What I Learned from taking a traditional Nutrition Course…and What I Didn’t Learn

I recently completed the Nutrition, Health, and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights Course at Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing. It was an extremely insightful experience to see what a traditional Nutritionist learns and eventually coaches or advocates to their clients.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

I decided that it would be a unique “cultural exchange” to experience what traditional Nutritionists learn. Although I did learn a few useful things that I will outline below, for the most part I was shocked and disappointed to see the mis-truths and lack of unbiased information being presented to the students. Well, we all know that industry sponsors many universities through expensive grants, so could we really expect these teaching institutions to maintain an impartial perspective?

Many times during the course, I felt like I was being fed propaganda created directly by the food industry and/or Monsanto themselves. I actually feel bad for anyone who spends the money on a 4-year Nutrition Degree, because they may enter their study with high hopes of helping others, but how can they really help guide others through nutrition and diet when they are being taught lies? It’s truly a shame to see a system that is so broken and so far away from the relevance of a real natural, whole and pure diet and its effect on one’s health.

What I Learned

As I mentioned above, there were a few things that I learned from this course, or at least that I felt were truthful and relevant. They include:

-Professor showed several studies comparing a vegetarian diet to meat-based diet and how vegetarians have reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, etc.

-Professor mentioned that, “Even though we are living longer in the US, we are also living sicker.” I would agree!

-Professional explained superfoods, nutrient-dense foods, phyto-chemicals and importance of nutrients in the diet. Obviously this is important, and was factual in the course.

Superfood are Nutrient-Dense Foods
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

-Professor cited a study that showed vegan and vegetarian diet offer significant benefit in diabetes management. Additionally, it was pointed out that vegan and vegetarian diets also improve plasma lipid concentrations and have been shown to reverse atherosclerosis progression.

-Professor cited the position of the American Dietetic Association that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

-Professor discussed the importance on B12 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids in a vegetarian and/or vegan diet. Certainly important factors to consider, and should be addressed for meat-eaters too!

-Professor accurately showed the excess of salt, fat and sugar in the Standard American Diet and the related high obesity rates in the United States.

Clearly these facts cannot be denied!

Typical American Diet: Excess in Fat, Salt and Sugar
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

United States #2 in Obesity Rates
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

In summary, some good information about the benefits of a vegetarian and/or vegan diet was presented, and some factual information on obesity and the lack of fruits and vegetables in the Standard American (SAD) Diet was mentioned.

The other parts of the course are where I found myself wincing and shaking my head in utter dismay.

What I Didn’t Learn

Most notable items not addressed, under-addressed or mis-addressed in this course:

-Professor downplayed any danger associated with GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods, saying that “GMO has been around for centuries and centuries” and then stated that GMO has been around for “thousands of years.”

How did they isolate proteins in labs thousands of years ago exactly?

-Professor mentioned soy as a complete protein but of course no mention that 94% of soy in the USA is GMO and no mention or even peep about consuming GMO foods in relation to higher risk of infertility and food allergies.

Isn’t this of utmost importance when working with people and the nutritional relevance of their diet to health?

-Professor stated that, “Consumers may need to educate themselves before they jump on the bandwagon of something that they don’t understand,” and went on to add that with GMO foods “we are feeding areas of the world that don’t have the distribution and supply that we have.”

Spoon-fed propaganda from Monsanto PR…or what?

Anyone who is working with nutrition and food allergies, autism, ADHD and infertility (all of which have completed skyrocketed in the last decade worldwide) knows that something has seriously gone wrong.

If you are unsure in any way, please watch these documentaries on GMO foods and health: “The World According to Monsanto,” “Food, Inc.,” “The Future of Food,” “Seeds of Freedom,” “Genetic Roulette,” “Scientists Under Attack,” and “The GMO Trilogy.” Some of these documentaries can be watched for FREE online at http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/.

I also highly recommend the book The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It by Robyn O’Brien for extensively researched information and links to studies on GMO foods and food allergies. An excellent read for anyone looking to learn more on the subject of GMO foods and health!

Yes, it is true that we need to educate ourselves!

-Professor downplayed importance of organic foods, stating that “an organic apple is not going to be more nutritious than a conventionally grown apple.”

No mention of pesticides, GMO proteins or the simple fact that organic soil has more nutrients in the soil. How, why?? How can a “qualified” Nutritionist ignore the nutritional value of organic food?

In fact, reviews of multiple studies show that organic varieties do provide significantly greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties of the same foods (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359265).

Organic food has been shown to have higher nutrient concentrations,
yet Vanderbilt University’s Nutrition Course says: No Difference.

-Professor advocated the use of “fortified foods” as a way to increase nutrient consumption, specifically advocating milk fortified with Vitamin D, fortified breakfast cereals, and fortified sports drinks like Gatorade.

Why ignore the value of organic whole foods yet advocate processed foods that are chemically fortified with inorganic vitamins and minerals? No mention of the antibiotics and hormones in conventional milk, the added sugar in breakfast cereals or the chemical colorings in sports drinks. Wow.

-Professor downplayed the dangers of chemical food additives in the diet.

In my professional experience, more people are being affected by all types of food additives more than ever before, because food additives are being used in food more than ever before!

Flavor enhancers (MSG, ribonucleotide), nitrates, sulfites, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners and chemical colorings are creating an absolute health epidemic! To gloss over this issue and to not acknowledge the danger of food additives in relation to nutrition and health is both irresponsible and just plain idiotic. I’m truly devastated to see the education so lacking on this topic. Sadly, the food industry has a lot of money to hide the truth.

Nutrition Courses teach that MSG is “Generally Recognized as Safe” or GRAS
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

Because Monosodium Glutamate was used in foods before 1958, the FDA considers it as “Generally Recognized as Safe” or GRAS. Other foods which are categorized as GRAS are salt, pepper, vinegar and baking powder. How is it possible that MSG is considered as safe as vinegar? And hasn’t the amounts of concentrations of MSG increased in foods since 1958, making it a higher risk contaminant and something that should be re-evaluated in the interest of public health and safety?

