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Loving God more. Loving others more. Living obediently in Christ.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Whole grain bread baking tips and "hidden MSG"

Why do people prefer white bread and junk food? 
Discover the hidden food drug in your bread!

There are a few tricks that I have learned from trial and error when it comes to making whole grain bread.  I will give you a list at the bottom of this post as well as a link to another interesting subject that was a huge discovery in my health journey.  Bread has not always been a tolerable food for me.  In fact, when I was completely gluten free for a couple of years, I was just beginning to feel a little better (digestively speaking) than I had in the past decade. . . but I gained weight on gluten-free foods. I was replacing gluten grains with dairy and meat instead of eating a plant based diet.

The discovery in my health journey was hidden MSG.  When I bought bread at the store or used all purpose flour at home to make my own bread, there were additives in the bread and flour that gave me heartburn.  I never dreamed that I would need to read the ingredients label of all purpose flour to make sure that it just contained wheat!  It turns out that 'malted barley flour', commonly added to all purpose flour, is a glutamic acid (MSG is mono-sodium-glutamate and the glutamate part of MSG is the problem).  Anything high in glutamate has been nicknamed "hidden MSG"

Why is glutamate added to foods, you may ask?  Because they enhance flavor, working as a toxin to the nervous system and exciting the brain to believe the food being eaten is the best you have ever tasted.  The toxic part of the experience comes in when the nerve cells are over stimulated, triggersing the cell suicide mechanism.  Nerve cells die when we eat glutamate and we become addicted to glutamic acid, causing cravings.  This makes glutamate a food drug.
 It is not your fault that you can't stop eating the whole loaf of bread.  The glutamate added to foods stimulate hunger, trigger the rapid hand to mouth overeating motion, and manifest the unsatisfied need to stuff yourself to the point of discomfort.  Glutamate are absorbed by the tissues of the mouth, lining of the esophagus, and throughout the GI tract.  Dr Russell Blaylock MD has written a book on the subject of glutamate in food, Excitotoxins The Taste That Kills, linking them to serious neurological diseases such as stroke, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, MS, ADHD, autism and even cancer.  Artificial sweeteners fall into the same category as glutamate since they work along the nerve pathway and do the same damage to the cells.

What foods have glutamate added to them?  Everything that is processed or sold in a restaurant.  Salad dressings, baked goods, baby food, baby formula, cold cereals, instant oatmeal, all-purpose flour, dairy products, ground meats, cured meats, package foods that are ready to eat, bad potato chips and healthy potato chips, spice mixes, french fries, coffee beverages, tea beverages, foods with ingredients labeled "spices" or "natural flavor", shampoo, lotion, toothpaste and if I haven't named it, put it here _____________.  This is exactly why the whole foods movement is taking off.  People are getting sick and they are finding that they feel better when they use simple ingredients and make their meals at home.  In Debby Anglesey's book, Battling the MSG Myth, she states the following, "The amount of MSG added to our processed food has doubled each decade since the 1940's".  There are currently no limits on the amount of MSG that can be added to foods in our country.  The FDA allows additives that are high in glutamate to be put in foods and labeled "No MSG"- because it is not the mono-sodium variety of glutamic acid.
What foods do NOT contain MSG?  What is left to eat?  There are plenty of great foods out there, many that you may have not discovered yet.  Whole foods that are sold just as they were grown - such as whole grains, whole grain flours, beans, fresh or frozen vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit.  I plan to put up some videos with food preparations and some links to good recipe websites.  Hopefully, you can be encouraged to eat a truly healthy diet and get rid of disease in your life.  To start the journey, you need to begin to read labels - ingredient labels.  You also need to print off the "Hidden MSG" brouchure from the truth in labeling website.  Get familiar with the names of hidden MSG.  The food industry is continually trying to hide it in their products, so you have to visit the website often to check for updates.

