When it comes to animal proteins, we try to look for fresh, locally sourced, organic, grass-fed, pasture raised, wild/net caught meat, fish, eggs and animal protein without any additives, colorings or fillers. US Wellness Meats and local farmers markets may be good sources for meat. Cured meat, smoked meat, jerky, luncheon meat, cold cuts, long cooked meat and meats cooked at an extremely high temperature will have higher levels of glutamate because of the protein degradation. Based on individual sensitivity you may see a reaction to these meats, but the more processed the meat, the more likely a reaction will be. Often, if the meat is listed as “uncured” it is still cured in salt, which will result in free glutamate. Fillers such as “natural flavors”, “spices”, “coloring”, “extracts” or “powders” are added to meat as a source of free glutamate, so we recommend avoiding these as well.
Cook time and temperature can also contribute to creating free glutamate and cause a reaction in highly sensitive individuals. Extremely high heat cooking (400 degrees and above) and the longer the food is cooked at those high heats (like wok cooking, high-heat skillet cooking, smoking, BBQ, etc.) causes the peptide bonds in the proteins to break down creating more free glutamate. However, lower temperature roasting and sautéing meats does not break down the protein or create as much free glutamate. A reaction to this would be based on individual sensitivity.
Additionally, consumption of too much meat/protien can lead to protein fermentation in the gut which can increase glutamate levels, inflammation, phenols, clostridia, ammonia, etc. We personally really try to limit our meat consumption to once a day or less.