The worst part of all is that this is what Nutritionists are learning in school. Will they be able to identify an MSG intolerance in their client? Chances are extremely slim, because they are taught that MSG is “safe!” I cannot count how many clients I have worked with suffering from migraines, insomnia, depression, heart palpitations, anxiety, vertigo, itchy rashes, puffiness, sensitivity to light and sound and even behavioral and learning problems in children: all of which were reversed when we removed MSG and/or Ribonucleotides and all hidden forms of MSG out of the diet.

You cannot advise people on food and not take into account the potential effect of chemical food additives!

-Professor spoke with David McCarty, Senior VP Operations of Smart Balance spreads for 30 minutes and praised his product line for being a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and for being a “heart-friendly” food.

Smart Balance “butter” is not something that I even consider a FOOD!

What is natural about spreadable butter containing genetically modified (GMO) soy and artificial flavor which is surely where they are hiding the salty, savory flavor enhancers and/or some hidden form of MSG to actually give this greasy mess some type of taste that is palatable to humans?

How are consumers protected when food companies “self-regulate”?
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

If you are a non-vegan, you are much better off eating REAL butter with 2 simple ingredients: butter and salt. I am amazed to see Smart Balance call itself a “heart healthy” food when Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is known to cause heart palpitations. People may eat this mess and think they are having a heart attack!

Vegans can simply use extra-virgin olive oil, an organic almond butter or tahini (sesame seed) paste. People on a raw food vegan diet will not need any spread to put on bread, and they can use fresh lime or lime for salad dressing and add tahini to a raw cracker. Easy!

To summarize, I do not feel that I wasted my time by taking a traditional nutrition class. Actually, I would recommend it to anyone working with nutrition, diet, people and food. It’s important to know what the “mainstream” teaches in order to have a better understanding of what your client may have faced previously by seeing a traditional nutritionist in the past.

That said, there still may be some nutritionists who think and learn outside of the box and may actually have an awareness of other factors that affect food and health, mainly GMO foods, quality of food (organic vs. conventional) and the relation of food additives to health. As a client, the best thing to do is to check your nutritionist’s website or ask them if they will go to the level of food additives and food quality during your session. If they reply that their approach is centered only around protein, carbs, fats, minerals and vitamins, then please take my advice: keep shopping until you find someone who will go deeper to help you have the best health ever…because you deserve the very best, in food and in health!

For information on how to work with me for Your Best Health, please go to my Coaching Page.

More on Healthy Living:

MSG hidden in Packaged Foods: Why I don’t buy 90% of the ‘food’ at WholeFoods

What’s Wrong with WholeFoods?

It’s not easy to be the messenger of bad news when so many people love and revere WholeFoods. Well, I love them too…and there are things that I do buy there which I will mention later. But as the title to this article states, I do not buy 90% of their food. And today I’m going to tell you why.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Now of course WholeFoods does sell meat and various processed foods…so right away, I wouldn’t buy those. But I know a lot of you do, and you mistakenly believe that if you buy food at WholeFoods, that it’s organic, non-GMO and chemical-free. That is simply NOT true. While some foods at WholeFoods are certified organic, most are not. And even the organic foods contain suspicious additives.

I’m going to show you what to look for and what to avoid.

If I only I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, ‘I don’t eat MSG because I buy everything from WholeFoods’ or ‘I only buy organic because I shop at WholeFoods,’ well, I would already be retired by now! It amazes me how strongly people are influenced by a good logo, ‘clean and green’ marketing and nice lighting and music in a store. Did I mention how many clients I’ve helped recover from migraines, insomnia, itchy rashes, anxiety, digestive disorders, hot flashes (in men and women), dizzy spells, vertigo, adult acne, puffiness and chronic inflammation by going through a detailed list of what they eat from WholeFoods and getting the offending foods out of their diet? Often times people are resistant to believe me. They can’t imagine that their organic Annie crackers are causing their troubles. Or their Earth Balance or Smart Balance ‘Butter’. They sometimes yell at me and call me a liar. Well, I am taking the crack away from the junkie…so I know I will meet resistance (yes, these chemical additives are chemically addictive). Over time, if they do change, they come to accept what I have told them and when they take the suspicious food out, their skin clears, they sleep for the first time in years, they no longer feel depressed, their migraines are gone forever…and then the Thank You emails roll in. I’ve been teaching this stuff for 6 years, and I know what I am talking about. If you partner or child is exceptionally irritable and suffers from any of the symptoms above, your salad from the salad bar at WholeFoods could be causing the problem.

If you want to have good health, you have to check all food labels and you have to be responsible for what you put in your mouth.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Ribonucleotide, Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate are flavor enhancers which add a salty, savory taste to foods. They overstimulate the taste in food, making a bland food taste exceptionally good. They also overstimulate the brain, and are known as “excito-toxins”. They can be listed either by the food additive name or by the food additive number (sometimes called ‘E numbers’): 621, 635, 631 and 627.

Legally, these food additives can also be ‘hidden’ in terms such as ‘spices,’ ‘yeast extract,’ ‘hydrolyzed vegetable protein,’ ‘natural flavors’ and ‘flavoring.’

As an interesting side note, I checked the WholeFoods website before writing this post and I found a very funny article titled, “Myths and Misconceptions: MSG.” In the article, a WholeFoods representative discusses the ‘Myth: There’s Hidden MSG lurking in our aisles.’ He states, “We draw a clear line between natural glutamate-containing foods, which we allow, and highly concentrated MSG, which we don’t..” I actually laughed out loud when I read that, because I see Monosodium Glutamate in various forms in the salad bar ingredients in WholeFoods ALL THE TIME! Right there for the world to see! Well, I am usually the annoying one who is reading every label and holding up the salad bar line, and maybe even sneaking out my camera for a photo! (By the way, an example of a ‘natural glutamate containing food’ is pure tomato paste or parmesan cheese, NOT spicy barbeque flavored Kettle Chips!!)

