All the MSG hiding in your food

Manufacturers add MSG (or free glutamates) to foods as an inexpensive way to impart a savoury / meaty flavour without having to actually put in any (or as much) meat or protein. To help identify this unsavoury additive, here is a comprehensive list of ingredients that contain MSG or free glutamates.

Anything with “glutamate” or “glutamic acid” in its name

Magnesium glutamate (E625, Magnesium diglutamate, Magnesium di-L-glutamate)

Monoammonium glutamate (E624, Monoammonium L-glutamate)

Monopotassium glutamate (E622)

Monosodium glutamate (E621, MSG, UNII-W81N5U6R6U) (Brand names: Aji-no-moto, Ve-tsin, Tasting Powder, Sazón, Accent)

Monosodium glutamate monohydrate (MSG monohydrate)

Monosodium L-glutamate monohydrate

Sodium glutamate monohydrate

Sodium cocoyl glutamate

Glutamic acid (E620, L-Glutamic acid, Glutamate)

Calcium glutamate (E623)

Natrium glutamate

Anything that is hydrolyzed or autolyzed

Autolyzed yeast

Autolyzed yeast extract

Autolyzed yeast protein

Autolyzed plant protein

Hydrolyzed beef stock

Hydrolyzed collagen

Hydrolyzed corn

Hydrolyzed corn gluten

Hydrolyzed corn protein concentrate

Hydrolyzed cornstarch

Hydrolyzed gelatin

Hydrolyzed guar gum

Hydrolyzed milk protein (Hydrolyzed casein)

Hydrolyzed oat flour

Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)

Hydrolyzed protein

Hydrolyzed soy protein

Hydrolyzed soybean

Hydrolyzed soybean oil

Hydrolyzed vegetable broth

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)

Hydrolyzed wheat

Hydrolyzed wheat gluten

Hydrolyzed whey protein

Hydrolyzed whey protein concentrate

Hydrolyzed whey peptides

Hydrolyzed yeast (Hydrolyzed brewer’s yeast, Hydrolyzed torula)

Calcium caseinate

Sodium caseinate

Any protein isolate

Soy isolate

Soy protein isolate

Wheat protein isolate

Whey protein isolate

Protein isolate

MSG synergists and glutamate-creating enzymes

Disodium guanylate (E627, GMP)

Disodium inosinate (E631, IMP)

Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides (E635)

Glutaminase (enzyme that converts glutamine to glutamate)

Typically high in MSG or free glutamates

Ac’cent® Flavor Enhancer

Anchovy paste


Brewer’s yeast


Coconut aminos

Dashi (Seaweed stock, Kombu dashi)

Fish sauce

Fish extract

Hoisin sauce

Liquid aminos

Matured cheeses (e.g. Parmesan, Roquefort)

Meat extract

Miso (Miso paste)

Mushroom extract (Mushroom concentrate)


Nutritional yeast

Oyster sauce

Plant protein extract

Seaweed extract (Tangle extract, Kombu extract)

Shrimp paste

Soy extract (Soy sauce extract)

Soya sauce (Soy sauce)

Soybean paste (Doenjang)


Tomato concentrate

Torula yeast

Umami paste

Vegetable extract

Worcestershire sauce

Yeast extract (Vegemite, Marmite)

Yeast food

Yeast nutrient

May contain free glutamates

Carrageenan (E407)


Malt flavoring

Malt extract

Malted barley (Barley malt)

Natural beef flavoring (Beef flavor)

Natural chicken flavoring (Chicken flavor)

Natural flavoring (Natural flavor)

Natural pork flavoring (Pork flavor)

Soy protein

Soy protein concentrate

Textured protein

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Whey protein

Whey protein concentrate

Zinc proteinate

(The above list is based on dozens of sources. Please let me know if you notice any mistakes or omissions. Thank you!)

All the sodium hiding in your food

Manufacturers add sodium (most commonly in the form of table salt) to many kinds of food and beverage, including things we wouldn’t expect to contain salt, such as sweet-tasting products. To help identify these additives, here is a comprehensive list of sodium-containing ingredients.

