When you walk around in the grocery store, do you take a closer look at the ingredients on the packaging? It’s not in everything, but you will come across a mysterious acronym. That is MSG or monosodium glutamate. If you are trying to follow a gluten-free diet, then exposure to MSG can wreak havoc on your body. Even if you are not, you could still be sensitive to it and not realize anything is wrong. Let’s find out more about it.
What Is MSG?
This additive is used to help food taste better. Many Chinese takeout places will proudly advertise they don’t use MSG. This means that the flavor of their food can stand on its own without anything thrown into it. Lower quality and less than fresh ingredients benefit from this additive, but that doesn’t mean it is kind to the human body. The glutamate occurs naturally, but food science has found a way to make it much more plentiful. That said, it is in many products, some of which you might not expect to include something like gluten. The ingredients you need to be wary of include autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, glutamic acid, gelatin, and soy extracts.
What is Chinese Restaurant Syndrome?
Even if you have never heard the term “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” before, you might be familiar with it nonetheless. This term first came about in the 1960s, but now, several decades later, it is outdated. That’s why you’ve never heard of it. This syndrome includes various conditions that tend to pop up after a patient has recently eaten at a Chinese restaurant. These conditions are headaches, flushed skin, and sweating. Nowadays, the preferred term is MSG symptom complex.
Is It Possible to Continue Eating It?
Believe it or not, it is possible to continue eating food containing MSG. According to the FDA, it is a safe substance. However, all packages must still be labeled if it has any MSG in it. The more MSG you consume, the more likely you are to gain unwanted weight. That’s why it’s best to minimize your exposure. That said, if you’ve had a severe reaction in the past, then you’re better off not ingesting it even through cross-contamination. Sometimes, eating in moderation is the best way to feel better and still enjoy all of the foods that you love.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop-shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, please email us at LottePlaza.com.