This Blog Contains MSG (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome Isn’t Real)

Chinese Restaurant Syndrome Isn't Real

Dan Pashman, author, public speaker, host and self-described “eater, not foodie,” started his year off right. In January, Pashman’s podcast, The Sporkful, released an episode titled “This Podcast Contains MSG.” The two-time James Beard nominated podcast began the episode by playing media clips from horrified people claiming to have fallen ill due to MSG exposure. Pashman takes over the narration and describes the story of Dr. Ho Man Kwok’s personal anecdotal speculation that led to the coining of the phrase Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.

What is MSG?

what is MSG

In case you missed this informative article about “What is MSG,” published in the Huffington Post this month…

Author Julie R. Thomson noted: “MSG is one of the most notorious ingredients in the United States. The Japanese ingredient that’s commonly used in Chinese restaurants stateside, has been blamed for making people feel ill with symptoms ranging from headaches to asthma. (This reaction came to be known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.)”

“Many studies have been done to determine a relationship between the consumption of MSG and the symptoms that comprise the syndrome mentioned above, but they have failed to find a link.”

New Scientific Research: Adding MSG Helps Reduce Sodium While Maintaining Good Taste

Reduce Sodium

The latest U.S. dietary recommendations announced earlier this year emphasize the need for Americans to significantly reduce sodium in their diets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90 percent of all Americans eat too much sodium in their daily diets.

But for those of us who love salty foods and are used to grabbing the salt shaker the minute dinner is served, how do we lower our sodium intake without sacrificing taste? A new research study on monosodium glutamate (MSG) and its effect on palatability is enlightening. The results are pretty tasty if we say so ourselves. While we’ve addressed MSG and taste in several of our blogs here at MSGdish, this research offers further proof of how important MSG can be to enhance the flavor of food (in this case, spicy soups).

The New U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Sodium: What about MSG?

Lower Sodium

Did you know that 90 percent of all Americans eat too much sodium in their daily diets? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),“Most adults and children in the United States exceed the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation for dietary sodium.”

Because sodium is found in so many foods, careful choices are needed in all food groups to reduce intake. The top sources of sodium in the U.S. diet include breads and rolls, deli meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, rice and pasta dishes, seafood dishes, meat mixed dishes (such as meatloaf with tomato sauce), and savory snacks.

Is There Evidence to Back Up Claims Against MSG?

Chinese Restaurant Syndrome

A recent investigative report by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which is the public-service broadcaster of the United Kingdom, focuses on this topic: “Monosodium glutamate is often blamed for a range of nasty side effects. But is there evidence to back up these MSG claims?”

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