4 Common MSG Myths

4 Common MSG Myths

You have probably seen the familiar “No MSG” disclaimer displayed in restaurant windows or menus, and on food labels everywhere. The ongoing monosodium glutamate (MSG) debate is a bit misleading and confusing, leaving consumers and culinary professionals in a pickle. So, we’re going to smash some of the common myths and share the facts about this tasty ingredient in our PickleSmash salsa!  

It’s worth noting that people have been enjoying the natural, flavor enhancing effects of MSG in everyday foods and condiments – like parmesan cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, walnuts – for over 100 years. On average, the FDA estimates that adults consume about 13 grams of glutamate in food proteins and half a gram of MSG daily. More importantly, numerous research studies and the FDA have reported that MSG is “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) and does not trigger major health problems following consumption.


Here’s what you need to know:

Myth: MSG is an unnatural chemical.

Fact: This is false. According to the FDA, MSG is the sodium salt of a plant-derived amino acid known as glutamic acid, which naturally occurs in the body, food, and food additives. The combination of glutamic acid and sodium is produced through fermentation, similar to the process of making alcohol and dairy products.


Myth: MSG is a dangerous allergen.

Fact: The truth is that MSG is not an allergen at all, and therefore cannot cause an allergic reaction. The International Glutamate Information Service (IGIS) indicates that there is no difference between the glutamate in MSG and the glutamate in natural food proteins as our bodies process it in the same way. Additionally, glutamate is not related to gluten whatsoever, and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology determined that “MSG is not an allergen.” Some more food for thought – sodium is a necessary electrolyte that aids in healthy body function, such as digestive and nervous system processes.


Myth: MSG causes headaches and other problems.

Fact: Not true. In fact, there is no medical evidence to support this specific claim. IGIS reports note that the International Headache Society eliminated MSG as “causative factor” for headaches, and many other research studies confirm that MSG is safe to consume. This means you can savor the flavor of various foods containing MSG without worrying about headache pain.  


Myth: MSG is really high in sodium.

Fact: This is entirely inaccurate. MSG contains about two-thirds less sodium than regular salt, which is incredibly helpful for those who need to cut down on sodium in their diet. As a natural flavor enhancer, MSG reduces the need for table salt in many dishes.


And there you have it – MSG is safe to eat and can reduce your overall daily sodium intake. This flavorful ingredient has been avoided for too long because of all the misinformation.

So, stop depriving yourself of delicious foods and give our PickleSmash salsa a try (your taste buds will thank you)! Our salsa is a guilt-free alternative for those following a vegan, paleo, keto, and gluten-free diet, or individuals who can’t eat or dislike tomatoes. After one bite, PickleSmash will be your go-to condiment for everything in the kitchen (don’t say we didn’t warn you)!

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