Anything with “sodium” or “soda” in the name

Sodium alginate (E401)

Sodium ascorbate (E301, Sodascorbate, Monosodium ascorbate)

Sodium benzoate (E211)

Sodium bicarbonate (E500ii, Baking soda, Bicarb soda, Bicarbonate of sodium)

Sodium bisulfate (E514ii, Sodium hydrogen sulfate)

Sodium bisulfite (E222, sodium hydrogen sulfite)

Sodium carbonate (E500i)

Sodium chloride (table salt)

Sodium citrate (E331, Disodium citrate, Trisodium citrate)

Sodium diacetate (E262)

Sodium erythorbate (E316)

Sodium hydroxide (E524)

Sodium lactate (E325)

Sodium lauryl sulfate (E487, SLS)

Sodium metabisulfite (E223)

Sodium nitrate (E251)

Sodium nitrite (E250)

Sodium phosphate (E339)

Sodium propionate (E281)

Sodium saccharin (E954)

Monosodium glutamate (E621, MSG, Sodium glutamate)

Disodium guanylate (E627, GMP)

Disodium inosinate (E631, IMP)

Disodium phosphate (E339)

Trisodium phosphate (E339, TSP)

Anything with “salt” or “sel” in the name

Andean pink salt

Black salt

Celery salt

Celtic salt (Sel gris)

Curing salt

Flake salt

Flavored salts

Fleur de sel

Garlic salt

Hawaiian salt (Alaea salt)

Himalayan pink salt (Pink salt)

Kala namak salt

Kosher salt

Maldon salt

Onion salt

Pickling salt

Rock salt


Sea salt

Seasoning salt

Smoked salt

Truffle salt

Vegetable salt

Ingredients typically high in sodium

Anchovy paste

Baking powder

Bouillon cubes



Fish sauce

Lemon Pepper

Masala spice mixes

Meat extract

Oyster sauce

Soy sauce (Soya sauce)


Worcestershire sauce

Yeast extract

(The above list is based on dozens of sources. Please let me know if you notice any mistakes or omissions. Thank you!)

All the sweeteners hiding in your food

Manufacturers add many sweeteners—both natural and artificial—to almost every kind of food and beverage. This can make identifying or cutting back on added sweeteners challenging. To help, here is a list of over 400 sweetener ingredients and brand names (excluding variations like “raw”, “pure”, “local”, or “organic”).

Full-calorie sweeteners

Anything with “sugar” in the name

Sugar (Table sugar, White sugar, Granulated sugar)

Liquid sugar

Caramelized Sugar

Coffee sugar crystals

Palm Sugar (Arenga sugar)

Beet sugar

Cane sugar, Brown cane sugar (Brand: Sun Crystals)

Castor sugar (Caster sugar, Superfine sugar, Ultrafine sugar, bar sugar)

Icing sugar (Confectioner’s sugar, Powdered sugar, 6X sugar, 10X sugar, 12X sugar, Glazing sugar)

Sanding sugar (Sugar sand)

Sugar cane extract

Sparkling sugar

Rock sugar

Date sugar (Date powder)

Demerara sugar

Invert sugar (Inverted sugar, Invert cane sugar, Simple syrup, Sugar syrup, Sugar water, Bar syrup, Syrup USP, or Sucrose inversion)

White sugar

Brown sugar

Yellow sugar

Grape sugar

Golden sugar

Pearl sugar (Hail sugar, Nib sugar)

Coconut sugar, Coconut palm sugar, Coconut blossom sugar (Brands: Madhava coconut sugar, Nutiva coconut sugar)

Treacle sugar

Corn sugar (HFCS)

Decorative sugar

Fondant sugar

Maple sugar

Unrefined cane sugar, Whole cane sugar (Rapadura, Panela sugar, Piloncillo, Panocha, Penuche, Raspadura, Jaggery, Kokuto, Raw sugar, Barbados sugar, Muscovado, Muscovado sugar, Sucanat)

