For those who want to eat healthy, finding a restaurant that fits your diet often involves a few hours of research. The internet is a fantastic tool for locating a restaurant and browsing its menu, and it can lead consumers into believing that they do not need to ask one important question: Does your food contain MSG?
Unlike products on the shelves of your local grocer, restaurants are not required to disclose that information on their menus, but to avoid the side-effects, you will have to ask. While each person’s body reacts differently to MSG, one thing is certain: it is not natural.
A recent study published in Nutrition & Metabolism and conducted by Insawang, et al. finds that MSG is linked to obesity. Regardless of whether your diet is for weight loss or solely for health reasons, verifying that the restaurant does not use this ingredient is important. The restaurant knows if it is being used, though you may need to speak with the manager in order to verify the information.
Traditionally, people associate the use of MSG with Chinese food; however, this is not the case anymore. As a flavor-enhancer, MSG is a cheap option for restaurants to elevate the taste of their food.
A simple web-search shows that people are concerned about ingesting this ingredient. There in an excess of information regarding, which fast food restaurants use MSG, but it is much harder to locate data on privately owned restaurants.
If you are a health-minded person who enjoys dining out, call ahead and ask. Some may even find a list of MSG-free and MSG-ful restaurants in order to reduce future research time.