Monosodium Glutamate is a flavor enhancer about which there is a great controversy. This component as well as others used by the food industry are responsible for creating a consumer addiction due to the pleasure generated by the taste of food with these enhancers.

In this article we will talk about what it is, where it is located, why it is used in food and how its consumption affects our diet.

What is Monosodium Glutamate?

Monosodium Glutamate (GMS or MSG) is a food additive widely used in the food industry (canning, sauces, snacks, processed, precooked, etc.) as well as in Chinese and Peruvian food.

Its use is related to enhancing the taste of these foods, which appear a fresher taste or avoid the metallic taste in canned foods. Therefore it helps to trick our palate into thinking that we are consuming a meal of more quality than it really is.

Through a fermentation process of some products such as milk, algae, certain cereals or sugar cane an acid is obtained which is then refined until the final product is obtained: Monosodium Glutamate.

The controversy

It was a highly used product until 1968 began to be controversial after it began to relate to certain symptoms after consuming specific foods. Symptoms such as numbness, sweating, chest pain, redness etc.

Since then, there have been advocates and detractors of glutamate and studies continue to be developed to verify all the effects they have on humans.

The latest studies focus on how it affects or deceives our brain and everything that is supposed to be. Later we will explain this in more detail.

The human body was programmed to recognize nutrients from taste. It therefore establishes a nutrition-taste relationship, which has been fundamental throughout all the centuries of mankind’s existence. Human beings could be guided by their environment and consume those products they needed thanks to how they knew.

With the advent of flavor enhancers, this function has been lost, it has been masked. Our brain can no longer differentiate, or can not greatly, what is nutritious and it not only guided by the taste it has what it consumes.

All this has resulted in the intake of products that provide us with calories and provides poor nutrition. But not only that, but they generate an addiction that favors to continue to consume that kind of food instead of others that would provide us with more nutrients.

Consumption of glutamate products is related to:

  • Headaches, as well as migraines or potentiate migraine outbreaks in those people who suffer from them.
  • Addiction and therefore overweight and obesity, especially is related to the storage of abdominal fat.
  • By its composition, and in connection with the addiction it provokes, it is also responsible for the increased production of insulin in our body and the health problems it entails. Insulin resistance is being associated with a large number of diseases currently suffering and related to hormonal problems. If you are interested you can take a look at the following articles:
    • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and nutrition
    • Insulin resistance What is it? How do I know if I have it?
    • The relationship between our intestinal health and Alzheimer
    • Autoimmune hypothyroidism or Hashimoto
    • We talk about acne: causes and how to treat it
    • Keeping our gut healthy is protecting the health of our whole body

What names do we find glutamate in groceries?

Many times it appears as Monosodium Glutamate or GMS or MSG, however we can find it with other names such as Advidito E-621 or hidden next to other ingredients that already present Glutamate in its compositionas the case of any hydrolyzed food, broths, flavoring, maltodextrin, seasonings, etc.

How do foods with enhancers that generate addiction affect us?

The first point we should take into account is that the explosion of flavor generated by edibles with flavor enhancers overshadow the consumption of real foods, which are the ones that nourish us. This is because we become less sensitive to food intake by quenching our hunger or thirst, but we consume only for the pleasure that these foods cause us to be hungry or not.

With regard to this first point, when we feel some kind of frustration it is very likely that we will take refuge in food to get that pleasure generated by these additives and thus comfort us. This spiral can be very dangerous if it becomes a habit and we stop controlling what we consume. This can lead to enslavement to this type of food as we can generate dependency on them and feel really bad if we don’t have them.

Another important point is that these foods give us a feeling of being full. But in fact nutritively they are poor and our body will need to consume more food to be healthy. This will lead to him asking us to eat more for nutrition. This results in the fact that we end up consuming processed foods that give us little nutrition. When we enter this wheel the problems of overweight and other health problems related to food and nutrition begin.

You may be interested in:

  • Anxiety about eating: how to eliminate it for a good diet
  • Food to increase serotonin and dopamine and lift your mood
  • Know women’s nutritional needs

What can we do?

Therefore, we recommend you to repair the ingredients of the products we buy. We should try that they have as few additives as possible (flavorings, sugars, glutamate, etc.) and that the highest percentage of ingredients are real foods.

We must take into account that with real food we get nutrition. However with processed foods we give ourselves a treat or a pleasure, as when we drink a beer. Therefore, we must take care of the food we consume to maintain optimal health.

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