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You may have heard of Flavor God for seasoning blends that are popular in health and fitness circles, but wonder if it’s really a healthy option.
So, is Flavor God healthy? Yes, Flavor God is a healthy option compared with other popular commercial seasoning blends because it has lower sodium and it does not contain MSG, fillers or additives. It does, however, still have added sugar and/or sodium in certain blends so it’s important to read the labels carefully depending on your needs.
In this article, I’ll tell you more about Flavor God, the ingredients, why Flavor God can be a healthier choice, some drawbacks to using Flavor God, and my top recommendations for who should use Flavor God.
I’ll also briefly cover the recent class-action lawsuit against Flavor God, in case you’re wondering whether that impacts the health claims for their products.
What Is Flavor God?
The Flavor God team says its:
The company has also branched out to make dairy-free creamers, flavored salts, and “toppers” designed specifically for sprinkling on top of foods.
Flavor God has a reputation for being a healthier choice than other seasoning blends on the market, and I’ll explain why in the next section.
3 Reasons Why I Think Flavor God Is Healthy
Flavor God is a more health-conscious choice than other commercial seasoning blends for the following three reasons:
- Flavor God Has Natural Ingredients
- Flavor God Has Low-sodium & Sodium-Free Options
- Flavor God Has No Added MSG
1. Flavor God Has Natural Ingredients
On Flavor God’s website, one of founder Chris Wallace’s goals is to keep the seasonings free of added chemicals.
Unlike many other commercial seasoning blends, Flavor God does not contain fillers, preservatives, or “manufacturing aids” such as silicon dioxide or vegetable oil.
When I read the ingredients on a Flavor God label, they are all recognizable, pronounceable ingredients and the list is usually short. I like that I know exactly what I am ingesting when it comes to Flavor God.
Knowing and understanding what goes into my body is an important part of my overall health, and I recommend the same for my clients. Flavor God allows me to do that.
It is worth noting that the dairy-free creamers do contain the sugar alcohol erythritol; gum acacia and sunflower lecithin as emulsifiers and stabilizers; tricalcium phosphate (a preservative); and citric and malic acids, which are both flavor enhancers and preservatives. These ingredients are not present in the seasoning blends or toppers.
A form of natural preservative is salt, and I’ll cover the salt (sodium) content in Flavor God, next.
2. Flavor God Has Low Sodium & Sodium Free Options
According to food labeling rules, when a product contains 140 mg or less of sodium per serving, it can be labeled as “low sodium.” Products that contain fewer than 35 mg of sodium are considered “very low sodium,” and those that have less than 5 mg of sodium per serving are “sodium free.”
Certain Flavor God products are sodium free as they contain no salt at all:
|Flavor God Product||Sodium per ¼ tsp serving|
|Buttery Cinnamon Roll Topper||0mg|
|Chocolate Donut Topper||0mg|
|Everything But The Salt Seasoning||0mg|
|Gingerbread Cookie Topper||0mg|
|Pumpkin Pie Topper||0mg|
According to the rules above, many of Flavor God’s seasoning blends are very low sodium, based on the stated serving size of ¼ tsp.
Very Low Sodium
|Flavor God Product||Sodium per ¼ tsp serving|
|Dairy-Free Creamer Vanilla Ice Cream||10mg|
|Cheese Flavor Seasoning||20mg|
|Dairy-Free Creamer Natural Unflavored||20mg|
|Italian Zest Seasoning||20mg|
|Bacon Lovers Seasoning||30mg|
|Honey BBQ Rub||30mg|
|Nacho Cheese Seasoning||30mg|
|Cajun Lovers Seasoning||35mg|
|Chicken & Waffles Seasoning Topper||35mg|
|Fiesta Sweet and Tangy Seasoning||35mg|
|Lemon & Garlic Seasoning||35mg|
While slightly higher in sodium, these options are still “low sodium” per the guidelines:
|Flavor God Product||Sodium per ¼ tsp serving|
|Garlic Lovers Seasoning||40mg|
|Spicy Everything Seasoning||40mg|
|Taco Tuesday Seasoning||40mg|
|Hot Wings Seasoning||50mg|
|Jamaican Jerk Rub||60mg|
|Original BBQ Rub||60mg|
|Flavor God Product||Sodium per ¼ tsp serving|
|Monosodium glutamate (MSG)||125mg|
|Pink Himalayan salt||390mg|
|Coarse sea salt||540mg|
Key Takeaway: If managing your sodium intake is a priority for you, Flavor God is sure to have a product to suit your needs.