Here are the links for more information on MSG:

This brochure gives a fairly complete list of FDA approved ingredient names for glutamic acid

Whole grain bread baking tips - in order of preparation
Baking with whole grains can be tricky.  Buy flour that has no additives and is made from the whole grain.  Don't buy all-purpose flour with malted barley flour added.  Malted barley flour is naturally high in glutamic acid (hidden MSG).  Though your baked goods will be light and fluffy, you will be triggering your brain to overeat.  Follow the preparation directions below with your favorite bread recipe and let me know if it helps!
  1. Start your recipe with the water.  Begin by adding the sugar (or honey) and salt to the water, soften the yeast by sprinkling it on top and allow it to "bloom" for 10 minutes.
  2. Add oil after the yeast blooms.  Gently stir in the oil.  If you want to make your bread oil free, you can replace oil with applesauce!
  3. Add only half of the flour for which your recipe instructs.  Stir it in and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Make sure that you have a large bowl because the yeast will begin to multiply and the gluten in the wheat will expand.  I have had a few counter top episodes with bubbling dough. 
  4. Stir in the remaining measure of flour, making additions of ground flax seed or other grains at this time.
  5. Knead, making additions of flour to incorporate all of the wet dough.  This should only take a minute or two.  You will know that you have added enough flour when the dough is too firm to flatten out when you stop kneading the bread for a few seconds.
  6. Let your dough rise for 45 minutes.  Remove it from the bowl to gently knead again.  If there are any sticky areas in the dough, lightly dust with flour and knead 4-5 turns to mix it in.
  7. Let your dough rise 30 minutes more before shaping into loaves.
  8. Allow your loaves to rise until they are 2-3 inches above the height of the pan before baking.
  9. Bake bread at 375 for 13 minutes, then lay a sheet of foil over the tops of loaves to prevent burning and bake an additional 13 minutes.


  1. Welcome to blog land! The bread looks great and your video was great. I dont think vegan is something I could/want to do but i am all for trying to eat more greens because i truly despise them. Looking forward to your cooking ideas

    1. Thanks, Vicki. I'm happy to say that I don't believe everyone should be a vegan. :) And I agree with the greens. Everyone should eat more of them for their anti-cancer properties. The video was fun and I am really looking forward to making more of them. Thanks for your support, my friend. :D

  2. Thanks, good article, I have always been health conscious and ate probably a 90% whole food diet but with small treats of naughties. I have chronic migraines and feel exhausted all the time. MSG is a huge trigger for me. I have now been on a 100% whole food diet for a couple of weeks and the difference has been amazing. After a brief detox reaction I have more energy than I know what to do with, and my migraines disappeared almost overnight. However I bought an organic wholegrain loaf that was malted this week, not realising the malted flour contained msg, and I immediately felt exhausted just as I used to every day, and got a migraine. Its a learning curve! My motto now is, if it needs a list of ingredients just don't bother eating it. Its a lot quicker to do my shopping without having to stop and study the label on everything!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Shellbee. Before understanding hidden MSG, I used to go on a bland diet to correct my digestive problems. The "bland" foods all contained hidden MSG: jello, toast, hot bouillon. I was a mess. I'm glad to know that you are finding the food connection to your chronic migraines and fatigue. Some additional things you could do is to include supplements of magnesium, B12, eat plenty of high folate foods and check your iodine level.
      God bless!

  3. I recently discovered I have problems with msg. My mouth and tongue had been going numb for the last few months. I thought maybe I had a B12 deficiency and got some really good whole foods vitamins and that seemed to help some, but I was so tired and I noticed after I ate, I'd get some numbness. Finally, I put it together when my tongue went completely numb eating some junky food and my throat swelled a little. By process of elimination- msg. I eat healthy most of the time, but I also eat a lot of salads.

    1. Way to go Ruth! Smart people can figure out the food and health connection! It sounds like you could have an allergic reaction to MSG. There is an amino acid supplement, Taurine, that works against reactions to glutamic acid (MSG). Maybe it would be good to have it around in case you eat something by accident that causes a reaction. Some people are so sensitive to MSG that they can't even eat fresh vegetables that have been coated with a waxy covering to preserve freshness. Keep working on discovering what you CAN eat! God bless!

    2. I didn't know that about the Taurine. I will have to get some. Thank you.