As the first word indicates, it means one. It is Ancient Greek word meaning alone, only, sole, single.
This sounds like salt doesn’t it? Salt is a combination of sodium and chloride, and yes, salt has a ton of sodium so you can consider them the same thing. In fact, salt has 2/3 more sodium that MSG. Sodium can occur naturally in foods including vegetables and is normally added when processing foods.
“Glutamate is one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids.” I quote that from Wikipedia, and add that it can be found in all foods naturally. It is what gives food it’s flavor. The substance MSG is not something that just showed up, it’s been around for hundreds of years to enhance the already naturally occurring flavors in foods.
It’s especially popular in Asian cultures. 95% of all Asian foods use it and those countries are the ones that introduced it to the America’s.
We now know that MSG = One Salt. Like all salt, it enhances the flavor of foods by combing sodium and glutamate opposed to sodium and chloride found in regular salt. At LifeGuardner, we suggest you limit your salt intake. You should also be careful of MSG intake for the same reason. Too much salt is bad for you.
Chances are you eat MSG all the time and don’t really know it. Cheeses, soy sauce, tomatoes etc… all have it. Many vegetables also contain glutamate such as Broccoli and peas. I’ve come to realize that the best foods you add to other foods to add flavor usually have MSG or naturally occurring glutamate. That’s why the food combines well with other foods to enhance the flavor.
That means that MSG wasn’t added to the already existing MSG. Soy sauce is nearly pure MSG and it doesn’t say it contains any. Unless the label says, “No MSG” on it, it may have MSG. *The FDA requires that foods which contain naturally occurring MSG can’t use the “No MSG” label.
Conclusion – Can I Consume MSG Then?
Yes, but I would still avoid foods high in sodium. These include: All processed foods, chips and cookies, powder mixes and gravies, (theater) buttered or plain popcorn, ranch and other salad dressings, etc… You get the picture. Foods that you already know are unhealthy, often contain added sodium.
Monosodium Glutamate Recap:
1) MSG is naturally occurring substance in many healthy foods
2) Originally brought over by Asian cultures. People have used this food enhancing ingredient in many dishes for hundreds of years.
3) You should avoid eating unhealthy and processed foods high in sodium
4) Unless it says “No MSG” if it tastes good, chances are it has it.