QUOTE (Mr Destructo @ Nov 15 2009, 04:42 AM)
I tried to remove as much salt as I could from my diet about 15 years ago. I cook most meals from scratch, hate tvdinners. But I have found myself needing to use a pinch of salt to make things taste a bit better, commonly rice and pasta.
I came across an article talking about a mystery flavour enhancer in the KFC recipe, an asian additive in general that we don't use in the West much: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wor...recipe-revealed
So I went to a local chinese store and bought a pack of MSG, being warned by the owner to only use tiny amounts as it was toxic in large amounts. I use a pinch in my cooking and it is pretty much replacing the need for salt. For rice and pasta at least. When it comes to sauces for foods I am finding some work with it, some don't and get ruined.
A while back I heard dark soy sauce was the item in chinese meals that causes headaches, this is because of MSG in it? Also arguments over whether MSG is safe or not flow back and forth over time saying it is safe/not safe. Currently it is supposed to be safe.
I don't get heartburn anymore as removed salt from my diet. I don't notice many headaches. I don't suffer any unexplainable ill health issues. My prepared food tends to taste good. I am tending to go along with the thought this stuff is useful for cooking!
Monosodium glutamate has exactly the same element in it that is the problem with excess salt ----- SODIUM! If you are reducing salt on doctors orders, you better consult with the doc about the MSG too. Its the sodium that raises blood pressure and causes fluid retention. So you haven't really cut back on the culprit. You have only switched the form, except that you are probably using less MSG than salt because you aren't sitting with it in a shaker next to your plate. The reprieve from heartburn has nothing to do with reduction of salt either, unless you were consuming whole teaspoons of it in one sitting. You have more likely improved your cooking or consumption habits in other, less obvious way. Congratulations on that.
And while Americans tend to associate high use of MSG with Chinese food, until a FDA warning years ago, American food was just as laden with it. Accent
(100% pure MSG) is still on the shelf and selling well in every American grocery store.
The main problem with MSG is that some people are highly sensitive to it, which you don't seem to be (and neither am I). but I have two friends that have to be extremely careful about it because it will trigger epileptic seizures for them. That's extremely rare, but since its an additive that really isn't usually necessary for food to taste good, its worrisome when its use is undisclosed or excessive.