Tag Archives: MSG

Important nutrition news for diabetics

FoodFacts.com ran across some very important information today that we wanted to share with our community. It’s especially pertinent for diabetics or anyone with diabetics in their family or circle of friends and warrants attention.

Many diabetics and folks who know and love them have considered diet food products as an answer to keeping their sugar levels down. In addition to understanding how carbohydrates affect their disease, and adjusting their diets accordingly, they can also consider sugar-free diet, light, or low fat food products acceptable choices. After all diabetes is a disease that is directly related to sugar … right?

There’s been new research released that point to two additives in foods that can actually cause an increase in fasting blood glucose levels and have been found to be linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes. This is the most common form of the disease, affecting anyone from young children to older adults. And it turns out that the foods that some people think may actually be safe to eat for diabetics really may not be at all.

The study involved mice and its results showed that both aspartame and MSG are actually increasing fasting blood glucose levels and reducing insulin sensitivity … not a good combination for folks with dietabetes.

The presence of aspartame as a product ingredient was shown to have both these effects. When both aspartame and MSG are included in product ingredients a dual effect was discovered – both the spike in fasting blood glucose levels and reduced insulin sensitivity along with weight elevation. As double whammy for diabetes.

This study is fairly ground breaking as it is the first one published that illustrates a hyperglycemic effect from chronic exposure to a combination of food additives that are incredibly common in the food supply. Just take a look at products labeled “sugar-free”, “diet”, “light”, “low-calorie” or “low fat”. And it’s especially important to remember that looking for MSG isn’t just a simple search for monosodium glutamate on an ingredient list. MSG is hidden in many ingredients that are added to processed food. The dual effects described in this study show that this combination can actually spur the development of diabetes.

As with all studies, more research is needed. But since FoodFacts.com understands how many of the products in stores across the country contain both of these ingredients, we felt it especially important to inform and educate our community. Whether you have diabetes or there’s someone in your family who does, it’s more important than ever to read and understand the ingredients of food products. Once again, the ingredient list can tell us what we need to know to keep our families safe and healthy.

Read more: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22697049

What you don’t know really can hurt you.

FoodFacts.com remembers the old adage “What you don’t know can’t hurt you”. While we’re sure the saying was coined with the best of intentions, we know that today, it really isn’t applicable in most situations … and especially not in our food supply. What we’re not aware of really can hurt us, causing allergic reactions, triggering asthma and sometimes even worse.

We have to wonder why the FDA doesn’t necessarily think the same way. It’s been acknowledged for years that some people have reactions after eating food that contains MSG which is processed free glutamic acid. These reactions can include anything from migraine headaches, foggy thinking, gastrointestinal upsets, heart irregularities, asthma symptoms to mood swings. But what isn’t acknowledged often is that there are a tremendous number of ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid and those the foods that contain them do not have to be labeled as containing MSG.

So here’s a list of ingredients you need to watch out for in order to avoid MSG.

These are the ingredients that ALWAYS contain processed free glutamic acid:
Monopotassium Glutamate
Calcium Glutamate
Monoammonium Glutamate
Magnesium Glutamate
Natrium Glutamate
Yeast Extract
Hydrolyzed Anything
Hydrolyzed Protein of any type
Calcium Caseinate
Sodium Caseinate
Autolyzed Yeast
Gelatin
Textured Protein
Soy Protein
Soy Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein Isolate
Whey Protein
Whey Protein Isolate
Vetsin
Ajinomoto

And here’s a second list of ingredients that can contain or produce processed free glutamic acid:

Carrageenan
Bouillon
Maltodextrin
Citrate
Barley Malt
Pectin
Malt Extract
Soy Sauce

And lastly, if these ingredients are present adding flavor to a food product, MSG is in there:

Disodium 5’-Guanylate
Disodium 5’-Inosinate
Disodium 5’-Ribonucleotides

If you’re avoiding MSG, remember you need to look further than monosodium glutamate to ensure you aren’t consuming it. While it’s easy to identify MSG, stay alert to the fact that companies are not required to label the other ingredients that trigger reactions to processed free glutamic acid.

FoodFacts.com wants our community to stay educated about the foods you eat to maintain your healthiest lifestyle.

