salty taste, that is partially why it is so attractive to your palette. Plus, it also makes it easier to over-consume both the additive itself and the food it is in as sodium impacts your body’s ability to regulate your food intake. 

Why Should You Avoid It?

Of course, any time you overdo a food or food substance, it isn’t good for you. It may cause you to gain weight, which puts you at a greater risk of obesity related issues, and too much of any unnatural ingredient can leave you with unintended consequences.

At this point in time, there is a lot of controversy surrounding MSG and how it affects the human body. In fact, the negative side effects of MSG are so well-known that they’ve actually been given a name: MSG Symptom Complex.

What symptoms is it referring to? According to Mayo Clinic, taking in MSG may give you any or all of the following issues:

  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Numbness in face or neck area
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heart rate
  • Feelings of weakness
  • Nausea

It is for these reasons that you will want to monitor your MSG intake and keep it to a minimum. One way to do that is to read labels so you know when it is in your food.

How do you feel about MSG? Have you noticed any negative side effects when you consume it?


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