The Unhealthy Truth About Trail Mix and MSG

Trail Mix is one of the most popular snacks in the world. While I’m personally not a fan, I have always taken notice of friends and colleagues who call this crunchy mixture of fruits, nuts, and sometimes chocolate their favorite treat.

This post was especially difficult to research because in doing my research, I will check packaging on several different brands of trail mixes. Many list no ingredients at all and of the ones that do, they would list only the obvious ingredients like, peanuts, raisins, almonds, cashews, etc. The Internet was no help either. Just the base ingredients found again and again in my searches.

Since nuts are included and often seasoned with MSG filled seasonings, you should ALWAYS be careful when choosing a trail mix because nuts are included. One thing to note is  just as Planters and other canned nuts should be avoided by anyone with an MSG allergy, you should be just as vigilant when it comes to the nuts in trail mix.

Another thing to note is if you’ve chosen a trail mix that includes chocolate, be aware that the chocolate used will usually include Soy Lecithin. Soy Lecithin is essentially the waste product left over when soybean oil is processed, and it’s often added to chocolate in cereals and in chocolate candies. Soy and soy byproducts are known to trigger MSG allergy symptoms.

The trail mixes offered by Trader Joe’s appear to be “clean labels,” meaning no red flags in their ingredients, but note that the varieties I checked did not include chocolate, but a mix of fruits and nuts. My very good friend showed me two bags of her favorite trail mix (the popular Nice brand) she’d bought at our local Walgreens recently.  When I checked the label on one package, I noticed ingredients like whey and  yep, you guessed it, Soy Lecithin.

You should also beware of what I call the “cheap, cheesy” trail mixes — the ones you’ll find at the newspaper stand, in the vending machine, or next to the counter at the car wash — they’ll include MSG allergy triggering ingredients.

Keep reading your labels!  Knowledge is power.

NEXT: Fruits, Veggies and MSG: Oh Hell No!