There are several ways to add flavor to your food like spices, herbs, and salt. Unfortunately, we know too much salt raises blood pressure. Can using MSG instead of salt be better for blood pressure?

What is MSG?

Heap of Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a food additive used to enhance food flavors without making them too salty.

According to some researchers, MSG can replace some salt and help reduce blood pressure.

The Findings

  • Published in Nutrients
  • Data sourced from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
  • Based on American dietary habits
  • When replacing some salt in certain foods with MSG, sodium intake decreases
  • The results showed MSG slashes overall sodium intake by 7%-8%
  • This helps the public stay under the 2.3 g max sodium intake suggested by health officials

The Salt of It All

Cook seasoning roasted pork steak

  • Excessive salt intake plays a major factor in high blood pressure
  • High blood pressure can lead to chronic health problems (vision loss, heart disease, strokes)
  • There’s a perception that low-salt foods have less flavor
  • This makes it trickier to get people to reduce their sodium intake
  • Several processed food products use salt as a preservative

Can Using MSG Instead of Salt be Better for Blood Pressure?

  • MSG only contains about 12% sodium
  • It only has 1/3 of the sodium found in common table salt
  • MSG boosts flavor even with less sodium
  • Using MSG doesn’t compromise how appetizing the food tastes
  • Salt levels can be slashed up to 40% by replacing it with MSG
  • MSG is readily available to purchase online and most grocery stores

MSG gets a bad rap. However, once Americans understand that MSG is completely safe, “we’ll see a shift toward using the ingredient as a replacement for some salt to improve health outcomes,” said Dr. Taylor C. Wallace, the study’s talented lead researcher.