ConAgra’s unsuccessful attempt to promote Marie Callender’s

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Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

As many consumers know, ConAgra has been targeted for marketing “natural” oils, which are far from natural; and producing what most people commonly refer to as “frankenfood.” In an effort to boost their publicity and promote their line of products, ConAgra hired a PR firm to setup a lavish event for well-known culinary bloggers to attend a dinner prepared by celebrity chef George Duran. However, the bloggers were not served food created by George Duran, instead they were served ConAgra’s popular frozen brand, Marie Callender’s. Apparently, they expected the bloggers to receive the joke in good terms and return home to blog about how great their meals were. Wrong reaction. The bloggers were furious with ConAgra’s actions and took to the internet to proclaim so. We understand why these bloggers would be upset, because looking closely at these frozen dinners, anyone would cringe at the awful combination of ingredients.
Marie Callender's at Foodfacts.com!

One entree choice from the Marie Callender’s product line is turkey breast with stuffing. This 380 calorie meal is equipped with about 80 ingredients, some of which are very controversial. TBHQ, BHA, BHT, various artificial flavors, “natural” flavors, MSG, carrageenan, partially hydrogenated oils, caramel coloring, high fructose corn syrup, gelatin, disodium guanylate, and many more of our worst controversial ingredients all accompany the few turkey breast medallions and small portion of what appears to say “gravy.” There is also 1,370 mg of sodium, 4 g of saturated fat, and 60 mg of cholesterol. Choose your foods wisely! This meal is unlikely to leave someone feeling good after they dig into it.

Marie Callender's at Foodfacts.com!
Marie Callender’s lasagna, which was served at the deceiving dinner party, has about 30% of the daily value for saturated fat, 31% the daily value for sodium, and 45 mg of cholesterol. Lest we forget it also contains sodium benzoate, which has been shown to be carcinogenic in the presence of vitamin C. This particular product contains 8% of vitamin C from tomatoes, and maybe a few other ingredients, which isn’t much, but who would take such a chance from a boxed dinner? Also, there are two different sources for flavoring, and partially hydrogenated oils. Overall, not a great product. I would be displeased too if this was served to me!

razzleberry pie at Foodfacts.com!
Being served a warm homemade pie isn’t quite like a microwaved razzleberry pie from a Marie Callender’s box. Though they don’t contain a very large list of ingredients in comparison to other brands, Mari Callender’s pie still contains trans fat, a hefty load of added sugars, various modified starches, and quite a bit of sodium. Also, just one slice is 360 calories. We’re pretty sure it’s not a thick slice, but more of a tiny sliver. Watch your portions if you’re daring enough to try it!

MSG is sometimes hidden in food with labels that say “No Added MSG,” “No MSG Added,” and “No MSG”

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Foodfacts.com wants to help make you more aware about some of the things that manufacturers hide on their labels. Manufacturers are aware that many consumers would prefer not to have MSG in their food. Some manufacturers have responded by using “clean labels,” i.e., labels that contain only ingredient names they think consumers will not recognize as containing MSG — names such as “hydrolyzed soy protein.” Others advertise “No MSG,” “No MSG Added,” or “No Added MSG,” even though their products contain MSG.

Most offenders are small processors who are possibly being misguided by the FDA, the USDA, and/or consultants. Hain and Campbell’s, both large companies, are among those who have been alerted to both the deception that they are perpetrating and the illegality of what they are doing, yet continue with what the FDA has, in the past, termed deceptive and misleading labeling.
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Placing “No MSG,” “No MSG Added,” or “No Added MSG” on food labels has been deemed by the FDA to be false and misleading under section (403)(a)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act when the label also lists any hydrolyzed protein as an ingredient since it contains MSG.” Thus, to advertise “No MSG,” “No MSG Added,” or “No Added MSG” when there is processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in a product is illegal.

At one time, the FDA responded to the illegal use of the term “No MSG Added,” with both a Regulatory Letter and threat of seizure and injunction in case of non-compliance.(4) At one time, State Attorneys General sued manufacturers that made such claims, and won consent decrees from them, and sometimes fines were imposed.(5-6) But when the FDA began to look the other way, and the State Attorneys General turned their attention to other matters, the deceptive and misleading use of “No MSG” and No Added MSG” once more began proliferating.