Simple sugars ending in “-ose”

Fructose (Levulose, Crystalline fructose) (Brand: Whey Low [also contains sucrose and lactose])

Glucose (Dextrose, Anhydrous dextrose) (Brand: Stevia in the Raw [also contains stevia])

Glucose solids


Sucrose (Saccharose) (Brand: Whey Low [also contains fructose and lactose])

Lactose (Brand: Whey Low [also contains fructose and sucrose])


Ribose (D-ribose)

Trehalose (Mycose, Tremalose) (Brands: SweetT, Treha, NewSweet [also contains stevia])

Lactulose (Galactofructose)

Cellobiose (Brand: Sun Cellobio)

Isomaltulose (Brand: Palatinose)

Xylose (D-Xylose, Wood sugar)

Any form of juice or concentrated fruit

Any evaporated juice (e.g. fruit, cane, beet)

Any dehydrated juice (e.g. apple, pear, orange)

Any juice concentrate (e.g. fruit, cherry, carrot, lemon)

Any fruit purée (e.g. strawberry)

Fruit sugar

Any fruit paste (e.g. raspberry)

Cane juice, Evaporated cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice

Any kind of syrup


High fructose corn syrup (Isoglucose, Glucose fructose, Glucose fructose syrup, Fructose glucose, Fructose glucose syrup, HFCS, HFCS-42, HFCS-55, HFCS-90)

High maltose corn syrup (HMCS)

Golden syrup (Light treacle)

Buttered syrup

Carob syrup

Maple syrup

Refiner’s syrup, Refiners syrup, Refinery syrup

Beet syrup, Sugar beet syrup

Sorghum syrup (Sweet sorghum)

Brown sugar syrup

Corn syrup (HFCS, Corn syrup solids)

Corn syrup butter

Fructose glucose syrup (HFCS)

Fructose syrup

Glucose syrup, Glucose syrup solids

Rice syrup, Rice syrup solids, Brown rice syrup, Rice bran syrup, Rice malt syrup

Agave syrup

Birch syrup

Cane refinery syrup

Grape syrup

Cane syrup, Sugar cane syrup, Invert cane syrup, Invert sugar cane syrup, Invert sugar syrup, Invert syrup, Dried cane syrup

Caramelized sugar syrup

Date syrup

Cane juice syrup, Evaporated cane juice syrup

Malt syrup (Malt sugar)

Oat syrup, Oat syrup solids

Coconut syrup

Tapioca syrup, Tapioca syrup solids

Pear syrup

Pineapple syrup

Wheat glucose syrup

Barley syrup, Barley malt syrup, Malt syrup

Any kind of nectar

Agave nectar (Brands: Nectavé, Madhava Agave, Bluava, Agave in the raw)

Date nectar

Raisin nectar

Coconut nectar, Coconut palm nectar, Coconut blossom nectar

Any kind of honey or molasses


Honey powder

Molasses (Black treacle)

Molasses powder

Molasses granules

Blackstrap molasses

Cane molasses

Sugarcane molasses

Sorghum molasses

Carob molasses

Pomegranate molasses

Any kind of dextrin

Dextrin (Brand: Nutriose)

Tapioca dextrin

Wheat dextrin

Corn dextrin (Brand: Nutriose)

Maltodextrin (Brands: Equal [also contains aspartame and acesulfame potassium], Cologran [also contains cyclamate and saccharin], Maltotame [also contains neotame])

Corn maltodextrin

Rice maltodextrin

Tapioca maltodextrin


Malt extract (Honey Malt extract)

Barley malt, Barley malt extract

Diastatic malt (Diastatic malt powder)


Corn sweetener (HFCS)


Florida crystals

Date crystals

Cane crystals

Sorghum extract


Reduced-calorie sweeteners

Sugar alcohols

Erythritol (E968) (Brands: C*Eridex, Lakanto [also contains monk fruit extract], Truvia, Zerose, ZSweet, Sugar Twin Stevia, Swerve [also contains oligosaccharides], Pyure Stevia [also contains stevia extract], Monk Fruit In The Raw [also contains monk fruit extract])

