Protein is an important nutrient for Lap-Band patients: it is essential for maintaining muscle mass, growing healthy hair and nails, and achieving optimum weight loss.

Many Lap-Banders get their daily protein intake from protein shakes, but patients should exercise caution when using protein powders. Most – if not all – contain MSG, which can cause migraines and a multitude of other health problems.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

MSG stands for monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer that's probably best known for its use in Chinese foods. But you may not realize that MSG is present in foods many people eat every day, from soup to condiments. MSG is a popular additive because it is cheap and makes foods taste good.

According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, MSG overexcites cells to the point of damage, essentially making it a poison. MSG has been linked to the production of visceral fat, the most dangerous type of fat, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, insomnia, type 2 diabetes, and more.

MSG is also known to cause health problems such as allergic reactions, memory loss, nausea, shortness of breath, sweating, headaches, chest pain, and far more serious conditions including brain damage, Alzheimer's, heart disease, and cancer.

Sources of MSG

MSG is hidden in many ingredients, some of which are commonly used in protein powders.

Watch for the following ingredients, which always contain MSG:

The following ingredients also often contain MSG or create MSG during processing:

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Choosing healthy sources of protein