MSG & The Holidays

One of the best things about the holiday season is how wonderfully festive things are. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, it’s a smorgasbord of wonderful dishes and treats and time spent with those who are near and dear to us.

For those of us with an MSG allergy, the holiday season can be challenging when you’re enjoying yourself at holiday parties or at a wonderful holiday meal with friends and family. The holiday turkey, ham, or casserole can be just enough for us to feel pretty bad the next day.

A few things to keep in mind —

Avoid gravy and sauces. Gravy for two reasons: seasonings always contain MSG, and secondly, broths, that gravy starts out with, are made with bouillon, a known MSG allergy trigger. The same thing goes for soups.

Beware of turkey and ham. One, because of the seasoning, and two, because some meats are infused with seasoning and flavorings by the manufacturer prior to shipping. Others may include Soy as a filler.

Watch out for cookies and cakes. I know that tray of holiday cookies straight from the bakery looks delicious, BUT, if there’s any fruit filling, pass on them. Any baked goods with fruit are likely to contain ingredients likely to cause an MSG allergic reaction.

Hors d’oeuvres. Yeah, they look yummy too. And they’re not all bad. But keep in mind that many prepackaged foods contain the ingredients I call “the Evil Three”: Soy Lecithin, Maltodextrin and Malt flavoring. All three guaranteed to cause an MSG allergic reaction. Keep far away from the chips and homemade ranch dip, and the bowl of mixed nuts while you’re at it. Avoiding the cheese and cold cut tray is another really good idea.

Nobody wants to spend the holidays passing on a plate of this or that, but it’s important to keep these things in mind.

So far, I’ve had no instances of MSG poisoning this holiday season and just one instance for all of 2015. I chalk that up to the knowledge I’ve gained as a result of writing and researching for this blog.

Today is Christmas Day and I’ll be spending it at the home of my dearest friend. My stomach is growling in anticipation as I write this.

In January, I’ll be doing a special post about frozen foods and MSG.

But until then, I want to wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and the best and brightest, happy new year! It is my pleasure to share my findings with you. Keep sending the emails with your comments and questions. I LOVE them!

See you in 2016!

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