Salt and MSG Replacement Dilemmas

salt in open jarCutting on salt intake but never want to sacrifice food flavor? Well, a good salt replacement is MSG. As in use MSG instead of salt. The flavor loss by removing salt can be covered by the mentioned substance.

There is more explanation to this than what your senses could perceived. According to wiki, the taste of low-salt foods improves with MSG even with a 30% salt reduction. The sodium content of MSG is roughly a third of the amount (12%) than in sodium chloride (39%). A nice sodium reduction figure. Thanks to good interaction of MSG and salt.

Menshealth.com also pointed out that salt is indeed a better salt alternative. It helps keep your salt intake low and makes your food tastier. MSG consist of sodium and glutamic acid. The latter is a naturally according substance in variety of agricultural produce. It  explains why some foods in its original or slightly modified state are naturally flavorful. The case of mushroom.

After ditching out the salt and using  MSG for sometime, you realized that you also need to eliminate the latter. Someone from Yahoo Answers said that a fair substitute for MSG is a 50/50 mix of salt & sugar with a dash of fish sauce per teaspoon of the mixture.

Several friend of mine and my very own wife also uses dash of sugar as replacement for MSG. I think they are adding salt to taste plus a dash of sugar.

Ask.com recipe labs recommends to use of fish sauce as the best direct substitute. Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce will also do.

A good replacement of salt is MSG and the replacement for the latter is the first. Maybe it is better not to use both.

Fitday.com suggest other alternatives like, aged cheeses, meats, seaweeds, mushrooms, tomatoes, red wine, asparagus, anchovies, sourdough bread and walnuts. If one of these is naturally part of the recipe, then it is fine. Subject to experimentation if not.

I personally use onion to replace both salt and MSG. Always adding twice number of heads whenever the recipe needs it. Onion is almost always available.

sources: 1, 2 ,3 ,4, 5

Is MSG Causing You Migraine Too?

I am not a fan of MSG but I am starting to believe that it is generally safe for human consumption.  It has been in circulation since 1908 and still going strong. There are thousands of studies regarding monosodium glutamate but none pointed out conclusive danger to human health. Advertisements connecting MSG  to the fifth basic taste, umami, were widespread lately. Particular ads were emphasizing, it is safe and will make every cooking taste better.

I guessed I was too convinced and forgot two things. 1) Any food company will not say anything that could lower their product reputation. and 2) Any popular product if not proven dangerous is considered safe, even if they do cause harm.

Recently, friend asked if the “nilagang baka” on table had MSG. Me and our other friend couldn’t tell but said it was perhaps dropped with a pinch. He got some meat but only took a little soup.

After awhile, he confirmed that the “nilagang baka” we had eaten was indeed mixed with MSG. His head began aching and was thankful he only got a sip of soup. He has hypersensitivity to MSG, experiencing migraine after consumption.

He discovered this after eating at the same chinese restaurant several times and experiencing headache every after meal. The connection: MSG causes migraine, Chinese restaurants are know users of…

Headache is one of the mentioned dilemmas among the MSG symptom complex. This website is well organized and has explanations regarding connections of MSG to migraine and other diseases.

msg in dispenser bottle