My favorite fast-food, hands down, is Chinese take-away. The only problem is the MSG frequently associated with the food (used as a flavor enhancer.) MSG is now used by most fast-food chains and in many foodstuffs ~ particularly processed foods.
Monosodium glutamate (a.k.a. sodium glutamate and MSG) is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid. Modern commercial MSG is produced by the fermentation of starch, sugar beets, sugar cane or molasses.
There have been concerns that MSG may be associated with migraines, obesity, and food allergies and hyperactivity in kids. Other adverse reactions include: flushing; sweating; numbness; tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas; facial pressure or tightness; irritable bowel; heart palpitations; chest pain, nausea and weakness.
MSG has also been linked with: brain damage which can lead to retinal degeneration, endocrine disruption (e.g. reproductive disorders and gross obesity), behavior disorders, learning disabilities, and more.
Researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms, but acknowledge that a 'small percentage' of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don't require treatment. However, evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that as many as 50% of Americans are sensitive to monosodium glutamate and other ingredients that contain MSG.
The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG.
The Chinese New Year is quickly approaching...time to say good-bye to the Year of the Rabbit and welcome the revered Year of the Dragon!