What's Your Biggest Weakness?
Mine is chips!
Have you ever eaten a packet of flavoured chips, for example, salt n vinegar (my biggest weakness which I've finally tamed down) or crackers from the supermarket shelf only to find yourself with a stomach ache or even worse... agonising tummy pain, a severe headache, nausea or all of the above? 🤕
I know I have and that is why I dug into today's topic many years ago after experiencing these negative side-effects.
The reason these 'foods' can have this effect, is largely due to the fact that they contain additives, flavour enhancers and preservatives that can wreak havoc with your gut and overall health!
Some of the major culprits are flavour enhancers such as MSG (monosodium glutamate) and MSG boosters (ribonucleotides 627, 631 and 635). These guys should seriously be avoided altogether if you want to be healthy and experience optimal gut wellness.
I very rarely ever eat chips anymore, I have to restrain myself when we are at social gatherings and there are chips there tempting me!
Important To Note
MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is not to be confused with monosodium glutamate because they are different completely! Be wary of people who say you should avoid glutamic acid and that glutamic acid is MSG because that's not true!
There is a lot of misinformation on the internet for sure.
Glutamic acid is a non-essential amino acid and found in numerous foods such as mature cheeses, ripe tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, peas, walnuts, grape juice and more.
What These Chemicals Can Do
There are many reports to state the adverse reactions of MSG and other flavour enhancers and the most common complaints people have after ingesting food with MSG in it are:
- Digestive pain
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Asthma attacks/breathing difficulties
- Increased blood pressure
Consuming MSG foods has also been linked to metabolic syndrome, weight gain and an increase in free radical production which can accelerate ageing! 👵🏻
According to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, MSG can cause food intolerances. MSG is a known neurotoxin and stimulates nerve endings. Neurotoxins are destructive to nerve tissues and have been linked to cancer, brain diseases such as dementia and memory problems and much more. 🧠
Always Read Labels!
This is why I harp on and on about reading labels because it's vital to know and understand what you're putting into your body.
I will often be in the supermarket doing my local shop to top up on what I can't find at my local organic farmer's markets and which browsing the aisles I will often get seduced by pretty packaging (I'm only human right?) but when I pick up the item and turn it around to see the ingredients, I put it straight back down!
It bums me out sometimes as I really want to eat some of these things but I know the consequences, and it just ain't worth it! Just the other day I was in the freezer section and I thought it might be nice to get some frozen chips for those nights when you get that hankering you can't ignore but upon looking at the label I saw a whole bunch of nasties, including canola oil.
Homemade with fresh, organic ingredients is always best, no question! If eating organic is unaffordable for you just do your best and try to shop by the 'dirty dozen/clean 15' list... Get the guide here.
MSG is Lurking Everywhere
MSG and other enhancers, additives and preservatives are lurking in many store-bought soups, stock cubes, stocks, sauces and so much more!
When I am making a soup or casserole that involves a stock, I am always careful to select one that is free from MSG, other enhancers, preservatives, additives, colours or numbers.
I have found the brands 'Pacific', 'Australia's Own', Ceres Organics to be quite good. Be careful of ones that say "no added MSG" because there's a pretty good chance it will contain MSG.
*Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.