Thursday, January 17, 2013

Are They Making You Fat Like a Rat?

When researchers are testing a new diet drug do you know what they use?  Well they use rats, as they have done for decades.  Rats by nature don't get fat, so then how then do they get them all fattened up for their studies?  Why Monosodium Glutamate, other wise known as MSG.

RatIt is common knowledge in the world of research that MSG is used to fatten up the rats for experiments.  What isn't common knowledge is that it does the same thing to us.

Studies in Spain showed that animals who consumed MSG had their appetites increase by 40%.  A recent study of humans in China found that regardless of calorie intake, or amount of exercise, MSG caused people to gain weight.

MSG is found to be the culprit behind a lot of health problems including aggravating asthma and causing diabetes.  I have dealt with it causing migraines, as it ruined my Valentine's dinner with my hubby a couple years ago.
By directly stimulating the pancreas to release insulin, which drops the blood sugar, MSG can be considered an "anti-appetite suppressant".  In other words, eating MSG makes you hungrier than you would have been, sooner than you would have been.   Over-release of insulin can lead to obesity and insulin resistance - the start of Type II Diabetes.  Obesity, and Type II diabetes are now epidemic in children.   Before the introduction of MSG into the American diet, these diseases were rare in children.  (source- emphasis mine)
That may explain why it's common to feel hungry again not too long after eating most Chinese food.  Mmmm Chinese food!  I love the stuff, and have learned to ask for it without MSG.

MSG is a natural substance derived from seaweed or corn, but don't let that fool you into believing it's healthy.  It's healthy beginning allows food makers to hide it under the term "natural flavors", and other names like  "hydrolyzed or textured vegetable protein, Accent, calcium caseinate, autolyzed yeast extract and gelatin." (source)

Syringes and Vial
Photo by Brian Hoskins
So where do we need to be on the look out for this evil fattener?  Premade foods are the biggest source of MSG.  A not so obvious one is in vaccines.  Apparently in 1982 they started adding it to vaccinations for children. (source)
When I mention MSG to people they generally think of its use in Chinese food. However, when you start to look, you'll find it in the coffees you buy at your favourite coffee shops and it's even injected into turkeys, to make them plump. Erb encourages us to look closely at a wide range of foods, from Campbell's Soups, Hostess Doritos, Lays flavoured potato chips, canned gravies and frozen dinners, to Kraft salad dressings.  (source)

Other places to be wary of are:

Diet foods have started to add MSG to their food items to help them taste better.  Well isn't that an oxymoron, a diet food that makes you fatter?

Grilled Chicken Filet
Hot and Spicy Chicken Patty
Grilled Chicken Ceasar Salad
Grilled Chicken California Cobb Salad
Seasoned Beef
Sausage Scrambled Egg MixSausage, and Sausage Patty (source)
*Sadly the items that seem the healthiest have pure MSG loaded into them.

Best British BeefIs there anything left to eat?  In a million different ways "yes"!  Fresh fruits, vegetables, and organic free-range meats are always great go to choices, as well as dairy products from these animals.

If you don't want to cook try a restaurant like Chipotle that probably doesn't add any MSG, or see if the food can be made without it.

Health food stores and Trader Joe's (they have a no MSG policy) should be safe places to shop, and often have premade meals if you can't make them from scratch all the time.

Be wise and learn to read labels.  It's a bit of work at first, but once you know what to look for you'll find it easy to sort out what's healthy for you.

Here's to truly learning how to loose weight!  :)


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