Following the FDA’s announcement in 1995 that “…FDA considers foods whose labels say “No MSG” or “No Added MSG” to be misleading if the food contains ingredients that are sources of free glutamates, such as hydrolyzed protein,”(7) the incidence of such misleading and deceptive labels regulated by the FDA began to decline. At the same time, similar labels regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) continued proliferating. At the USDA they don’t simply fail to enforce the regulation. The USDA actually approves labels of meat and poultry products that claim “No MSG,” “No MSG Added,” or “No Added MSG” when they contain free glutamic acid.

Clearly, it is false and misleading to claim “No MSG” or “No MSG Added” on a product label when MSG is present, even if it is present as a constituent of an ingredient.

Those making such claims should be able to demonstrate, through valid tests for free glutamic acid content, that there is no (zero) free glutamic acid in their products.

Even if one could assume that a particular label reflected the ingredients actually in the product (which one cannot), review of product labels to determine the presence of MSG would not be satisfactory, and will not substitute for analysis of the end product. The number of products/ingredients /substances that contain MSG is not finite, i.e., new ingredients that contain MSG are invented and/or renamed every day. To keep track of them would be virtually impossible. Moreover, MSG can be freed from protein during processing or manufacture given appropriate conditions. For example, any ingredient that contains a bit of protein can be hydrolyzed if hydrochloric acid, enzymes, heat, and/or other substances or conditions that cause glutamic acid to be separated out of its host protein are present, resulting in some processed free glutamic acid (MSG). Hydrolyzation of protein inevitably creates some (processed) free glutamic acid (MSG).

Only if there is no (zero) free glutamic acid in an end product can one legitimately claim that there is no MSG. The burden of proof for a claim about the absence of MSG must lie with those making the claim.

If you write or call to ask whether or not there is MSG in a product…

If you want to find out if there is processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in a product, you must ask the manufacturer for information about “free glutamic acid.” Don’t ask about “MSG.” Manufacturers find it convenient, when speaking to consumers, to tell them that there is no “MSG” in their product, meaning that there is no ingredient called “monosodium glutamate.” Even if a manufacturer tells you there is no MSG in a product, there may be autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed pea protein, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, enzymes, and a whole slew of other ingredients that contain or create processed free glutamic acid (MSG) during manufacture.

If you are told that all of the MSG in a product is “naturally occurring,” thank the manufacturer for that meaningless information, but explain that all processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is referred to as “natural” by the FDA — so “natural” tells you nothing. In fact, as the word “natural” is defined by the FDA, the food ingredient “monosodium glutamate” is “natural.”

It is the amount of processed free glutamic acid in the product that will determine whether or not you might suffer an MSG reaction. (Everyone has a different tolerance for MSG.) If the manufacturer claims not to know whether or not there is processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in his or her product, ask that the product be analyzed for free amino acids, including free glutamic acid. There are tests for measuring free glutamic acid. The AOAC Official Methods of Analysis (1984) gives one method. There are others. The cost of testing should be no more than $150.

We have been advised by the FDA that if any such misbranded products are brought to their attention, they will act to correct the situation. To report misbranded products to the FDA, please call the FDA at 888-723-3366 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., eastern time – and keep a record of your call.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

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Many people recognise monosodium glutamate (MSG) as the additive used, for example, in some Chinese and Japanese food, but few know what it is, let alone what its effects on the body are. Now a new report focuses on how monosodium glutamate may be just one of the causes of the Slow Poisoning of America.

In fact, MSG (which is often disguised by names like “hydrolyzed vegetable protein” or “HVP”, “yeast extract” or “autolyzed proteins”) is, like aspartame, a member of the group of chemicals known as “excitotoxins” (the clue is in the name!). These toxic compounds are known to interfere with brain chemistry and have been implicated in many neurological diseases, such as brain cancers, MS, fibromyalgia, depression and hyperactivity (ADHD). In fact, they overexcite brain cells to the point of cell damage and even cell death.

MSG has also been linked to obesity and, indeed, many products that contain MSG now also contain horrific chemicals like “high fructose corn syrup” (whose purpose is to make you chemically addicted to the food in the same way as sugar).

Monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of the amino acid glutamate, and is a commonly used flavor enhancer, regarded by the FDA as “generally safe”, meaning that food manufacturers can use as much of it as they like. It has been around for many years, and is found not only in take away meals from Chinese restaurants, but many other food sources, in which it is listed as either “monosodium glutamate”, “MSG” or “hydrolyzed vegetable protein”.

