Why you should say no to Maggi and other Bouillon cubes.

By Bloom Nwa - January 12, 2013


Think twice about bouillon cubes

Say no to bouillon cubes!
Use of Maggi and other Bouillon cubes as a flavor enhancer is widespread across Africa for many different African recipes. These cubes, which have no nutritive value have grossly taken the place of many fermented seeds and products that once added much variety, flavor, and nutritive value to our African foods. Fermentation of  seeds like ogiri(sesame seeds) and iru(african locust bean), though still done, may soon be a lost art. 

Using fermented seeds as food flavoring in soups and other recipes has many more benefits than use of your typical bouillon cube. Research shows that fermentation of these seeds increases the protein content,  mineral and vitamin content, and increases the digestibility of the carbohydrates found in the seeds. Thus, addition of these fermented products into our food, would increase the nutritive value of our foods.  In contrast,  Maggi cubes and similar products,  add no nutritive value to our foods, but also actually decreased the healthfulness of our foods. Three primary ingredients in these products are salt, monosodium glutamate(MSG), and hydrogenated oil(trans fat). All three of these ingredients have been found to negatively effect health by research.

It is widely known that excess salt in our diets can lead to high blood pressure and that those with high blood pressure are at  high risk for dying from stroke. Can use of bouillon cubes lead to high blood pressure? The simple answer is yes. The primary ingredient in bouillon cubes is salt. Many people add several bouillon cubes in there cooking plus additional salt. So excess use of these products may be a contributing factor to high blood pressure occurance in particular populations. Should it be no surprise that high blood pressure rates in Africa has sky rocketed in recent times, and likewise death from stroke? Not to say that use of these bouillon cubes is the direct cause, but it certainly may be a component!

Extensive research has been done on MSG, with no conclusion across the globe whether MSG is safe to consume. Research has linked MSG consumption to asthma, obesity, and cancer among other things. And in a small percent of people MSG has been found to cause symptoms such as headache, numbness/tingling, flushing, muscle tightness, and generalized weakness when consumed in excess. For more information on MSG, there is a great website called msgtruth.org that goes into great detail at potential and probable health complications from consuming MSG. 

Trans fat consumption has a definite link to increased chances of developing coronary artery disease, which is a hardening and narrowing of arteries that supply blood to the heart. This occurs do to trans fats' ability to increase LDL(bad) cholesterol and decrease HDL(good) cholesterol in our blood stream. To understand more about cholesterol check out my page on cholesterol. Trans fat consumption has also been linked to increase occurance of some cancers though this has not been confirmed.

Now that we know some possible negative health effects bouillon cube use presents, perhaps we should think twice before adding these products to our foods. My advice when considering whether or not to use bouillon cubes when cooking, is to start of trying a couple of dishes without the cubes and salt only. And decide whether the change suits you. It so, then discontinue the use completely. If not, then at least limit the use of these cubes. You will be surprised that food will taste just as great. I myself no longer use bouillon cubes and I continue to get nothing but compliments on every dish I prepare!

Maggi cube ingredients  (from the maggi website)
SALT, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, SUGAR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, CORNSTARCH, AND LESS THAN 2% OF DEHYDRATED BEEF, CARAMEL COLOR, NATURAL FLAVOR, DISODIUM INOSINATE, SPICES, TURMERIC, TBHQ (PRESERVATIVE).
MADE ON EQUIPMENT THAT ALSO PROCESSES WHEAT, MILK, EGGS, SOY, FISH, AND SHELLFISH.


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36 Comments

  1. hey, what other healthier alternatives are there to seasoning cubes? I feel like I'm so used to the taste of them that I can't possibly cook without them. I'm trying a healthier lifestyle. Thanks :)

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    1. Spices and Seasonings..... I love curry, ginger, tyme, and garlic powder are my favorite. And just use plain old salt. Make your own stock from boiled meat and spices of your choosing. Save it and freeze for later uses. Also if you are African, you may know of some fermented products like iru, dawadawa, or ogiri. These were used prior to the advent of bullion cubes and they add nutritive value to foods.