The other part of the article tries to state that other forms on MSG are not really MSG, but for people who are sensitive, it is clearly written on the labels so they will know what they are buying. Well, how many people really know that legally the word ‘spices’ or ‘natural flavors’ can contain MSG already, and the label can still read ”No MSG’ or No Added MSG?’ And how many people know that even if a product is labeled certified organic, it can still contain these other ingredients that have MSG in them already, like ‘malt extract,’ ‘annatto,’ ‘natural flavor,’ ‘yeast extract’ or the new one I am seeing lately, ‘rosemary extract’? The real problem is when a product uses several of these ingredients, thereby increasing the glutamate concentration to real MSG-size proportions. can So your ‘organic’ product with ‘No Added MSG’ can still be causing your migraines? YES!!

What is a “hidden form of MSG”?

Ok, here’s the deal. Food companies know that Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is the best flavor enhancer there is; it is a food additive that adds A LOT of flavor to a product for little to no cost. BUT, savy consumers have caught on to MSG and most people know that it’s not a healthy additive because it can trigger migraine headaches, irritability, insomnia, rashes, hot flashes, dizziness, mood swings and even promote weight gain. A smart consumer like you will not buy a product containing MSG and the food companies know that. But they are already light years ahead of you! The food industry now uses new ingredients that contain what’s called factory created free glutamates. While one ingredient containing factory created free glutamates alone in a product may have a low concentrations of glutamate, using a combination of several ingredients together can add up to a considerable and dangerous amount of glutamate in one product, and in many cases you will actually find more glutamate than if the product had only contained MSG by itself! And that is why I called these ingredients MSG in disguise.

This is food label trickery at its finest folks!

The food industry has billions of dollars to research and develop new chemical food additives, and the government simply does not have the money to keep up with their technology (assuming the government was really interested in people’s health and not funded back-handedly by the food and pharmaceutical industry of course!) In short, there is TONS of hidden MSG at WholeFoods, and this is the main reason that I would not buy 90% of their food.

Please note that most of these photos were taken at WholeFoods, with the exception of 2 that were taken at Fresh Market in Florida, a very similar-type chain to WholeFoods (those photos are marked as Fresh Market). I have many more photos that I took which will be complied into an eBook for educational purposes. Knowing what to look for can greatly help you improve the quality of food you buy, and consume.

Let’s start looking at a few labels.

Rule #1: Never believe what you read on the front of a package

Oh, the beloved Kettle Chip. The only good thing I can say about Kettle is that there are very savy with their packaging. So many organic non-GMO bells and whistles! But it doesn’t stop me from seeing the offenders: Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, and Jalapeno Powder. Why not use real garlic and jalapeno? Because the powders can legally hide MSG and they do not have to disclose that on the labeling. Maybe they are ‘safe’ because they are organic, but the Yeast Extract is a big NO-NO. That is always MSG in disguise.

Learn to know what ingredients to avoid

Another example of a tainted organic food. This is the WholeFoods brand, and from what I’ve gathered, they seem to hide their MSG under the term ‘Natural Flavor.’ Yes, legally that can have MSG in it. It is an easy way to hide MSG in food. And since WholeFoods claims that their brand is MSG-free, they don’t seem to want to use the classic Yeast Extract ingredient. Any time I see ‘Natural Flavors,’ I do NOT buy. This product also has ‘Malt Extract’ and ‘Annatto,’ two other forms of MSG in disguise.

There is no such thing as a healthy BBQ chicken wing.

I really have no idea who would go to WholeFoods to buy BBQ Chicken Wings, but who are we kidding here? This is NOT a healthy version! Note the ‘Spice Extractives,’ ‘Natural Grill and Smoke Flavor,’ ‘Spices,’ ‘Yeast Extract,’ ‘Natural Flavor,’ ‘Yeast Protein.’ I think I’m going to be sick.

Be wary of all soups in restaurants and salad bars, 99% of them have MSG in the soup stock.

Seems like a good idea…a nice warm filling soup. but read that label! ‘Soybean and Corn Protein,’ Yeast Extract,’ ‘Carrot Powder,’ ‘Pumpkin Stock.’ All MSG in disguise.

This salad just looks plain scary to me.

Nothing is sacred anymore. They even managed to ruin this dish by adding ‘Natural Flavor,’ ‘Soy and Wheat Protein,’ ‘Yeast Extract.’ You must start reading labels and if you see these ingredients, do not eat!

Organic food can still be tainted with flavor enhancers. Learn to discriminate!

Oh, the food industry is so good at food label trickery! Made with Goodness! Doesn’t fool me. Read ‘Yeast Extract,’ ‘Natural Cheese Flavor,’ ‘Paprika Extract’ and suddenly this so-called healthy organic food is no longer an edible item in my book. Yes, they can legally use this ingredients with hidden additives, and since they did not add anything themselves, they can label their product with ‘No Artificial Flavors.’ Never believe the marketing schtick on the front or side of a box. Always check the ingredients.

Again, ‘organic’ does not guarantee no added flavor enhancers

Think you’re doing your children a favor by buying organic Mac and Cheese? Does it still take 2 hours for them to calm down and sleep at night and are they cranky, irritable and fighting all evening? It’s probably from the MSG in disguise: ‘Yeast Extract.’ Kids go bonkers when they eat MSG. Their bodies are much smaller than an adult. Take out MSG and you will have a happy, well behaved child that sleeps through the night. For breast-feeding moms, the MSG is passed through your breastmilk, so if your baby is colicky and doesn’t sleep, try eliminating all MSG foods. You’ll be amazed.