In a recent book on the subject, Dr Russell Blaylock reported that MSG also causes severe disturbances in the endocrine system, affecting levels of hormones such as LH (Leutenising hormone), GH (growth hormone) and prolactin. (Excitotoxins by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 263)

Another recent work stated that “The stress-induced abnormalities in blood-brain barrier permeability suggest differing MSG effects dependent on existing states of relaxation or stresses. The suggestive evidence for MSG-induced neuroendocrine effects is substantial, coupled with the observation of increased obesity in children.” ( In Bad Taste by George R Schwartz MD, page 39)

In short, MSG is a leading cause of obesity and may well be implicated in many other conditions. It should be avoided at all costs, just like its chemical relatives.

Foodfacts.com Explores the Controversial Ingredient Gelatin

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Foodfacts.com wants you to get to know what controversial ingredients are in your foods. Lets take a look at the controversial ingredient Gelatin. Gelatin, also known as gelatine, is a colorless water soluble protein. The jelly which is used in most of the desserts and sweets is made of gelatin. Gelatin in its natural form is colorless, odorless and tasteless. There have been many conceptions, misconceptions and beliefs about ingredients in gelatin. Let us have a look at it in detail.

Gelatin Ingredients
Collagen is one of the chief ingredients of gelatin. Collagen is a scleroprotein found in the bone, cartilage and tendons of animals. When the bones or tissues of animals are boiled, collagen yields gelatin. Hence, getting straight to the point, you should know that gelatin can be obtained only from animal tissues. There is a wide spread misconception that gelatin is obtained from horse hooves, which is incorrect. Horse hooves or bones are never used in the production process of gelatin. Tissues of pigs, cattle and fish are prominently used in order to obtain gelatin.

Therefore, it is no doubt clear that as gelatin is gotten from animal sources, it cannot be considered as a vegetarian meal or product. Similarly, any product containing gelatin, like marshmallows, gummy bears, Peeps, Jell-O, etc. can never be included in vegan food products. Many capsule covers are also made with gelatin and hence, vegetarians should specifically have a check at the label of any medicine to make sure whether they are vegetarian or not. Gelatin is also one of the chief ingredients of toothpaste, certain cosmetics and soups and canned hams. Gelatin is commonly available in the form of granules, flakes as well as cubes.

Kosher Gelatin
The answer to the query, ‘is Kosher gelatin vegan or not’ is very ambiguous. Kosher or Kashrut, are a set of rules followed by the Jewish community about the production and edibility of food products. According to Kosher laws, any food items that contain flesh are considered as non-kosher while those gotten from plants are considered as kosher. However, as gelatin is obtained from bones and not from actual flesh, it is considered as kosher and can be eaten by Jewish adherents. Secondly, only the gelatin that comes from fish and all types of vegetarian gelatin are considered kosher. However, it is always advisable to check the Kosher laws and gelatin ingredients thoroughly before consuming any of such products.

Vegan Gelatin
Vegans may be disappointed to find that gelatin used in their favorite desserts is obtained from an animal source and hence, cannot be consumed. One should also know that no such product as the vegan gelatin exists. However, one may not be aware but, there are various substances that have similar properties like that of gelatin and can be used as a substitute to it. Agar agar, or only the agar, is a widely used vegan substitute for gelatin. Agar is obtained from seaweed or red algae and is used as an ingredient in many vegan desserts all over the world. Agar is obtained by boiling, purifying and drying red algae or red seaweed. The properties of agar are not exactly similar to that of gelatin, as it is more slimy and softer than gelatin. But nonetheless, it makes an excellent gelling agent in vegan marshmallows and jellies. Some of the other vegan substitutes for gelatin include Xanthan, Biobin, Guar and Carob fruit.

If you’re confused about the same, refer to food guide.

Now that you are aware of gelatin ingredients, it is always advisable to check the label of every product, specially desserts or canned foodstuffs. Presence of gelatin in it means it has been prepared from an animal source which definitely is not a vegan option!

Could Your Headaches Be From MSG In Your Food?

MSG

It might be time to think twice before you grab that bottle of soy sauce. More than 25% of Americans react negatively to MSG. In addition, there are reports indicating a potential linking of the common additive MSG (monosodium glutamate) with weight gain. Healthy adults using MSG were found to have a higher BMI (body mass index) than those cooking without it. And that’s discounting calorie intake or physical activity. Continue reading