- Best Low Sodium Taco Seasoning
- Best Low Sodium Store-Bought Sauces, Dips & Salad Dressing
- Best Low Sodium Stir Fry Sauces
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a form of salt that can be a food additive on its own. Learn more about MSG in the next section.
3. Flavor God Has No Added MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer that lends a savory, rich quality, often called “umami,” to many Asian food dishes, fast food, processed meats, soups, canned vegetables and other condiments.
Flavor God does not add MSG to any of its products.
MSG also occurs naturally in certain foods, and these “natural” ingredients can be added instead as a way to get MSG in the food:
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Autolyzed yeast
- Hydrolyzed yeast
- Yeast extract* (this is an ingredient in some Flavor God seasoning blends)
- Soy extracts
- Protein isolate
Some flavors of Flavor God seasoning blends do contain yeast extract, a natural source of MSG.
What are the concerns with MSG? Some studies have linked MSG use to obesity and chronic inflammation, but overall there is still no documented definitive link between MSG and negative health symptoms. As such, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) generally considers it to be safe.
That being said, there are many reports of the following symptoms after eating MSG:
- Heart palpitations
- Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck or other areas
The only way to prevent a reaction if you experience these symptoms after eating MSG is to avoid foods containing MSG.
Also, as a form of salt, MSG also contributes to sodium levels for the day, although it does have less sodium than regular table salt. If a low sodium intake is important for you, it’s also best to steer clear of MSG.
Key Takeaway: Flavor God seasonings do not contain processed MSG but some of the flavors do contain ingredients that are natural sources of MSG such as yeast extract. If you find that you are sensitive to MSG in any form, do not consume flavor blends that contain yeast extract.
Are There Any Drawbacks of Using Flavor God?
Even though Flavor God is a more healthful option than many other seasoning blends, it can still have certain drawbacks:
- Calorie content
- Sodium content
Very few foods are truly calorie-free, and Flavor God seasonings are no exception. The label may state 0 calories per serving, but that’s because the serving size is very small (¼ tsp, which corresponds to ~0.5-0.8g of the product, depending on the flavor). Labeling rules allow items with less than 5 calories per serving to be rounded to zero.
This means that it’s possible that a ¼ tsp serving actually could have 4 calories, and a tsp would then have 16 calories, which is about the same as a tsp of sugar. A total serving of 1 tbsp would be almost 50 calories.
Looking at the ingredients, most of them are caloric (they provide energy in the form of calories). Even herbs and spices do have calories. Sea salt is one of the only non-caloric ingredients included in certain Flavor God products.
- Almonds/Blanched almonds: 6 calories and 0.5g of fat, 0.2g each protein and carbs per gram
- Sugar: 4 calories and 1g of carbs per gram
- Cocoa: 4 calories and 0.6g of carbs, 0.2g of protein and 0.1g of fat per gram
- Nutritional yeast: 4 calories and 0.5g of protein and 0.3g of carbs per gram
- Honey: 3 calories and 0.8g of carbs per gram
- Maple syrup granules (a form of sugar): 3 calories and 0.7g of carbs per gram
This means that Flavor God seasonings would have a small amount of carbs, fat and protein, providing a small amount of calories in each serving. Having larger serving sizes and/or using Flavor God multiple times per day could add up to enough calories to make it harder to achieve a calorie deficit.
This impact could be compounded if a person was also relying on other “zero-calorie” foods to stay within their target calories. This is most relevant for someone with weight loss or weight maintenance as a goal.
Key Takeaway: Despite the nutrition label, Flavor God seasonings are NOT calorie-free. Limit serving sizes/number of servings OR record a placeholder of 50 calories (1g of fat and 10g of carbs) when tracking macros if you use Flavor God liberally.
According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recommendation is for a maximum of 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day.
The World Health Organization (WHO) goes even further to suggest 1,500mg or less to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
We saw that Flavor God seasonings are generally very low or low in sodium. However, similar to the comments about calories, if your actual serving size of Flavor God exceeds ¼ tsp, then your actual sodium intake could be much higher. A tsp of Flavor God could have 80-240mg of sodium.