Still not sure about ‘Rosemary Extract’

All I can really say about this one is: Watch this space. I saw A LOT of ‘Rosemary Extract’ in foods at Wholefoods and Fresh Market, and I have not seen it used so much before. It wouldn’t surprise me if the food industry is reinventing MSG once again now that we are onto the whole Yeast Extract, Spices and Natural Flavors thing. Anytime you see a vegetable with the word ‘extract’ after it, be very suspicious (unless it is Vanilla Extract, which is ok because it is not a salty deritive). I will personally avoid all foods with ‘Rosemary Extract’ until someone starts doing some explaining.

Beware of ‘clean and green’ looking products

Looks so healthy, proclaiming to ‘eat your vegetables.’ You should be an expert by now: ‘Natural Flavor,’ ‘Onion Powder,’ ‘Garlic Powder.’ Other flavors of this brand also have ‘Yeast Extract.’ Note this is Sea Salt flavor!

Don’t think bulk foods are food additive safe – still read the ingredients!

Bulk does not make a healthier option. You have to read all labels, always and forever. Here we have ‘Corn and Soy Protein,’ ‘Natural Smoke Flavor,’ ‘Yeast Extract,’ ‘Natural Flavor.’ Ever wonder why these ingredients are always in salty, savory foods and not in sweets and cakes? Because MSG is a salty, savory flavor enhancer. It makes salty foods taste even more savory and it is chemically addictive. This bulk snack mix is from Fresh Market.

Always check the ingredients, even if you think the food ‘should’ be ok!

An obvious offender: Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG. This photo was taken at Fresh Market (a correction to my November 2012 newsletter).

So what do I buy at WholeFoods?

I love fresh juice and smoothie bars, and fruit, aka REAL FOOD!

If the WholeFoods has a juice and smoothie bar, I’m so there! I also buy fresh fruits and veggies, preferably organic and on sale.

Choose 100% Certified Organic Superfoods to avoid any added fillers

I like to check out the 100% raw and organic Superfood section.

There are some healthy raw food options at WholeFoods

I look for organic flax and hemp seeds, bulk organic raw pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, raw apple cider vinegar and a raw granola, as a treat.

Stick to fresh raw vegetables with no added dressings or sauces

At the Salad Bar, I choose RAW FRESH VEGGIES only. I do NOT trust the pre-made salads or the pre-made salad dressings. I use olive oil, apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice as a dressing.

A quick lesson on Monosodium Glutamate:

Monosodium Glutamate is a flavor enhancer and an excito-toxin, also known as MSG. It can be listed on a food ingredient label as 621 or E621 (these are universal numbers used everywhere in the world). MSG is known to overstimulate the flavor in food, making it taste better. The problem is that it also overstimulates the brain (making it an excito-toxin). For some, the reaction can be headaches, sensitivity to light and sound (especially in children), insomnia or restless sleep, anxiety, irritability, vertigo, dizziness and even depression.

Because a lot of consumers are aware of the dangers of MSG, the food industry has invented new ways to hide MSG in food, the main way being to ‘hide’ it in another ingredient. This keeps the cost of production low (using cheap flavor enhancers to create a tasty food), and still makes the food very marketable, appearing food additive-free by promoting non GMO, organic or ‘all natural’.

The result: more consumers buy and that means more profit.

The other additives which are similar to MSG are Ribonucleotide (635), Disodium Inosinate (631) and Disodium Guanylate (627). These 3 flavor enhancers are what I call the ‘New MSG’ because they are being used more and more to give that same ‘salty savory tasty excito-toxin additive yumminess’ to a food, but the food can be labeled as ‘MSG Free’ or ‘No Added MSG.’ These flavor enhancers tend to react with people in a slightly different way: in men, they can raise uric acid levels resulting in early symptoms of gout, and in women: an itchy intolerable rash. Men can also experience the ‘ribo rash’ too but in my experience, the rash is more common in women.

So what’s the bad news?

The bad news is that ALL 4 of these flavor enhancers can be legally hidden under 50 other names. The most common ones I see, especially in ‘so-called’ healthy food are: Yeast Extract, Pea Protein, Spices, Natural Flavors, Smoke Flavor, Malt Extract, Annatto, Soy Protein, Wheat Protein, Corn Protein, and Yeast Protein. I have reacted to Onion Powder, Vinegar Powder and Garlic Powder enough times to add them to my personal list of ‘DO NOT EAT’ as well. For a complete list of hidden names for MSG or high factory created glutamate ingredients, go to msgmyth.com.

If you think you have reacted to a food which is either not labeled correctly or is label suspiciously, you have every right to contact the company by email and ask what’s in their food.

You can do this in every country in the world, even as an ex-pat living in a foreign country. I suggest that you word your email in this way:

“I recently ate your xyz product and x hours later I experienced the following reaction: (describe symptoms here). I have discussed this with my doctor and he/she has informed me that I need to know for medical reasons all of the ingredients that was in the food. Specifically, I need to know if you use MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), Ribonucleotide, Disodium Inosinate or Disodium Guanylate in any of the ingredients that you use to make your product. Also, I need to know how much factory created free glutamate is in the following ingredients (list suspicious ingredients like pea protein, yeast extract, malodextrin, soy protein, natural flavorings, etc here). Thank you and I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my inquiry.”

I do NOT suggest that you write any emails like this: “Jennifer said blah blah blah blah and Jennifer’s blog post says blah blah blah so what do you have to say about that?!” Please, be professional and courteous if you are writing an inquiry to a company. You have to ask the right questions to get the right answers. These companies have legal teams that know how to respond and get through hoops if you do not ask the right questions. My goal is that every product be required to label their total factory created glutamate concentration and any hidden ingredients or flavor enhancers so ultimately, you can make the best choice of food for you!

I’ll be writing more blog posts about this in the future, so be sure to sign up to my RSS feed!

