Avoid Hydrolized Vegetable Protein

Nutritionhelp recommends that clients avoid as many food additives as possible, aiming to eat natural foods in an unprocessed state. Meals based around fish, poultry, eggs, seeds and legumes, together with plenty of vegetables and some unrefined grains can be flavoursome and versatile, whilst also providing a balance of both macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals).

A challenge can arise however, when you want to make a gravy or sauce for a meal whilst following a yeast-free programme. Many clients have found that supermarkets and wholefood shops sell yeast-free instant stock powder. Whilst I understand how convenient this might be, I do advise that this should be avoided. One of the main ingredients is Hydrolysed vegetable protein, which is made through the hydrolyzation of soy. The hydrolyzation process produces several harmful compounds including monosodium glutamate. Many of us know that Monosodium Glutamate is a particularly unhelpful food additive, and the article below from Hungry for Change by John Douillard helpfully outlines the problems with this food enhancer.

Before we come to the article however, what can we do to replace a stock powder to add flavour to meals? My preference is to use a mix of herbs and spices, to add the savoury taste to food. For soups and gravies I will start with a teaspoon of onion granules (available in the herb and spice aisle), together with mild paprika, chives, black pepper and some Lo-Salt. This provides an underlying savoury flavour, to which you then add any further flavouring appropriate for the meal – e.g. marjoram, cumin, basil e.t.c. Adding plenty of garlic, along with chopped onion or shallots while cooking the meal also provides a good base of flavour to build on.

It is possible to enjoy meals without the addition of flavour enhancers. John Douillard explains just why these additives should be avoided.

The dangers and prevalence of MSG will shock you! This flavor enhancer is linked to a host of health issues, including fibromyalgia, obesity, fatty liver, high insulin and blood sugar, high cholesterol, liver toxicity, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, disturbance to the gut-brain connection, neurological and brain damage.

The danger lies in that MSG is almost impossible to avoid.

1. There are over 40 different ingredients that manufacturers use, that all have MSG.

2. It is not just a flavor enhancing additive – it is a natural by-product of processing proteins. These MSG by-products are found in many of your favorite organic health foods.
Keep reading to discover how to avoid this insidious poison.

What Is MSG?

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, got its reputation as a flavor enhancer extracted from seaweeds in China. In the early 1900′s, the process was perfected in Japan and became commercially available.

In the 1960′s, the phrase “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” was coined by the New England Journal of Medicine. Twenty minutes after eating Chinese food, some sensitive people would experience tingling, numbness, brain fog, chest pressure and pain.

In the 1970′s, researchers found that pharmaceutical MSG would kill brain cells in a laboratory. Shortly thereafter, they realized that commercially available MSG would have the same effect.

MSG is simply the addition of one (mono) sodium molecule to the amino acid glutamic acid, which is found naturally in many foods. When any amino acid builds up in the body, most people have the ability to break it down in the liver without alarm. However, some amino acids, such as glutamic acid (glutamate) and aspartic acid (aspartame or “nutra sweet”), may be more difficult to convert and flush out of the body.

Both glutamate and aspartame cause the nerves to fire, and when they are in excess, the nerves can fire excessively and cause a form of neurotoxicity.

Not Just A Flavor Enhancer

By now most of us have heard of MSG’s role as a flavor enhancer. But how does this work? Concentrated free glutamic acid or MSG act as nerve stimulants and will change how the taste buds taste food. A yucky or even a really bad tasting food will taste fantastic when high levels of glutamic acid are introduced as a flavor enhancer.

The insidious nature of MSG is that it may occur whenever a protein is broken down in the body.

When folks are sensitive to MSG, they are reacting to free glutamic acid in the blood. Remember, MSG is made when the free glutamic acid binds with a sodium molecule. Whenever protein is broken down in the body, glutamic acid is freed from a protein (in which it naturally occurs), and you have the potential of free glutamic acid building up in the blood and a possible toxic MSG reaction.

MSG Reactions: Whole vs. Processed Foods

While this happens naturally when ingesting protein-rich whole foods like grains, meats, dairy, and even vegetables, the glutamic acid is released in concert with many other amino acids, rather than in high concentrations on its own. As a result, unadulterated whole-food-based proteins do not cause a toxic MSG reaction in the body.

On the other hand, many processed foods – including organic health foods – contain processed proteins that harbor free glutamic acids.

The FDA does not require manufacturers to label these foods MSG unless the “added ingredient” is 99% pure MSG.

If MSG is produced as a result of protein hydrolysis or a byproduct of protein processing, the FDA does not require MSG to appear on the label.

Moreover, a product labeled “No MSG” may still have MSG or free glutamic acid as a result of protein processing, as long as pure MSG was not added.

The truth is that protein-hydrolysis-based glutamates or MSG are found in just about every highly processed food. Even vegetable proteins are hydrolyzed to make veggies burgers and many other frozen or pre-prepared vegan and “health foods.”

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Textured Vegetable Protein
Yeast Extract
The Bottom Line

1. MSG or free glutamates as a flavor enhancer is found in highly processed foods, usually under an alias to make it impossible to know for sure what you are eating. Refer to the list below for the many hidden names of MSG.

2. MSG or free glutamic acid is also found in many health foods as a result of vegetable protein breakdown or hydrolysis. These MSGs or free glutamic acids are not added into food as a flavor enhancer but exist in varying quantities in many foods as a result of protein breakdown.

3. Some folks break down glutamates better than others, so when it comes to glutamates as a result of protein breakdown, this is a highly individualized issue. However, MSG as a flavor enhancer should simply be avoided.

Names of ingredients that always contain processed free glutamic acid.

Glutamic Acid (E 620)2
Glutamate (E 620)
Monosodium Glutamate (E 621)
Monopotassium Glutamate (E 622)
Calcium Glutamate (E 623)
Monoammonium Glutamate (E 624)
Magnesium Glutamate (E 625)
Natrium Glutamate
Yeast Extract
Anything hydrolyzed
Any hydrolyzed protein
Calcium Caseinate
Sodium Caseinate
Yeast Food
Yeast Nutrient
Autolyzed Yeast
Textured Protein
Soy Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Isolate
Anything :protein


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