Isomalt (Isomaltitol, Hydrogenated isomaltulose, E953) (Brands: ClearCut, Decomalt, DiabetiSweet)

Lactitol (E966) (Brand: Lacty)

Maltitol (Maltitol syrup, Maltitol powder, Hydrogenated glucose syrup, Hydrogenated high maltose content glucose syrup, Hydrogenated maltose, E965) (Brands: Maltisweet, Maltisorb, SweetPearl, Lycasin, Lesys)

Mannitol (D-mannitol, E421) (Brand: Pearlitol)

Sorbitol (Glucitol, D-glucitol, D-glucitol syrup, Sorbitol syrup, D-sorbitol, E420) (Brand: Neosorb)

Xylitol (E967) (Brands: Ideal, Polysweet, Xylosweet, Smart Sweet, Xylipure, Xyla, Xylisorb, Zint Xylitol)

Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH, Polyglycitol syrup)

Glycerol (Glycerin, Glycerine, E422)

Inositol (Myo-inositol)

Sugar fibers


Inulin (Beta(2-1)fructans, Chicory extract, Chicory inulin, Chicory root inulin, Chicory fiber, Chicory root fiber, Chicory root extract, Dahlia extract, Dahlia inulin, Inulina, Oligosaccharides) (Brands: Just Like Sugar, SomerSweet, Sweet Fiber, SweetPerfection, Swerve [also contains erythritol], Frutafit inulin, Oliggo–Fiber)

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS, Fructo Oligo Saccharides, Partially hydrolyzed inulin, Chicory Inulin Hydrolysate, Inulin Hydrolysate, Oligofructan, Oligofructose, Oligosaccharide Complex, Oligosaccharides, Short Chain Fructo-Oligosaccharides, SC-FOS) (Brand: Frutalose oligofructose)

Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO) (Brands: VitaClassic, VitaFiber Plus, Sukrin Fiber Syrup)

Maltooligosaccharides (Maltodextrin oligosaccharides)

Galactooligosaccharides (GOS, oligogalactosyllactose, oligogalactose, oligolactose, transgalactooligosaccharides, TOS)

Yacon syrup [contains both fructose and FOS] (Brands: Alovitox yacon syrup, Zint yacon syrup, Yacona Natural Yacon Sweetener)


Resistant maltodextrin (Resistant dextrin, Soluble corn fiber, Resistant wheat dextrin, Soluble wheat fiber, Wheat dextrin, Soluble vegetable fiber) (Brand: Fibersol)

Sweet proteins

Brazzein (Brand: Cweet)


Miraculin (Miracle fruit extract, Miracle fruit powder, Miracle fruit pulp, Miracle fruit protein) (Brands: WandaTaste MiracleBerry Fruit Powder, Mberry)




Thaumatin (E957) (Brand: Talin)


Tagatose (Brands: Tagatesse, Natrulose)

DouxMatok Sugar (Brand: Incredo Sugar)

Allulose (D-allulose, Psicose, D-Psicose) (Brands: Dolcia Prima, Astraea Allulose, Color Me Keto Allulose)

Non-caloric sweeteners

Acesulfame potassium (Acesulfame K, AceK, Ac, E950) (Brands: Sunett, Sweet One)

Advantame (E969) [No brand names as of 2022]

Alitame (E956) (Brand: Aclame)

Aspartame (APM, Aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester, E951) (Brands: Equal, NutraSweet, AminoSweet, Canderel, NatraTaste Blue)

Aspartame-Acesulfame Salt (E962) (Brands: Equal, TwinSweet)

Cyclamate (Calcium cyclamate, Sodium cyclamate, Cyclamic acid, E952) (Brands: Sugar Twin, Sucaryl, Cologran, Assugrin, Chuker, Hermesetas, Huxol, Novasweet, Rio, Sugromax)

Ethyl maltol (E637)

Glycyrrhizin (Glycyrrhizic acid, Glycyrrhizinic acid, E958)

