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Advice Column:

June 10, 2013 by  


By Noor Salem, TMO

Question: I cook using ready stock cubes and hear they are not so healthy. Is this true? Why? What can I replace them with?

noorsalemAnswer: I would definitely recommend you cut out any type of ready stock flavored cubes. Not only are they full of hydrogenated oils, the majority have MSG, or monosodium glutamate, a very harmful ingredient! Check out my in-depth response on why flavored stock cubes are better off on the store shelf then in your pantry.

You can very easily flavor your food with a variety of methods. I personally love to use fresh chopped parsley or cilantro and fresh minced garlic cloves in almost every dish I make. These all have give food strong flavors, and give you immense benefits for your health. Add and play around with spices, and try grinding fresh spices whenever possible including rosemary, mustard, dill, cloves, and various peppers.

These are the ingredients of one brand stock flavored cubes:

Iodized Salt, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Wheat Flour, Flavor Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate), Chicken Fat, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Onion, Spices (Turmeric, White Pepper, Coriander), Parsley, Caramel, Chicken Meat.

Hydrogenated Palm Oil: http://www.labelwatch.com/addinfo.php?aid=464;

•    Fat, oil, shortening: Margarine, crackers, fried restaurant foods, baked goods.
•    Trans fat (or hydrogenated oil) is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil–a process called hydrogenation.
•     Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke
•    associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes
•    immune system that has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions

Wheat Flour  http://www.labelwatch.com/addinfo.php?aid=1011

•    Processed wheat flour: Used in baked goods
•    Other Names: Bleached enriched wheat flour; Bleached flour with malted barley; Bleached wheat flour, all-purpose flour, bleached flour, bread flour

Monosodium Glutamate: http://www.labelwatch.com/addinfo.php?aid=651

•    Amino Acid; Flavor enhancer: Soup, salad dressing, chips, frozen entrees, restaurant foods, and meats.
•    destroys nerve cells in the brain
•    Other sources of glutamate include hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, autolyzed yeast extract and hydrolyzed yeast extract.
•    Careful studies have shown that some people are sensitive to MSG. Reactions include headache, nausea, weakness, and burning sensation in the back of neck and forearms. Some people complain of wheezing, changes in heart rate, and difficulty breathing.

Disodium Inosinate : http://www.labelwatch.com/addinfo.php?aid=277;

•    Synthetic Flavor enhancer: Used in baked goods, ice cream, confections, dairy products, meats, and seasonings.
•    Corresponds with MSG
•    Careful studies have shown that some people are sensitive to MSG. Reactions include headache, nausea, weakness, and burning sensation in the back of neck and forearms. Some people complain of wheezing, changes in heart rate, and difficulty breathing.

Disodium Guanylate) http://www.labelwatch.com/addinfo.php?aid=276;

•    Synthetic Flavor enhancer: Used in baked goods, canned foods, poultry, sauces, seasonings, and soups.
•    Corresponds with MSG and Disodium Inosinate
•    Careful studies have shown that some people are sensitive to MSG. Reactions include headache, nausea, weakness, and burning sensation in the back of neck and forearms. Some people complain of wheezing, changes in heart rate, and difficulty breathing.

Caramel,: http://www.labelwatch.com/addinfo.php?aid=160;

•    Food coloring: Used in oyster, soy, fruit and canned sauces, beer, whiskey, biscuits, pickles, cakes, doughnuts, flour products, chocolate products, fizzy drinks, beer, wine, sweets, crisps, bread, pates, ice cream, sauces, pickles, preserves, vegetable protein and similar meat substitutes.

References:

http://www.nestle-family.com/maggi/english/products/maggi-chicken-bouillon.aspx
http://www.labelwatch.com/glossary.php#H

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