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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why I Avoid Buying Foods With Glutamates

Today's post is the last in my series of posts that explain why I try not to consume the ingredients in my Top 5 Ingredients I Avoid When Shopping post.  Today we talk about glutamate (or, more accurately, glutamic acid).

Glutamic acid is the harmful component to Monosodium Glutamate or MSG.

Glutamate (glutamic acid) is the major excitatory transmitter in the brain.  So, wait a minute.  If it is in our brain and has a function, why do I avoid it?

Simple.  My body knows how much I need of it.  If I give my body too much of it, the brain cannot do its job properly.  I don't know about you, but I want my brain to function properly even if that means my food has a little less taste.

Glutamic acid is very good at hiding within other ingredients.  This is why I said in my post listing my 5 ingredients I avoid that glutamate is the hardest ingredient to avoid.  Refer to this helpful chart to find out what other ingredients contain (or can contain) glutamic acid.

That chart is extremely helpful, because you will realize it is not just as easy as looking for Monosodium Glutamate on the ingredient list.  Avoiding MSG is a great starting point, but it would be great to branch out and avoid the rest of the ingredients on the list as well.

And here is a list of reported symptoms from ingesting MSG.  It's a long list, right?  That is why I don't ingest it or let my kids ingest it.  That list of symptoms is why my kids (aged 2, 7 and 9) have NEVER had Doritos. 

I apologize for not giving you all of that in my own words, but as you saw if you clicked on the links, the lists are quite long.  I thought there was no point in rewriting it all when those two sites did it so beautifully!  No point reinventing the wheel! ;)

Well, I hope this weeks posts get you started on a new healthy track with your family's diet!  If you missed them, you can go back and read them by clicking on the ingredients below.

Again, if you are new to reading ingredients, please don't feel overwhelmed with this list.  You will find that these ingredients are highly prevalent in the foods most Americans eat!  Start with just one item on the list if you don't think you can do all of them.  Anywhere you start will be beneficial for your health!

Good luck!

Note: As stated in the link with the list of ingredients that glutamate can be in, "Glutamic acid found in unadulterated protein does not cause adverse reactions.  To cause adverse reactions, the glutamic acid must have been processed/manufactured or come from protein that has been fermented."

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