The word MSG is one which brings about mixed responses when it comes to food. After all, it is the ingredient that puts taste into our food, isnâ€™t it?
By now, you would have heard that MSG is bad for health and that it causes hair loss and could cause cancer. If you read some of the researches that have been done by food nutritionists and scientists, some were found to be completely harmless. So which one should you believe?
First of all, MSG is one of the oldest types of food seasoning in the world. It was patented by this company called Ajinomoto in 1909 and has become one of the most recognized brand in the world today. It is a salt which comes from sodium and amino acid and glutamic acid.
This type of food additive, which means Monosodium glutamate is very popular in Asian cooking and more so in Malaysia where we take our food very seriously. In fact, it has been reported that most of Malaysian food are made using Ajinomoto or something along that line. So is this really harmful?
The truth is, the more MSG is used, the more salt you are consuming. This type of substance is an excitotoxin which is used to stimulate the taste receptors on your tongue. They are designed to make your food taste better. Otherwise we will be eating plain Maggi soup or tasteless Ayam Goreng Panas.
There has been countless research that tied MSGs to health problems like strokes, brain injury and meningitis but people are still rampantly eating food that are cooked with MSG while companies like Ajinomoto are still going strong with no signs of closing down in the near future.
This is because as a substance, MSG is regarded harmless and could be damaging if you use too much.
Remember, too much salt will increase your blood pressure that could lead to hypertension and strokes. You will know that you are consuming too much MSG when you constantly feel very thirsty after a meal and drinking water does not seem to quench the thirst easily. In a long run, it could be damaging to your liver.
The rule of thumb is that using Ajinomoto will surely make your food taste better but there are always alternatives which you can use like herbs and spices. If possible stop using MSGs altogether as you are adding a lot more salt to your diet. On top of that, you are already including soya sauce, salt and others which will contribute to the overall amount of salt in the meal.