For more on how to start an additive-free diet diet, how to manage food allergies or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Food Additives:

Hidden Sources of MSG on Food Labels: Video Guide

Jennifer shows you how even so-called healthy and even organic foods can have hidden sources of MSG in them. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a flavor enhancer that adds a salty, savory flavor to foods. In Europe and Australia, they call these additive ‘E numbers’ and MSG is E621. If you have an intolerance to MSG, you can experience migraine headaches and insomnia.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Some countries will list it as 621. But, did you know that food manufacturers can also legally ‘hide’ MSG in other ingredients, such as ‘yeast extract,’ ‘pea protein,’ ‘soy extract,’ ‘Vegetable Protein Extract,’ ‘Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP),’ ‘Autolyzed Yeast,’ ‘spices’ and even ‘natural flavorings’? If not, you need to see this video. Jennifer even finds MSG in a organic non-GMO chicken stock. Knowing the trickery in food labels can help you increase the quality of food you are buying instantaneously.

More on Food Additives:

The Truth in Food Labeling – Food Additives to Avoid & Hidden Sources of MSG

Many people mistakenly think that flavor enhancers such as MSG (monosodium glutamate) are only in Chinese foods, and as long as they avoid Chinese foods, they are safe. Below you will see MSG in foods like Campbell’s soup, gravies and sauces. Taking a few minutes to scan food labels and make better choices in what you buy is the best investment you can make in your long-term health and longevity!

Some typical reactions that can occur from either MSG or the additives list below include: migraine headaches, insomnia, itchy rashes, asthma attacks, behavioral disorders, depression, heart irregularities, anxiety, arthritis, sinus problems and many digestive problems including diarrhea.

MSG, Ribonucleotides, Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate are all flavor enhancers which add a salty, savory taste to foods.

They can be listed either by name or by additive number (sometimes called ‘E numbers’) as you will see below. Legally, these chemicals can also be ‘hidden’ in terms such as ‘spices,’ ‘yeast extract,’ ‘hydrolyzed vegetable protein,’ and ‘flavoring’ so I suggest avoiding products with any of these dodgy terms on the label.

MSG (E621) is known to cause migraine headaches and can also cause diarrhea. Ribonucleotide (E627, E635 or E631) is another salty food additive which can cause a itchy irritable rash, known as the ‘Ribo Rash.’ In my personal experience, I have seen Ribonucleotide (or Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate) cause a sudden rapid heart rate (up to 160 beats per minute) and also trigger anxiety attacks.

Let’s start looking at some labels.

Mmmm, mmmm, not so good!

Mmmm, mmmm, not so good!

Here we have a can of good ol’ fashioned Campbell’s Low Salt Chicken Soup. By all account it would appear to be healthy, in fact notice right on the label how it says ‘No MSG’ and ‘No Artificial Flavors.’ Well, I don’t know how they got away with that one, because if you look right on the ingredients list, you will see Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, both nasty chemical flavor enhancers.

You will also see Yeast Extract and Soy Protein Concentrate – legally MSG can be hidden in these ingredients and they do not have to report MSG as an additive.

Anytime you see a ‘yeast extract’ or ‘protein extract or concentrate,’ beware. In fact, put it back on the shelf. You see, this is where manufacturers are the masters of marketing. Everyone knows MSG is bad for you, and the companies know that, so they label their products as having ‘No MSG’ knowing that you will think it is a healthier choice, but of course they still have to add flavor to their artificial unnatural devitalized foods, so they add it in the form of other chemical additives which you have never heard of. Until now!!

And really, just look at this so-called ‘mechanically separated chicken’ – I mean, what is that?? That alone should have you running towards the hills!

Instant Loss of Health!

Instant Loss of Health!

Next example.

Ok, here we have a Contintental Instant Cup of Beef Noodle Soup. They have done a good job of highlighting all the uses of wheat here, but they have not distracted me from seeing the truth.

The nasty hidden chemicals here will be in the yeast extract, herb extract, spice extract and flavor enhancer 635.

All spice, yeast, protein or even herb extracts can have MSG in them. Always watch for that term ‘extract,’ especially in salty foods.

And 635, well that is the mother of the Ribo Rash -in my opinion, it is the worst food additive of all time.

They are even nice enough to tell you that this product contains soy, wheat and milk, but they neglect to tell you about the cheap nasty chemicals in there too!

Be aware that the following additives contain MSG or free glutamate: hydrolysed vegetable protein, hydrolysed protein, hydrolsyed plant protein, yeast extract, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, hydrolysed oat flour. The following ingredients often contain MSG, even though it may not be declared on the label: malt extract, malt flavoring, stock, broth, natural beef or chicken flavoring, seasoning, spices.
– from the book ‘Avoid Chemicals in Your Food’, published by the Consumer’s Association of Penang

Ain't like it was back on the farm

Aint like it was back on the farm

In this example, we are looking at a can of Old El’ Paso Refried Beans. If you didn’t know the truth in food labelling, this one would completely pass you by.

But by now I hope you noticed the ‘yeast extract’ right away and also the ‘natural flavor.’ Again, both are legal terms used to hide MSG and the other flavor enhancers as well.

No - not the mac and cheese too!

No - not the mac and cheese too!

So much for the Chinese food guys….we are not anywhere near Asian foods and look at all the hidden nasties! Yes, it’s true, even the mac and cheese is chemically altered. See for yourself – ‘natural flavors, yeast extract, spice extract and flavor enhancer 635.’ And somehow it is ‘National Heart Foundation Approved.’ Hmmm. I wonder how many people have experienced an increased heart rate due to that 635. Are you starting to recognize the difference between good marketing and truth in labeling?

A bit of MSG with your Daal?

A bit of MSG with your Daal?

Man, they were doing so good up until the very last ingredient – MSG (E621), otherwise known as Monosodium Glutamate. In your innocent lentil daal!!

