September 25, 2012

How Food Affects Your Behavior

With Labor Day around the corner and the backyard barbecues continue, consider what you’re eating.  Maybe you don’t normally eat BBQ or drink  alcohol.  But summer and fall football games do something to all of us.  Summer makes us feel young and indispensable.  Therefore, our diets revert back to a time when we either didn’t care or didn’t know better.  Then Monday comes, and suddenly, we feel draggy, unmotivated and unwell.  More than likely we blame our unproductive work habits on lack of sleep, the hot weather or a stressed lifestyle.

There is booming research that states food additives, like in barbecue sauce, and/or a poor diet, explain poor job/school performance, depression, anxiety, stress and even criminal behavior. According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, high sugar content and starchy carbohydrates lead to excessive insulin release, which in turn leads to falling blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia.  Hypoglycemia causes the brain to secret glultamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks and even an increase in suicide risk.

Here’s the interesting thing, the glutamate that causes this is identical to the flavor-enhancing monosodium glutamate, commonly known as MSG.  In addition, MSG has chemical relatives found in thousands of food products under different names which exacerbates the problem.  Worse yet, our federal government has deemed MSG as a safe food additive.

MSG is used in countless foods in our supermarkets, local restaurants, school/hospital cafeterias and more.  Everything from soup to crackers to meats to baby foods may contain MSG because, as dangerous as MSG is for us, it makes food taste good and it’s a cheap flavor enhancer.  MSG can be hidden in food labels under name like broth, casein, hydrolyzed, autolyzed, natural flavors, and more, making it extremely difficult to identify.  Dr. Blaylock explains in his book Excitotoxins:  The Taste that Kills, MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it acts as a poison that overexcites the cells to the point of serious damage.  Because of the damage at the cellular level, the side effects can be felt everywhere in the body.  Other studies conclude that MSG can destroy neurons in a crucial part of your brain which lead to obesity.

MSG, a leader in food manufacturing and processing has also found its way to fresh produce.  To be safe, I recommend purchasing produce that is locally grown and organic.  The less MSG food products purchased, eventually the less produced and less illness for us.  This is a difficult feat as Americans spend about 90% of their food budget on processed foods.

Stay away from the following preservatives and flavorings:

  • Sodium nitrate
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • BHA and BHT
  • Propyl gallate
  • Trans fats
  • Acesulfame-K
  • Food dyes
  • Olestra
  • Potassium bromate

For more conclusive information on MSG, visit to find more hidden references.

Lots to digest….

Have an MSG-free day!


This article is written by Lisa Garret from Smith and Esch Fitness (Bill Esch’s Gym)



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