10 Surprising Sources of MSG

Considering that monosodium glutamate, or MSG as it is more commonly known, is linked to many serious health conditions, including:  hormonal imbalances, weight gain, brain damage, obesity, headaches, and more, you may be shocked to learn how prevalent it is.  MSG is almost always found in processed, prepared, and packaged foods.  But, here are some lesser-known food sources of this harmful chemical.  Be sure to check out my blog tomorrow, “Are You Eating MSG Without Knowing It?” which will tell you the many names of MSG and what to look for on food labels.

1. Soup—Most soups, even most homemade soup contains MSG, even if the cook swears it doesn’t.  That’s because most soup bases, commercial stocks, and bouillion powder and cubes contain MSG.

2. Spice Mixtures—Love that Cajun seasoning, TexMex rub, or other spice mixture?  Most spice mixtures contain MSG—frequently as autolyzed yeast or yeast extract.

3. Infant Formula—As terrible as it sounds, some infant formula actually contains MSG in one of its myriad disguises.

4. Soy “Meat” Products—Many of the vegetarian burgers, hot dogs, sausages, or other meat alternatives contain textured vegetable protein (TVP), hydrolyzed vegetable protein or hydrolyzed plant protein, all of which usually contain MSG.

5. Baby Food—Shocking as it is, manufacturers of baby food often include glutamate, one of MSG’s many guises—as a flavor “enhancer.”

6. Bottled Sauces—Just gotta have your Thai, Teriyaki, or Jamaican Jerk sauce?  Well, most bottled sauces contain MSG.

7. Salad Dressings—The salad dressing you’re choosing could be negating any of the health benefits of eating salad, if you choose a bottled dressing that contains MSG.  Bottled salad dressings may contain “natural flavour,” “spices,” or “seasoning,” all of which can legally contain MSG.

8. Salad Croutons—Most croutons are flavored with bouillion, soup base, or “natural” or artificial flavors that contain MSG.

9. Protein Powder—Many of the protein powders used for weight loss or muscle building, even those sold in health food stores can contain MSG, usually as hydrolyzed protein or hydrolyzed soy protein.

10. Vaccines—Many vaccines contains MSG or glutamate.  The chickenpox and the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (M-M-R) vaccines are two common examples.

Check out my article “Are You Eating MSG Without Knowing It?” to learn about the many names for MSG and what to look for on food labels.

Michelle Schoffro Cook

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Gloria picchetti
Gloria picchetti2 years ago

It's a good thing I eat very little of those things. The most common MSG source is Chinese food. I lost a taste for it a few years back.

Evgeniia R.
Evgeniia R.2 years ago

thanks a lot! I find this information, as well as the other your article very useful. I was utterly shocked about natural flavoring thing, though i have been suspecting something of that sort for quite some time. How fortunate I read your helpful tips!

Joe R.
Joe R.3 years ago

Who knew! Thanks.

Silvija Vlahovec
Silvija Vlahovec3 years ago

Useful and scary.

iii q.
g d c.3 years ago

vaccines & baby food??? really??? ty

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

very interesting article

Joe L.
Joe L.3 years ago

We have several friends and family members who have intense MSG allergies - think horrible migranes that last for days. Unfortunately, as you've pointed out, MSG is practically everywhere, and it's difficult find food that hasn't been contaminated. They can eat lots of fruit, veggies prepared at home, meats cooked at home, ect. Eating out is a nightmare here in Thailand because MSG is a favorite food additive here: http://youtu.be/R3m9mcmAH_o

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago

Interesting info. Thanks for posting.

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

good to know

Cat N.
Cat N.3 years ago

These days a lot of bottled sauces can be found in organic form. There are also organic bouillons that don't contain MSG,