I recently received an email from a lovely couple who had seen my story on "The 700 Club" about how to spot those hideous trans fats. The centerpiece of my story was the word, "HYDROGENATED."
That's the word you need to look for in the list of ingredients. Don't rely on anything else on the label because food manufacturers sometimes use tricks that fool unsuspecting shoppers into thinking certain foods don't contain trans fats when when they really do.
The couple from the email was wondering if "hydrolyzed" was the same thing as "hydrogenated."
The answer is no. Hydrogenated, as the name suggests, means hydrogen has been infused into an oil, making it a trans fat. Stay away from hydrogenated oils at all costs. They have been linked to heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's.
"Hydrolyzed," on the other hand, is a code word for MSG. Many health experts recommend staying away from it, also.
Have you ever heard of the food additive MSG? If you answered yes, you're not alone. Most people have. If you have a negative impression of it, you are once again in the majority.
But sadly, people who have heard of the possible health risks associated with eating MSG are the same people who are unable to recognize it on food labels and are most certainly unknowingly consuming it.
Don't beat yourself up if you are one of those people. It is very difficult to identify MSG. This is not likely an accident. MSG goes by so many different names.
MSG is short for monosodium glutamate, also known as processed free glutamic acid. It is in over 40...yes 40 different ingredients!
Many people have severe and immediate reactions to MSG while others' reactions are more subtle. They can include migraine headaches, diarrhea, upset stomach, heart problems, asthma, fuzzy thinking, and mood swings.
Doctors consider MSG an excitotoxin, which hinders brain function and have linked it to autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Furthermore, doctors consider MSG an addictive substance, so it is linked to obesity and diabetes.
Before I begin the laundry list of ingredients containing MSG let me sound just one more warning. Just because a package says a food is "natural," that does not mean it is safe! The food industry definition of "natural" simply means that the ingredient started out in nature.
Here are some ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid. If you see any of these on a food label, you'd be wise to put it back on the shelf!
• Glutamic Acid
• Monosodium glutamate
• Monopotassium glutamate
• Calcium glutamate
• Monoammonium glutamate
• Magnesium glutamate
• Natrium glutamate
• Yeast extract
• Anything "Hydrolyzed"
• Any "hydrolyzed protein"
• Calcium caseinate
• Sodium caseinate
• Yeast food
• Yeast nutrient
• Autolyzed yeast
• Texured protein
• Soy protein
• Soy protein concentrate
• Soy protein isolate
• Whey protein
• Whey protein concentrate
• Whey protein isolate
• Anything "...protein" such as corn protein or tomato protein