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  2. lots of spices, tomatoes, dried/ fresh herbs, celery, lovage, parsley, turmeric for colouring,

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  3. thank you, and I hope many more of us will listen.
    eugenia

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  4. Thanks a lot,its very helpfull n healthier also.

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  5. Are you confirming that it is safe to use curry, ginger, tyme, garlic powder, plain old salt, tomatoes, dried/ fresh herbs, celery, lovage, parsley, turmeric for colouring?

    What about blended crayfish?

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  6. I've learnt a lot from reading the posts. I substituted salt for magi for about 2 years. I live in constant fear now because of the dangers it can bring to ones health. I'm making better choices now, drinking a lot on water and hope for the better. That's about all I can do I guess. Thanks everybody.

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  7. Blended shell fish is better. If you have no very high cholesterol condition (LDL), they are really excelent.

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  8. Drinking lots of water helps flush the body system of toxins. Eating meals and fruits rich in potassium and magnesium helps dominate your body with such and mops up sodium. They dilate your blood vessels and permit free flow of blood. Check out all the banana shape family (plantain/banana), oranges (citrus family), avocado, all kinds of beans (brown, black eye, black, white, red), mangoes (they have about 2mg sodium which is nothing). I got curious about Maggie "and its sodium" and that brought me to this page. I will endeavor to manage it away from my home my home cooked meals. I cut out table salt completely and ate more fruits and moved from 118kg to 102/3kg between last Nov. and this June.

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  9. Blo Nwa de misis, please keep up the good work. I love health and fitness, though i lost it measurably due to my terrible work and life's issues. I stopped my weight workout regimen for almost 2years and my LDL flew to 308 and that slammed my once iron man bp of 117/70 to 140/100. My stomach bulged. But thankfully I have that measurably under control as I am encouraged by my progressive fat loss. I intend to go back to my usual high intensity workout soon. I am currently doing it the food way. I tried press ups last week and my forearm is sore. Hahaha. I also intend to back for lipids test in July. My current bp around 120/86 max. I see 114/76 when I am generally calm

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments, much appreciated. Happy to know you are on path to a healthier life!

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  10. Can never use Maggi cubes again, even food I cooked yesterday without Maggi cubes and it was palatable. Kudos sis for this info

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  11. I used knorr recently and i noticed a waxy surfacing as the liquid cooled. Then i saw the waxy particles through out the liquid as i stirred it. Dangerous!! Artery cloging material.

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  12. i had macroni soup in that we mixed maggi cubes is it ok

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  13. My current BP is 150-90.is salt beta Dan Maggi.

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    Replies
    1. Are you seeing a doctor for it. It's high. See a doctor and they will also recommend a diet for you if necessary

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    2. Are you seeing a doctor for it. It's high. See a doctor and they will also recommend a diet for you if necessary

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    3. Your blood pressure, is a bit high. You should get checked by a doctor, and see there recommendations for you to lower it. Chronic high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of strokes.

      In terms of sodium content, and it's effects on blood pressure maggi and salt are the same. Maggi, however also has added ingrediants that may increase cancer risk and added artery clogging fat. People often add both maggi and salt into their cooking, doubling the sodium content. High sodium diets is a cause of high blood pressure, among ohther things.

      For lower blood pressure you want to limit salt intake, hydrate often with water, de-stress, eat lots of fruit and veggies, as well as increase your physical activity

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Are you advising us to use salt in place of Maggi.

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  16. Thanks for d info. Though for d pastor one year I have not cooked with salt just little Maggi but right now I wanna stop it n go all natural

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  17. Thanks for d info. Though for d pastor one year I have not cooked with salt just little Maggi but right now I wanna stop it n go all natural

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  18. nice info. keep it up.

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