MSG, or Monosodium Glutamate is a food additive (E621) that is used in foods to as a flavour enhancer, specifically the umami (meaty) flavour. It is derived from glutamic acid most commonly found in seaweed and is one of the most abundant amino acids in nature. Glutamic acid has the ability to stimulate your nerve cells and an excessive amount of it can cause harmful neurological effects. We may think nothing of it, but imagine its incorporation in your diet in every meal; its accumulation will result in negative consequences. To the liver, it causes inflammation of blood vessels, leading to the death of liver cells. It is better to avoid MSG altogether. We should as much as we can, try to derive flavours from our natural food sources themselves, and not seek to enhance flavours through harmful means. There are plenty of natural herbs and spices that not only improve flavour, but are also nutritious such as sea salt, parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, or sage. As for spices, turn to cayenne pepper or red pepper, sesame seeds and other natural extracts or oils. It is unfortunate that many food sellers do not disclose the addition of MSG in their cooking, knowing all the harm it carries.

Not all MSG-laden food are labelled as MSG or E621, therefore one must be cognizant in looking out for the following names:
* Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
* Autolyzed yeast
* Hydrolyzed yeast
* Yeast extract
* Hydrolyzed soy extract
* Protein isolate

Many people are senstive to MSG and can a more instant and apparent side effect such as elevated pulse rate and blood pressure during a meal, as well as headaches and intense thirst post meal. If you experience any of these symptoms, you might want to ask the restaurant next time to exclude MSG out of your food. It may be a hassle, but your life is priceless.

Ahh-Yum takes pride in the fact that none of the food we make or serve in our kitchen and premises have been added MSG, preservatives or artificial colouring to them. There is a misconception that traditional food are unhealthy. This is not true because it depends on the ingredients and spices one chooses to put in them. We can always opt for healthier ingredients whenever and wherever possible. Taking baby steps to converting to a healthier diet does not in any way mean you should change your tastebuds. At Ahh-Yum, we simply exchange the conventionally unhealthy to the healthier option, like we do with our rice, eggs, poultry and right down to our spices. Our philosophy is that we do not sell to others what we would not feed our own children. Everyone wants a healthy and active family, and we want to make that possible for everyone. Here’s to a health-conscious living; here’s to eternal happiness!

References:
1. https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/7-alarming-msg-side-effects/
2. https://www.foodrenegade.com/msg-dangerous-science/
3. https://modernhealthmonk.com/what-msg-does-to-your-body/