Decoding Trans Fat And MSG
There are two types of trans fat One is naturally-occurring. While the other is artificially used. Some meat and dairy products contain small traces of trans fat. while it’s mostly produced in industries Where hydrogen is added to the liquid vegetable oils, to make them more solidified. Hence they are also called ‘hydrogenated oils.
Extensive Use Of Trans Fat
Trans fats are less expensive than other fats and also have a longer shelf life without going rancid. as they are artificially made. Further, they lend a good texture and taste when added to foods.
Foods That Contain Trans Fat
Baked goods, readymade fried snack packets, fried foods, cookies, crackers, margarines, frozen ready to eat products, dips, hydrogenated vegetable oils, microwave popcorn, Indian meat curries (from restaurants), parathas, bathuras, vanaspati, dalda etc. contains trans fat.
How Trans Fat Affects Our Health
Based on research, consuming excess of trans fat increases bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers the good cholesterol (HDL) thereby, increasing a risk Of coronary heart diseases, strokes, blockage. type 2 diabetes. hypertension and other metabolic health conditions.
How To Spot Trans Fat
- Check the nutrition facts provided on the food labels as these may contain details related to the contents of the pack. Also, check the list for the amount of trans fat in food products. A food label which indicates O trans fat simply means that the product has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
- Watch your food carefully and check the ingredients. Also, choose to go to restaurants where they adopt healthy methods to prepare food.
- Steamed and grilled foods contain the least amount of trans fat.
- Be careful while consuming foods such as salad dressing and other condiments. as these may contain traces of trans fat.
- Beware, the cheaper the product. the more chance that it contains trans fat.
- Check the ingredients for the mention of hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated or shortening.
- Avoid using dairy whiteners and margarine.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive, generally used to enhance the flavour in various foods and commonly used in Asian cuisine.
Foods That Contain MSG
MSG is extensively used in Chinese and Japanese cuisines. However, it can now be found in flavoured chips, crackers, packaged and processed foods, canned soups and stocks, restaurant foods, readymade sauces and dressings. pre-made gravies. cold cuts and the list can go on.
Consuming an excess of trans fat increases bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers the good cholesterol (HDL) thereby increasing a risk of metabolic health conditions
How MSG Affects Our Health
Many people are allergic to MSG, which can result in common health problems like nausea, vomiting, stomach upsets, flushing, increased palpitation, muscle weakness, a tingling sensation and even numbness.
Also, the overconsumption of MSG leads to harmful effects like neurological disorders, weight gain. food allergies and several other health problems, Research has also concluded that MSG is involved in increasing the risk of obesity, autism and other diseases affecting children, if consumed on a daily basis.
Hence. it is safe to conclude that MSG has several health effects and can lead to other complications. So it’s best to avoid MSG but in case you wish to savour both, trans fat and MSG, make sure you consume it in moderate amounts.
How To spot MSG
1. Check the label where the ingredients are mentioned. There are various ways MSGs can be found labelled on the products. Here are some pointers:
- Autolyzed yeast
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
- Yeast extract
- Yeast food
- Sodium caseinate
Note: MSG can also be mentioned in several other ways
2. To completely avoid MSG, you should cut down on processed foods, fast foods, canned foods. fried snacks. salad dressings etc. as it enhances the taste of the food, by giving it a special flavour.
3. Whey protein concentrate, corn oil, soy protein concentrate isolate etc. may be added with traces of MSG.
4. Some cosmetic products like shampoo, soap etc. also contain MSG in hidden acronyms like hydrolyzed protein, which can be avoided.
5. If there is extensive consumption, which should be avoided, one should increase their intake of a healthy diet, which is free of MSG.
Some restaurants proclaim to provide MSG-free food, but when asked for an explanation, they may not even have an idea about what MSG is! MSG is actually present naturally in most savoury foods such as meat, tomatoes, asparagus etc, but when MSG (artificial) is added to processed foods. it activates similar receptors in the tongue and tricks the taste buds into making the food taste delicious and flavourful. But little do many realise that MSG is a health hazard which needs to be avoided for a healthy, disease-free future.