Well, ever wondered why restaurant food makes you feel full so quickly?
MSG is a food-flavoring additive that is quite popular in the Far East. Back home, you’ll find that MSG is a particular favorite with fast food restaurant chains like KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, Applebee’s, and so on. You’ve probably heard that this additive isn’t good for you –that it makes you put on weight, it gives you headaches and so on. What is MSG in food doing that it’s considered so bad?
Supporters of the use of MSG, primarily people who manufacture the stuff, will often defend the food additive by simply pointing to how the FDA considers it safe for human consumption. They also point to research that shows that glutamate is a substance that is naturally produced by the body. How can that be harmful, they ask. Right away, you can tell that this isn’t a very good argument. Cholesterol is naturally produced by the body; but we all know that it isn’t good when it comes into your body through your food. It’s the same with synthetic MSG. For one thing, to take MSG in your food gives your body an overabundance of the stuff. And this isn’t good for your nervous system. And then, there are ways in which the manufacturing process makes it different from natural MSG. What is MSG in food doing to you that is harmful for you?
Scientists aren’t sure yet. But they are sure of one thing –MSG is a kind of a neuro-transmitter. It could interfere with nervous function. This could explain perhaps, how some people complain of headaches when they eat food with this additive in it. But why should the food industry be so persistent about this practically tasteless additive? What is MSG in food doing that it should be considered indispensable?
When something with MSG lands on your tongue, your tongue thinks that it’s tasting nutritious protein. When your tongue tastes this, it approves –it makes you think you’re eating good-quality food that’s good for you. It gives the fast food companies a way to help you cheat your brain. And then, MSG has other effects on your body –it makes your pancreas produce more insulin. This makes your digestive system think that it’s full rather soon. Have you ever wonder why just one small burger at a fast food restaurant makes you feel nice and full? It’s because of this effect. Yet, just a little while later, you’re hungry again. You walk away from the restaurant feeling nice and filled, but a little while later you want more.
You see, food businesses have a real problem on their hands. On the one hand, they want to give you fake food that’s cheap to manufacture. But if they did that, your digestive system wouldn’t feel nice and filled. This is why every fast food restaurant is addicted to MSG.
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Photo by Evelyn Hartshon