MSG Contributes to Obesity and Diabetes

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • People who use MSG as a flavor enhancer in their food are more likely than those who don't to be overweight or obese - even if they have the same amount of physical activity as their non-MSG users.  Researchers looked at 750 Chinese men and women between the ages of 40-59 and divided the 82% of them who used MSG into 3 groups, based on MSG use.  The ones who used the most MSG were 3 times more likely to be overweight than the non-users. 


    Now we know MSG is safe, so the experts are really using this research to ask, "It may be safe, but is it healthy?" If I had to offer some personal insights, I guess I would wonder if (a) people who eat a lot of MSG tend to be eating a lot of Chinese takeout which is not only high in MSG and sodium and fat, but also comes in gargantuan portions; (b)Is MSG being used to flavor foods in an effort to make them more like "processed foods: and therefore the typical person overusing it has other "weight gain" attributes?? (c)Or (c)is it a finding we just need to look at a little more closely??


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    On another front, if you are diagnosed with diabetes type 2 and you immediately make a decision and action plan to lose weight, you are more likely to get control of your associated hypertension and blood sugar EVEN if you ultimately re-gain the weight back.  The theory is that weight loss is an important component of diabetes management, so if you can get off some weight right away, you significantly lower the risk factors associated with a more complicated and protracted disease experience.  It didn't necessarily matter how the weight was lost - though obviously if you choose a comprehensive and less trendy dietary approach you might be more likely to "stay the course" and keep the weight loss ongoing or even maintain the weight loss. 


    Researchers believe that the weight loss may make your body immediately more sensitive to insulin and slowly allow blood sugar responses to become more normalized.  The weight loss also allows blood pressure to come down and other abnormalities like a high cholesterol or high LDL to respond as well.  The interesting finding was really this idea that even if you are convinced that because you have a history of difficulty dieting or losing weight and keeping it off it doesn't even pay to try - this research encourages you to "give it a try, anyway." Of course, maybe if you're additionally fearful, because you've officially been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be more motivated to lose the weight for good, especially if you know you still have a chance to put your newly diagnosed diabetes into remission with a moderate weight loss.  


    The moral of the story is that whehter diagnosed with pre-diabetes or full blown diabetes - give weight loss a try.

Published On: August 17, 2008