MSG is a major excitotoxin and is known to damage the part of the brain that governs many other systems in the body. This damage may appear as symptoms of the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system. Thus it can manifest in disrupted sleep patterns, food cravings, and persistent hunger, which often leads to obesity. MSG also induces migraine headaches, asthma attacks, behavioral disorders, depression, heart irregularities, restless leg syndrome, arthritis, sinus problems and many digestive problems including diarrhea.
– from the book ‘Is MSG Safe?’, published by the Consumer’s Association of Penang

UPDATE: A recent study from John Hopkins researchers published in the journal Neurology (26 April, 2013) found that a neurotransmitter involved in arousal known as glutamate is abnormally high in people suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). They saw that the more glutamate found in the brains of people with RLS, the worse they slept.

Why do you think people have high concentrations of glutamate in their brain? From Monosodium Glutamate!!!

This is an epidemic, and in my opinion, a form of genocide, to kill people slowly without any smoking gun while making lots of money from prescribing them drugs along the way. There is really no more time to waste. We have to wake people up and show them the truth!

Tricky Food Labeling at it's Best

Tricky Food Labeling at it's Best

Here is a classic example of sneaky marketing used to hide what’s really in your food. Look at the Spaghettir Bolognese – they say right on the label that it has ‘No artificial flavors, No artificial preservatives, No Hydrogenated Fat and No Added MSG.’

Of course when you read the actual ingredients, you will see ‘yeast extract’ right there. And you know what that means by now, right? MSG!!

For a full list of terms that can have hidden MSG, go to the TruthinLabeling.org.

100% Natural, Real Stock??

100% Natural, Real Stock??

Again, the masters of marketing are luring us in with the simple photo and tag of 100% natural. Then you look at the ingredients, and what do you see? Yeast extract, natural flavors and spices. Hmmm.

Teriyaki Marinade Yeast Extract Spice Blah

Teriyaki Marinade Yeast Extract Spice Blah

Once again, the dreaded yeast extract and spice tells us that there are hidden dangers here – could be any of the flavor enhancers, but most likely MSG and ribonucleotides.

Oyster Sauce - Beware of 621, 635 and yeast extracts!

Oyster Sauce - Beware of 621, 635 and yeast extracts!

Finally, I wanted to show you an example of a label in a non-English language. As you can see, the food additive numbers are universal, meaning they are the same everywhere in the world. Here, in the oyster sauce, we have MSG which is written as ‘Monosodium Glutamate,’ and we also have yeast extract, oyster extract (yet another hidden source of MSG) and if that wasn’t enough we have ‘Flavor Enhancer 631,’ which in Malay is written as ‘Penambah Perisa 631.’ This is the Disodium Inosinate, a most definite nasty additive.

This post tells you what to avoid. In a future post, I will be featuring what I consider to be ‘safe and healthy’ alternatives to get you on the right track to better health. Stay tuned!

If you think you are having a reaction to ribonucleotides or you want to ask me specific questions about my rash, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also please be sure to read Sue Dengate’s site and educate yourself on the dangers of all of the nasty additives.

For additional information, read my personal story of suffering from the ‘Ribo Rash.’
More information and a full list of foods to avoid: List of foods that contain 635, 627 and 631.
Learn more about processed foods and how to improve the quality of your food: Are you eating Processed Foods? Improve the quality of your food, your health & your life!.

More on Food Additives:

Food Containing Ribonucleotides – The Ribo Rash from Food Additives 635, 627 and 631

Chemicals & Additives are hiding in your foods!

Chemicals & Additives are hiding in your foods!

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

This additive is salty and savory just like MSG. It is found in many of the same foods as MSG. The chemical name is Ribonucleotide, and often the reaction people get from eating it is an extremely itchy, irritable rash which we call the ‘Ribo Rash.’

If you think seaweed crackers are healthy, you are wrong!!
If you think flavored tofu is healthy, you are wrong!!

We are being poisoned slowly by these additives. People from all over the world are being affect by intolerances and allergies to food additives more than ever before. It is so important to eat a diet that is natural, whole and pure.

This additive, can be ANY of the following 3 names or numbers on a food label and they are universal, i.e. the same in every country in the world:

Ribonucleotide – #635 – E635

Disodium Guanylate – #627 – E627

Disodium Inosinate – #631 – E631

It is often used in combination with MSG, monosodium glutamate or #621.

Look for Food Additives 635, 627 and 631 in savory, salty processed foods such as:

  • Instant noodles such as Maggi brand
  • Flavored potato chips, Doritos, Pringles
  • Flavored (eg BBQ or smoked) chicken and other meats
  • Flavored biscuits and rice crackers, such as sun-dried tomato onion or garlic flavor
  • Packet or canned soups or stocks and stock cubes, even organic
  • Meat pies, hot dogs, sausage rolls
  • Some instant mashed potato
  • Seasoning in the stuffing of supermarket fresh chickens
  • Flavored salt added to rotisseried chickens, also used at KFC
  • Flavor added to frozen turkey
  • Pre-prepared or instant sauces, gravies and meals
  • Salad dressing, especially in restaurants
  • Flavored tuna
  • Fake butters and “heart healthy” margarines
  • Pasta meals including macaroni cheese
  • Marinated meat from your butcher
  • Sausages from your supermarket or butcher, even organic
  • Wasabi covered peas and most wasabi sauces
  • Some fast foods such as chicken, french fries, batter for fish, Burger King’s veggie burger, everything from KFC (it’s in their chicken salt)
  • Check even fresh chicken labels closely as there have been some recent reports
  • Pre-packaged curry sauces
  • Flavored tofu products (tofu hot dogs, tofu burgers, etc)
  • Oyster sauce
  • Green hot sauces used in Middle Eastern dishes (usually served with falafel/hummus)
  • Soy sauces, oyster sauces, jars of curry and Asian sauces
  • Some salsas – check labels

I still have to watch labels and always be aware of what I am eating.

Foods to Avoid, All Containing Artificial Flavoring

Foods to Avoid, All Containing Artificial Flavoring

If you think you are having a reaction to ribonucleotides or you want to ask me specific questions about my rash, please leave a comment below.

For additional information, read my personal story of suffering from the ‘Ribo Rash.’

