By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
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.
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 bouillon 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.
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 flavor,” “spices,” or “seasoning,” all of which can legally contain MSG.
8. Salad Croutons—Most croutons are flavored with bouillon, 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.