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Are soya sauce and Ajinomoto good for health?

Q: I am a 35 years old mother. My children prefer Chinese food like fried rice and noodles. Are soya sauce, Ajinomoto and chilli sauce good for health? How often can we eat Chinese food? And, is it safe to eat Chinese food?

A:Soya Sauce is a product of soya bean and has been used traditionally in Chinese cooking since many years. Soya Sauce is used as a substitute for salt and can thus be used to replace it, even completely, in daily cooking. It is rich in antioxidants, niacin and is thus beneficial to health. Its consumption has proven to prevent breast cancers and cardiovascular diseases. However, it is important to be cautious about buying soya sauce from a good source. You can include soya sauce in children's daily diet in limited quantities because of the high sodium content that it has.

Ajinomoto however isn't something that could be used in cooking regularly. It has a chemical called Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and although it may add flavour to the Chinese cooking, it may be having harmful long-term effects. It has been linked to various neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Research links MSG to migraine headaches, seizures, asthma, acute diarrhoeal disease (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and heart irregularities to name a few. It has been found to cause irritable bowel syndrome, stomach upsets, nausea and vomiting, or diarrhoea. Please limit use of Ajinomoto in your cooking.


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