This would mean >5-10% of the daily recommended amounts of 1,500-2,300mg of sodium.
If you are concerned about sodium, limit serving sizes/number of servings and avoid the salt “finisher” products (high in sodium).
By definition, Flavor God’s products are designed to make foods taste even better. When foods taste even better, they can be easier to overeat.
Adding sugar and salt are two common ways to make foods more palatable, and these are common ingredients in many of Flavor God’s products.
This could be a problem for someone who is having a hard time managing their intake to create a calorie deficit for weight maintenance or weight loss.
Be mindful if Flavor God makes it hard for you to stick to portion sizes.
Who Would I Recommend Flavor God To?
I would recommend Flavor God to anyone.
It can be a great way to add flavor with minimal added calories for someone who is getting used to lower-calorie foods as part of their weight loss goals.
It can be a great way to make food more palatable and easier to eat for someone who is struggling to eat enough for a calorie surplus for their weight gain goals .
Flavor God is a good option for someone looking to lower their sodium intake.
I would also recommend Flavor God to people looking to avoid artificial flavors and preservatives.
For my clients who are learning to cook and prepare delicious foods with fewer added oils, sugars and salts, I recommend Flavor God as a way to add flavor.
The Flavor God Controversy
As of late, Flavor God has been embroiled in a legal battle against a Los Angeles man who claims in a class-action lawsuit that Flavor God’s sales prices are fictitious because they are compared to a false reference price, e.g. the “original” price is not an actual price at which the company has sold the product.
Of note is the fact that the plaintiff says that he does want to continue shopping on Flavor God’s website in the future, once the pricing is corrected.
Clearly, this lawsuit has nothing to do with the ingredients or nutritional values of the products. The existence of this lawsuit and its eventual resolution in any direction does not change my current review of the healthfulness of Flavor God products.
Key Takeaway: Regardless of the current lawsuit, Flavor God remains a more health-conscious option than other popular commercial seasoning blends.
Which Flavor God Spices Are Best? (Top 3)
My top three picks for Flavor God Spices are:
1. Everything Seasoning – Best Overall
When I look at the Flavor God products in my pantry (and yes, I paid full price for the products and none of them was given to me for the purposes of writing this review), the one that is nearly empty is the Everything Seasoning. True to its name, it’s my default choice for just about…everything.
I sprinkle it on chicken before baking, I put it on pita chips and potatoes, and I sprinkle it into my cottage cheese or on my salads.
It’s an incredibly versatile blend and it really does go well with everything.
2. Nacho Cheese Seasoning – Best Cheese Substitute
There are a few cheese fiends in my family, and I’ve made them really happy with the Nacho Cheese seasoning.
Despite containing no cheese or dairy at all, this product is excellent cooked with ground beef for tacos, or sprinkled on nachos or popcorn.
3. Buttery Cinnamon Roll Topper – Best Sweet Option
Just the name of this product makes me drool a little bit. There is nothing quite like the smell and taste of a warm cinnamon roll, fresh out of the oven, but this sweet blend comes very, very close.
I sprinkle this topper on my oatmeal, on my toast, on apple slices, smoothies and yogurt. It’s a great way to give your sweet tooth a little something without all of the calories, sugar and fat of an actual cinnamon roll.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Flavor God Have MSG?
No, Flavor God does not have added MSG but some of the flavors do contain yeast extract, which is a natural source of MSG.
Is Flavor God Keto-Friendly?
Yes, Flavor God is keto-friendly. The brand is KETO Certified. It is important to follow the serving sizes on the label, especially for any seasoning blends or “toppers” that contain sugar or honey in the ingredients to keep the carb content low for keto.
Is Flavor God Organic?
No, Flavor God products are not organic.
Is Flavor God Whole30?
Some Flavor God products are compliant with the Whole30 rules. Any form of dairy or added sugar is not compliant with Whole30, so any Flavor God product with dairy (buttermilk) honey, sugar, or maple syrup is not Whole30. Many of the savory seasoning blends and flavored salts are Whole30.
About The Author
Lauren Graham is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She focuses on helping busy professionals balance healthy eating and purposeful movement. Lauren has a background in competitive swimming and is currently competing as a CrossFit athlete. She has a passion for training, teaching, and writing.