Friday, 6 May 2011

MAGGI is SALT (primarily)

UPDATE
For what's in my Maggi-Free seasoning, READ THIS: What's In My Seasoning


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During the second workshop I ran in Lagos, I mentioned I don't cook any of my meals with maggi cubes *and* salt. Of course the next response was "Why?".

I initially reduced my salt intake because my Mummy had high blood pressure, this means I am likely to have it especially if I don't take the necessary steps to reduce the likelihood: More exercise and reducing my salt intake. 

MAGGI

Ingredients:

Iodized salt, flavour enhancers: glutamate, inosinate, guanylate; sugar, starch, vegetable fat, hydrolysed [soya beans], caramel, onion, soya lecithin, spices and spice extracts, aromatic plants, yeast extract.

The main ingredient in Maggi is salt... because it's the 1st ingredient listed. Ingredients in food, beauty products, seasonings, etc are listed in order of their percentage. The 1st ingredient is usually the base of the product. Really, I should say try not to cook with maggi because it contains a few unhealthy ingredients (see bottom of this post) but I know it'll be hard to get a Nigerian to stop cooking with what has become a staple ingredient - that's a whole other blog post.

Have you ever tasted a maggi cube on its own? I'm ashamed to say I have, when I was younger, I wondered if a maggi cube would taste the same as a choco milo cube - I learned the hard way. It tasted like salt, salt and more salt plus some other minor flavours. If you weren't a curious child like I was, I'm sure you've tasted a small chunk of maggi in someone else's (of course not yours!) food.

If that's not enough, these health reasons to limit your salt intake should help:
- "Persistently high levels of sodium in the blood can result in swelling, high blood pressure, difficulty in breathing, and heart failure, and may be fatal."
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is the most publicly known disease that result from a high dietary salt intake. It increases the risk of strain on the heartand may lead to heart failure, angina or heart attack.
- High concentrations of sodium in the body can also result from excessive water or fluid loss.

Salt adds flavour to food but we don't need to overload on it eg. cooking with salt AND maggi.

Have you tried cooking with salt *minus* maggi? Did your food taste good? If you haven't, please try it (don't use anymore than you usually would with salt)... and let me know how it goes :)


Thank you Andrew for the info (re: ingredients) in your comment --> Link to MSG, an ingredient in Maggi --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate

15 comments:

Vickii said...

Hmmm I don't think I could give up cooking with stock cubes (knorr chicken is my stock cube of choice) but I agree that I shouldn't need to add salt as well so I'll work on that!

I'm terrible, I add salt to everything and could never really understand why that was bad so thank you for this as it's shown me some of the problems salt causes!

Natural Nigerian said...

I totally agree with you. A friend who took culinary classes at Cordon Bleu claimed that all that was used to season food was stock (no salt or stock cubes used to prepare this), black pepper, salt and herbs picked fresh. And the best thing was that the meals were delicious ALL the time.

I think the way forward is to grow thyme, mint and other herbs in your kitchen.

Adura said...

You're right!

I am slowly weaning myself off maggi. Some weeks I cook with mixed spice (curry, ginger, etc) and mixed herbs... I'm going to buy rock salt and try cooking with that instead of maggi.

Lilian said...

You should try Marigold Organic Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder (the reduced salt version). Really flavourful, all natural ingredients and there's usually no need to add additional salt.

shawlar said...

I'm trying to reduce salt intake cos of sudden high blood pressure report, i googled this and i came across this blog, can someone please advice on the best seasoning to use in cooking then? if Maggi is basically salt, what about Know cubes? or what else is there to use? i live in Lagos -Nigeria, so i would like something that can be gotten in Nigeria. thank you all

Adura said...

Thanks Lilian

@shawlar Knorr Cubes also contain salt... to reduce your salt intake - start by only using the cubes + herbs and spices and *not* salt.

portable said...

I think the MSG is actually worse than the salt though!

Andrew said...

MSG, MonoSodium Glutamate (check spelling) is one of the most dangerous ingredients ever created for food favoring!
Found in most fast foods and food flavorings, it is responsible for several heart problems including Atrial Fibrillation.
Stay away from all foods containing MSG!
read about MSG on wiki (google: msg wiki)

Adura said...

Thanks portable and Andrew!

archi said...

I really like your practical warnings about everyday "foods" that we have become conditioned to consume. Energy drinks. Stock cubes. FYI, and your readers, most if not all stock cubes found in Southern Africa and manufactured in South Africa contain msg. The cube itself does not contain that ingredient listed and the box often has the code number for msg only. Why? Because the manufacturers know its so dangerous! Visitors from 1st world countries to Africa beware!

Shayee said...

Please are you referring to just maggi chicken? Or all other products such as Knorr.because I'v stopped use of salt for about a year now,bt I cook with Knorr maggi

Adura said...

@Shayee Stock cubes eg Maggi, Knorr. Well done on cutting down on salt :)

Adura said...

@Shayee Stock cubes eg Maggi, Knorr. Well done on cutting down on salt :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks dear u are saving lifes am emeka mbachu jnr am 24 I have HBp . Pple wounder y . Am 7ft tall fair . And have no fincial probs so y? Its wat I eat ad ma parents I guess

Anonymous said...

God bless you for the info adura