Is it possible to be MSG FREE?!!

Hi all

Having found this in HYH diet I am struggling to be 100% MSG free?! Pretty much everything has “Natural flavourings” :pensive::thinking:


The only way to ensure this is to make everything yourself from scratch. It is a much healthier way to eat in any case and your migraine brain will thank you for it.


Hi Margaret

Indeed it is a healthier way to eat but the practicality of achieving this 100% of the time is very restrictive. I appreciate that when starting out getting to know triggers is very important to not fall of the wagon. Lifelong I am not sure this is doable

Perhaps restricted foods are ok sparingly when you achieve good management of your migraine.

Thanks for your reply :slightly_smiling_face:

From what I’ve read it is impossible to be MSG free. Apart from where it is added ingredient it does also occur naturally in food. Minimisation is the best you will achieve. Helen


Agree with Helen, I think minimization is best. I also think that “natural flavor” not always mean MSG. It says “potentially”. This article is interesting: Are ‘Natural Flavors’ Really Natural? - The New York Times


I agree we can only try an dminimise MSG. Natural Flavourings is such a catch all. Maltodextrin is also problematic, it is in so many vitamins and supplements , even probiotics and meds as the bulking agent.


Totally agree, I think the point is just make your best effort. I don’t know if there is a single restaurant here in Seattle that still uses MSG. I ask every restaurant I go to but they basically laugh and say that nobody uses that stuff.


Hi Erik!

Thank you for your response!
How are you these days?
I hope that is the case in time for the vast majority of food chains in the UK too!
They really should look at using herbs and spices to taste up restaurant food rather than using MSG full of junk!

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I didn’t eat anything containing MSG for the last 25 years, so it is definitely do-able. I just cook my meals from scratch which takes approximately 30 minutes a day. Not too bad for having delicious meals made from fresh produce:-).
If I have to eat out I ask if they use anything containing MSG and that’s rarely the case nowadays.


I am exactly the same, hence my earlier post! So glad there is someone else who gets it.

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Please stay on Topic. PM Erik if you wish or find his Diary Topic (if it exists) and ask him there.

Every user has a User Card though (just click on their Avatar) and there’s a big Message button on it :slight_smile:

My. Lucky you! You are obviously living in a much more enlightened world than me. Or maybe I’ve never frequented such a high class of restaurant. I haven’t eaten out in a restaurant - I’d say it is my main trigger - in over four years but I’ve never found restaurant staff have a clue about anything relating to the content of the food they are serving. Years back I gave up on trying to eat out Low Fat for medical reasons. It was impossible. Here in ‘ordinary’ restaurants/pubs that serve foods much of the food is bought in pre-packaged but ready made. I only discovered this many years back having an excellent beef curry in a small Welsh hotel when before leaving after a few nights’ stay I tried to obtain the recipe! So I would imagine in UK, unless you are dining out on the very expensive side, MSG would be in most meals. I’m sure UK gravy, soups etc would be packed with it as are the many bulk-buy sauce mixs and meat tenderisers used. Even the humble Oxo cube, found in almost all UK kitchens, has not only ‘naturally’ occurring MSG but even extra added MSG should we happen to be eating at friends. Helen

I look forward to reading thr NYT article link. Even sweet foods like “natural” ice cream and herbal tea mention “natural flavors” now that I read labels. Cant believe it’s always msg…I would think in salty foods more likely than sweet. I am making lots of migraime safe & fresh whole foods, but sometimes time limits or social engagements or just temptation mean other foods. I agree, minimize. HYH author said “just do your best” and noted dose of a trigger food (s) make a difference.

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My understanding is added MSG would only occur in savoury products. Enhances the savoury salty taste apparently.

Well I was obviously very wrong there. Apparently most ice cream is packed out with MSG too. That explains several occurrences to me.


I just started an elimination diet for migraines and it seems nearly impossible to find prepackaged food that doesn’t have msg. I’ve been cooking from “the dizzy diet cookbook” and most of the items are easy to prepare Just wish I didn’t have to make salad dressing all the time lol

I don’t use anything pre-packaged in my cooking, everything is fresh and made from scratch. Lots of my produce are from my own garden. So I don’t need to worry about MSG.

Me too. My SO is a mad keen vegetable gardener and we have variety in abundance. The MSG trouble comes either with eating away from home or with sauces. I prepare all my sauces myself. Never have used commercially prepared stuff. I am always cooking being enthusiastic both on cooking and eating nice food however i really cannot bother with home-made stocks. Few if any cubes here are MSG free. There again I find the only way is to minimise their use where possible.

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