Maltol (E636)

Monatin [Not yet commercially available as of 2022]

Monk fruit extract (Mogroside, Luo Han Guo, Lo Han Kuo, Monk fruit juice concentrate, Monk juice concentrate, Monk fruit powder, Swingle fruit extract, Siraitia grosvenorii fruit extract, SGFE, Reb M) (Brands: Purefruit, PureMonk, Sweet Sensation, Purisure, Monk Fruit In The Raw [also contains erythritol], Lakanto [also contains erythritol], Bestevia, Avansya)

Neohesperidin DC (Neohesperidine dihydrochalcone, NHDC, E959)

Neotame (E961) (Brands: Newtame, Maltotame [also contains maltodextrin])

Saccharin (Sodium saccharin, Potassium saccharin, Calcium saccharin, E954) (Brands: Sucaryl, Cologran, Heremesetas, Necta Sweet, Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin, Equal Saccharin)

Stevia (Stevioside, Rebaudioside A, Steviol glycosides, Stevia leaf extract, Stevia leaf powder, E960) (Brands: NuStevia, PureVia, Truvia, Rebiana, Sugar Twin Stevia, SweetLeaf, Sun Crystals, SteviaSweet, Enliten, NewSweet [also contains trehalose], Nevella Stevia, Stevia in the Raw [also contains dextrose], Pyure Stevia [also contains erythritol])

Sucralose (1′,4,6′-Trichlorogalactosucrose, Trichlorosucrose, E955) (Brands: Splenda, EZ-Sweetz, Nevella, Sweetzfree, Equal Sucralose, NatraTaste Gold, Cafe Delight, FreeKal, N’Joy, Natural Mate, NuSweet, SucraDrops, ZeroCal sucralose, SucraPlus, CandyS, Cukren, Sukrana)

(The above list is based on dozens of sources. Please let me know if you notice any mistakes or omissions. Thank you!)

Introducing the Pan-Affect Chart

The Pan-Affect Chart is an attempt to itemize and categorize all of the pleasant and unpleasant sensations we experience throughout our lives. This includes physical sensations, emotions, as well as social and intellectual drivers. Why create such a chart? Among other reasons, it can help us figure out what mix of feelings we are experiencing at any given time. It can also help us understand what others may be feeling, which can help us understand what motivates their actions and decisions. The chart can be viewed here.

Labeling our unhealthy pain

If you have suffered from difficult episodes of depression, anxiety or other similar psychological troubles, and you do not know why, then you are actually suffering in two ways: first, from these difficult episodes themselves, and second, from the tormenting confusion of not knowing why this is happening to you.

Continue reading

The real reason we suffer from depression

Losing our job. Flunking a critical test. The complete breakdown of a close relationship. It’s normal for our feelings to drop to the floor when life punches us hard in the gut. As we try to understand and slowly adjust to these difficult life changes, we might experience a bitter and potent mix of disbelief, anger, sadness, loneliness and disappointment. But this kind of “depression” could in fact be seen as a normal, even healthy, reaction since it happened for a reason: the various feelings, unpleasant as they might be, encourage us to reevaluate our lives, our relationships, our expectations, and our plans for the future. And when these painful feelings fade away, they for the most part stay away, unless we are unfortunate enough to encounter a new major life setback.

However, the kind of depression I really want to talk about is the unhealthy kind, the kind that strikes many of us for no apparent reason. Continue reading

Man standing on ledge

If you’re on the ledge of life, don’t kill yourself, fix yourself!

Are you feeling depressed? Tired of living? Can’t see the light at the end of that dark, seemingly endless tunnel of suffering? If so, you’re not alone—more and more people are sinking into what sometimes feels like a bottomless pit of despair and desolation, struggling to climb out. After spending enough time down there, many start questioning whether it’s worth going on living this way. I’ve been there many times. Maybe you’ve been there before too, and if so, a part of you knows the agony eventually ends. But when you’re in the midst of being hounded by the Black Dog of depression, it rarely feels that way.Continue reading