More about food labeling, go to: The Truth in Food Labeling – Food Additives to Avoid & Hidden Sources of MSG

How to find this stuff in organic foods, go to: MSG hidden in Packaged Foods: Why I don’t buy 90% of the ‘food’ at WholeFoods

And this one: Why is WholeFoods STILL using Canola Oil? (Hint: It’s NOT good for you!)

More on Food Additives:

Feature Detoxification Organ: The Skin

Good skin starts on the inside

Good skin starts on the inside

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

There is a multi-million dollar industry out there right now just waiting for you to buy more products, book more laser treatments, dermabrasions, rejuvenations and whatever other latest trend they develop in an effort to stop the process of aging and give you more youthful, healthy looking skin. What they forgot to mention, however, is that healthy skin starts on the inside. There is no amount of cream, ointment, gel, powder or tincture that can give you nice skin.

If you know my personal story of having had a terrible skin rash for over 2.5 years, you know that I speak from experience! During that time, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever get a compliment on my skin again. Now, I have people telling me that my skin is beautiful all the time! Do you want to know my secret? Living natural, whole & pure! It’s that easy! I avoid food additives and eat as natural a diet as possible. The only thing I put on my skin is pure, raw, organic, virgin cold-pressed coconut oil. From my perspective, if you can’t eat it, then you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin!

We have to remember that the skin is an organ, and in fact it is the largest organ in the entire body. It is also an eliminative organ, meaning it assists the body in detoxification by pushing out toxins directly through the cells and membrane of the skin. If you do not have a natural, healthy glow, it means that your body inside is overloaded with toxins. Nothing that you try on the outside will give you long-term positive results as long as you continue to hold on to too much toxicity inside.

When you do a cleanse, you are giving all of your organs a chance to rest, re-balance and rebuild. Any type of cleanse or detox will naturally help the skin.

There are some additional things that you can also do to help your skin do it’s job.

1. Wear more natural fibers in your choice of clothing.

Natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, silk, linen, bamboo and tencel all help the skin to breathe. Artificial materials such as nylon, lycra and polyester tend to be much more harsh on the skin because the skin is not able to breathe properly. Wearing these restrictive garments for too long can trap sweat and other surface debris, leading to breakouts, rashes and other skin disruptions.

In addition to the clothes you wear, you also need to be mindful of the sheets you sleep on and the pillowcases you use. Try to switch to cotton or silk for all your bed linens – it is much healthier for your skin!

2. Practice Dry Skin Brushing.

Dry Skin Brushing Daily for a Natural Detox

Natural Daily Detox

Dry Skin Brushing is something you can do every day as a quick and easy way to open up the pores of the skin, allowing the skin the breathe better and naturally brushing off toxins and surface debris. Be sure to use a natural bristle brush, not a nylon brush! You can usually find a natural dry skin brush at your local health food shop.

Use your Dry Skin Brush every day for about 5-7 minutes before you go into the shower (i.e. when your skin is dry). Always brush towards the heart. Dry skin brushing is also excellent for lymphatic circulation and is a good over-all natural detoxifier.

3. Regular Sauna or Steams

Essentially, the body eliminates most toxins naturally by sweating. Sweating speeds up the release of acids and toxins directly through the skin. Try to get into a routine of doing a steam sauna or a far-infrared sauna 2-3 times per week.

This will greatly assist your body’s detoxification process and is also a very good natural stress reliever!

More on Skin Cleansing:

The ‘New’ MSG – Is it even more deadly than MSG itself? Ribonucleotides & The Ribo Rash

I like to call this additive the ‘New’ MSG, or monosodium glutamate, because many food manufacturers want to be able to market their product as having ‘No MSG,’ but of course they have to add flavor somehow…so they are using these other flavor enhancers more than ever before. We are being led from one nasty chemical to another with these additives in our foods.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

This additive is salty and savory just like MSG. It is found in many of the same foods as MSG. The chemical name is Ribonucleotide, and often the reaction people get from eating it is an extremely itchy, irritable rash which we call the ‘Ribo Rash.’ Below is my personal story of suffering from the ‘Ribo Rash.’

In 2004 I arrived in Australia and I started to develop a very itchy red rash on my body. It started under my arms, in my inner arms, on my lower back, on my breasts and around my eyes.

An unhappy sufferer of the Ribo Rash - - - Reclaiming my health (no more rash!)

An unhappy sufferer of the Ribo Rash – – – Reclaiming my health (no more rash!)

The rash quickly got worse. It seemed to spread like fire actually, itching like crazy and making me mental. I had never experienced anything like it before, and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what would trigger it. Creams seemed to make it worse – somehow they felt like they were ‘trapping’ the rash inside of me. I could not control my desire to tear my skin off from the itching; I especially enjoyed scalding my skin with hot water – what a sick feeling of relief that provided!! I also started getting heart palpitations…at any time my heart-rate would increase from 60 beats per minute to 140, and I had no history of anxiety whatsoever. I was generally eating quite healthy (at least so I thought); I didn’t smoke, barely drank, exercised (obviously), so how could I be so sick?

Friends told me to meditate. Doctors told me it was a simple case of excema. I had a complete round of testing done and everything came up fine. I was tested for heavy metal poisoning, various viral infections, standard food allergies (milk, wheat, eggs, gluten, etc); I had chest x-rays and EKG’s done – and they found nothing. The only thing that came up suspect during that time is my URIC ACID levels were high. The doctor suggested that I go on medication to bring down the uric acid; he said I was in danger of having gout. (I now know that food additive #635 Ribonucleotide can cause uric acid levels to rise.)

At the best of times, the rash was mainly around my eyes

At the best of times, the rash was mainly around my eyes

Eventually, out of desperation, I started my own ‘elimination diet’ in an effort to narrow down the possibility of it being a food allergy. I just had this feeling that the rash was being caused by something I was eating. I had tried all the changes of soaps, washing powders, etc etc, and I felt like I had no other option to even try. It was at least 1 year of suffering with the rash at this stage, not always as bad as the photos mind you, but always present and always itching like hell. The elimination diet was worth a try.

