Friday, August 22, 2008

How To Eliminate MSG, Aspartame And Other Excitotoxins From Your Diet In Five Simple Steps

We've all heard about the health dangers of MSG (monosodium glutamate), aspartame and other chemical food additives -- including the well known fact that these ingredients cause migraine headaches, nerve system damage and appetite regulation problems leading to uncontrollable overeating and obesity. But how do we actually remove these toxic ingredients from our diets?

In this Five Step Solution™ by Mike Adams, author of the book, "Grocery Warning," you'll learn the five simple steps for removing MSG, aspartame and other related excitotoxins from your diet for good!

Read food labels at the grocery store

The first step is also the most obvious, but there's a trick to doing this successfully. You not only need to carefully read the ingredients for all the foods you purchase, you also have to know what to look for on those labels.

Food companies, you see, use deceptive terminology to hide MSG on food labels. So in addition to watching out for terms like monosodium glutamate and aspartame, you also need to watch out for these additional hidden sources of MSG:

Yeast extract
Torula yeast
Autolyzed vegetable protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Food companies can even hide MSG in the generic ingredient, "spices."

Watch out for health claims on food labels, too, since they can be deceiving. Some companies claim their foods are "100% Natural" on the label, even while using yeast extract. This is especially true for many vegetarian food products, including veggie burgers and meat alternatives.

Make sure your food items are completely free of MSG, yeast extract and other chemical additives before buying and eating them.

Next: Learn the hidden sources of MSG at the grocery store....

Watch out for MSG in spices, mixes, sauces, soups, chips and dips

MSG and yeast extract are so prominent in the food supply that they end up in products you might never suspect. Many spices, for example, contain added MSG to "spice up" their flavor, so be sure to read the ingredients on all spices and spice mixes before purchasing them.

MSG is also commonly found in all types of powdered mixes, including sauce mixes, dip mixes, flavor packets and gravy mixes. Any food that contains a flavor powder should be suspect. Read the ingredients label to be sure!

Also watch out for MSG in canned soups (it's found in most of the popular brands), salad dressings and party dips. Be especially wary of "ranch" flavored anything. Virtually all flavored snack chips also contain high levels of MSG or yeast extract.

Next: Watch out for hidden sources of aspartame...

Check for aspartame in sugar-free products, vitamins and pharmaceuticals

Aspartame isn't only used in diet soda, it's also used throughout thousands of "sugar-free" foods, candies and snacks. If you are considering purchasing anything that claims to be "sugar free" on the label, read the ingredients carefully and watch out for chemical sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin or sucralose.

Here's another fact you might have never suspected: Aspartame is also used throughout children's vitamins, cough syrups and medications in order to give them a sweeter taste. Read labels carefully, and avoid any nutritional or medicinal products that contain aspartame.

You'll also find aspartame hidden in many "diet" products, including diet ice cream. When you see any product that claims to be a "diet" product, you should immediately ask yourself, "What is it sweetened with?" The only sweeteners I currently recommend are stevia (a natural herbal sweetener) and agave nectar (a low-glycemic sweetener made from agave plants). Honey and fructose are second choices. Sugar and chemical sweeteners like aspartame should always be avoided for health reasons.

Next: Watch out for MSG while eating at restaurants...

Be careful eating at restaurants

Unfortunately, many popular restaurants use MSG in their sauces and soups. This is true for virtually all family restaurants, including those breakfast joints that serve huge portions at very low cost. One way restaurants serve up so much food at so little cost is to use canned mixes for their sauces, soups and gravies. MSG is a key ingredient that adds the perception of flavor to these "dead" foods, making them appear to taste alive when they aren't.

The key question to ask your waiter is, "Is this item made entirely from scratch with fresh ingredients, or is it prepared from a pre-made mix?" If it's not made entirely from scratch, then it most likely contains MSG. If in doubt, ask to see the ingredients on the can from which the food was made. Most restaurants will be happy to check the ingredients for you if you insist that you're allergic to MSG and its derivatives. (Waiters and waitresses do not want any customer to experience an allergic reaction at their table!)

Higher-end restaurants, bistros and cafes will usually make their own soups and sauces from scratch. One way to tell is that quality soups and sauces don't taste salty. Low-end restaurants, on the other hand, load up their dead foods with salt and MSG to make them taste like something other than dirt. So if you taste a high level of salt, it's accurate to assume the food also contains MSG.

Next: How to motivate yourself to continue avoiding MSG and aspartame...

Remind yourself of excitotoxin health risks by staying informed