Ask a Healer Food Additives Series
What can you eat at Chick-fil-A if allergic to MSG?
by N J Howell
Note: This health article covers chick-fil-a foods with msg or ingredients often used to include hidden msg without labeling. It does NOT cover which foods may also contain processed free form glutamic acid, as restaurants aren't so willing to put that on the label yet. If you are severely allergic to MSG in any form, please contact any fast food restaurant thru their website, to rule out free form glutamic acid in their foods.
MSG may also be hidden in many other ingredients including anything with the word hydrolyzed, maltodextrin, anything with the word autolyzed, yeast extract, modified food starch, etc. In addition, watch for the ingredients disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate because they are often used to increase effects of msg and really have not much other purpose for being in a food.
Monosodium in Chick-Fil-A Food, per Chick-Fil-A Website, April 30, 2012:
I appreciate Chick-Fil-A for being forthcoming with their fast food products that contain MSG.
Unlike some others, many of the chick-fil-a items list monosodium glutamate by name. However, they still have many, many, many items with suspect ingredients and I suspect most all their foods have either msg or free glutamic acid. The only exception I noted was the waffle fries.
OK, I did not go thru every single item on the menu at chick-fil-a because it became apparent early on that monosodium glutamate or other ingredients which often contain hidden msg are in almost everything there.
This is a partial list of fast foods from the Chick-fil-A fast food restaurants which that contain monosodium glutamate and/or other suspect ingredients:
Chick-Fil-A Nuggets (monosodium glutamate listed by name; also natural flavors, often a source of hidden msg)
Chicken and Deluxe Chicken Sandwich
Spicy Chicken and Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich
Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich - MSG not listed by name but contains modified food starch, autolyzed yeast extract and natural flavors, all often sources of hidden msg and all of which have potential to cause health issues in those who notice discomfort with msg. The chargrilled chicken sandwich also contains disodium insosinate and disodium guanylate, used to increase msg performance.
It appears to me that the choice to go with hidden msg may have been a deliberate marketing strategy. Those who order grilled chicken as opposed to fried chicken are likely to be more health conscious and might be more apt to check for MSG on the label. Ironically, the use of disodium insosinate and disodium guanylate may help to boost glutamic levels to the same level they would be if monosodium glutamate were added by name.
Charbroiled Chicken Club - Again, no monosodium glutamate in the ingredients list but contains all the suspect ingredients found in the chargrilled chicken sandwich.
Chick-fil-A Chick-n-strips - Monosodium Glutamate listed out right, also maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavor and smoke flavor.
Chicken Salad Sandwich - Monosodium Gluatmate is actually listed twice in the ingredients for this product, as well as the same suspect ingredients listed in the chick-n-strips.
Chargrilled Chicken Cool Wrap - Here they change it up a bit. Instead of MSG, we see isolated soy protein (contains msg) along with autolyzed yeast extract and maltodextrin. Also has those msg boosters, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate. I did not realize that the healthy sounding soy protein or whey protein was actually hydrolyzed or autolyzed too; created in a way that results in free glutamic acid.
And on and on ....
I could go on and on but you get the idea about the chicken. Found either msg or suspect ingredients in the following as well: Chicken caesar cool wrap, Spicy Chicken cool wrap, chargrilled and fruit salad, etc.
I checked one milkshake, banna pudding, and found carrageenan, yet another ingredient that causes msg-type reactions or which may possibly be a source of hidden msg. Did not check the rest of the drinks cause I was getting tired. Checked a few desserts, all of which either contained msg or suspect ingredients. Also found that the fudge brownies at chick-fil-a, in addition to modified cornstarh and natural flavors, actually contains coffee.
The chick-fil-A barbecue sauce, buffalo sauce, and ranch dressings all have suspected hidden msg ingredients.
Chick-Fil-A Childrens's Food and MSG:
This is where I really start getting annoyed. MSG and other excitotoxins naturally have even more impact on small bodies and if the FDA won't ban msg, the least they could do is ban it in children's foods.
The Chick-fil-A Nugget's Kid's Meal lists monosodium glutamate outright TWICE on ingredient list. The grilled nuggets also list MSG as ingredient.
The Chick-Fil-A Chick-n-Strips Kids meal lists autolyzed yeast extract, maltodextrin, smoke flavor, natural flavor and MSG. Potentially 5 does of this potent excitotoxin in a single children's meal!
As mentioned earlier, I don't see msg or hidden msg ingredients in the french fries but that still doesn't mean I'd feed them to my children! They contain dimethylpolysiloxane, a polymer of silicone also used in silly putty. They call it an anti-foaming agent; it's silicone.
To learn more about Chick-Fil-A ingredients and see if their ingredient list has been updated since this posting, please visit Chick-fil-A
MSG is an excito-toxin, which means it excites the taste buds but is ultimately toxic. That's what "toxin" means!
MSG is not the only additive in foods that affects me and countless others. In fact, both xylitol and sorbitol wreak more havoc in my body than even MSG.
Monosodium Glutamate in Ruby Tuesday Restaurant Foods.
The King of All MSG Pushers - Shop here for your daily MSG Fix!
Health Care Disclaimer: Monosodium Glutamate is consider a safe ingredient to consume or the FDA would not allow it in our foods. I believe it is unsafe and will eventually be banned. MSG is an excitotoxin. By definition, an excitotoxin excites but is toxic. MSG makes food taste better thru excitation of the senses, hence is often called a flavor enhancer. The only thing it enhances in my experience, is discomfort after the excitement wears off. Not a fair trade. Notice your reactions after consuming foods where monosodium glutamate is listed as an ingredient.