I started off by telling people at my new job that I was a celiac (i.e. no wheat or gluten). I also started keeping a food diary, writing down what I ate daily and when I had an outbreak. The wheat and gluten-free diet helped tremendously, and now I know it is because ribonucleotides are often found in products containing wheat. About once a month or so I would still have an outbreak, but it seemed manageable – I kind-of got to the point where I accepted the rash as a part of my life and decided I could tolerate it in the small amounts I was getting.

Puffed out after a nice anaphylactic reaction to #635

Puffed out after a nice anaphylactic reaction to #635

At the same time though I started to get more of an anaphylaxis reaction in addition to the rash, so when I had an outbreak, my lips and throat would swell. I started to take anti-histamines and I carried them with me where-ever I went. It is crazy to think back now how I just carried on living through all of that!

Finally the day of reckoning came to me. I hadn’t eaten anything the previous day and I made a salad using the cheap salad packets at work. About an hour later I started to feel the itchiness start in my face, eyes and lips. Somehow I just knew it was the salad dressing. I quickly did an internet search on ‘food additives itchy rash’ and instantly found Sue Dengate’s site. Actually I sobbed tears of joy while I read countless stories of others who had suffered with the SAME EXACT symptoms as me, and I KNEW that I was not crazy, I knew at that moment that I had found the cause of my suffering. There was no doubt in my mind that I was suffering from the Ribo Rash. I noted the list of foods on her site that contain 635, and when I checked my food diary, EVERY SINGLE TIME I HAD A REACTION I had eaten #635. Even on the wheat-free gluten-free diet, I realized that I had eaten seaweed-flavored rice crackers, the veggie burger at Hungry Jack’s (with no bread), cheap salad dressings, and other flavored tofu products which were causing my outbreaks. Sometimes when I try to tell people what happened to me, they cut me off and say, well I don’t eat any of that crap…and I say YOU HAVE NO IDEA THE CRAP THAT YOU ARE EATING!!

I was not eating junk food. If you think seaweed crackers are healthy you are wrong!! If you think flavored tofu is healthy you are wrong!! We are being poisoned slowly by these additives. It was 9 months into the elimination diet when I finally made this life-altering discovery.

This additive, can be ANY of the following 3 names or numbers on a food label and they are universal, i.e. the same in every country in the world:

Ribonucleotide – #635 – E635

Disodium Guanylate – #627 – E627

Disodium Inosinate – #631 – E631

It is often used in combination with MSG, monosodium glutamate or #621 (E621).

Foods to Avoid, All Containing Artificial Flavoring

Foods to Avoid, All Containing Artificial Flavoring

It took about 3 months from the time I eliminated #635 from my diet for the rash to go away entirely. It did not itch whatsoever during that time, it just slowly but surely started to clear up.

After 3 months I finally contacted Sue Dengate personally to thank her and tell her my battle with the Ribo Rash so she could include my story on her site. She told me I had one of the worst cases she had ever seen. Since then I have worked with her to help educate people to the dangers of this chemical. My photo is on her site and is also in her DVD entitled ‘Fed Up with Children’s Behavior – How Food Additives Affect Behavior.’

When the DVD was released in Australia in 2006, I was featured on Today Tonight, a 30-minute news program, to discuss my story.

NO ONE should go through what I went through. It it so obvious to me now that I was suffering from an extreme allergic reaction, and it angers me that doctors are so completely ignorant! How could any medical professional shrug off such an extreme reaction and say it was stress?? I went to many different doctors during that time. It is unfortunate that they are not being educated about the dangers of food additives.

It’s been 5 years now since I eliminated #635 from my diet. I have no rash whatsoever, not even the tiniest spot anywhere on my body. People often compliment me now telling me I have ‘amazing skin.’ Sometimes I tell them, ‘You have NO IDEA how much that compliment means to me.’ I think they think I’m crazy, but they just have no idea what I’ve been through. For 2 years I was embarrassed to go out in public; I felt unattractive and uncomfortable all the time. Now I have beautiful skin which radiates from the inside out.

I still have to watch labels and always be aware of what I am eating.

Eating Natural, Whole & Pure means NO RASH for me!

Eating Natural, Whole & Pure means NO RASH for me!

You can now imagine why the thought of an all-raw food diet started to appeal to me. Perhaps this allergy was a blessing in disguise for me because it was really after this whole experience that I decided to try eating all raw. In fact, I started to see the raw food diet in a completely different way – to me it now represents safe and healthy eating in a way that I could have never comprehended before. I now understand first-hand the poison that is in our processed foods and I am so happy to be able to make the choice to not continue to poison myself anymore.

On occasion I have been accidentally exposed to some ribonucleotide, especially when eating out at restaurants. It happens less and less to me now as I learn from experience what foods it is in and what foods are ’safe.’ But if I do have a reaction, I go home and immediately take about 10-12 charcoal tablets. That seems to absorb the toxins and chemical and usually after about 30 minutes I started to feel better. If after 45 minutes I still feel itchy or hot, I take another 3-4 tablets. It is much more natural on the body to do this rather than even think about taking any anti-histamines.

If you think you are having a reaction to ribonucleotides or you want to ask me specific questions about my rash, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Also please be sure to read Sue Dengate’s site and educate yourself on the dangers of all of the nasty additives.

If you know anyone who has a child suffering from ADHD or Autism, please refer them to this site as well; we are only now just discovering the links between food additives and behavioral problems in children.

If you have been affected by the ribo rash, please leave a comment and include your story below so that we can continue to educate others and hopefully prevent more suffering!

More information on what foods to avoid: List of foods that contain 635, 627 and 631.
To learn about food labeling, go to: The Truth in Food Labeling – Food Additives to Avoid & Hidden Sources of MSG

More on Food Allergies: