Noodles are the staple food of many Asian countries, while instant noodles are a popular convenience food, and worldwide consumption is on the top. Convenience, taste, safety, and extended shelf life make it perfect for every household. Many famous instant noodles brands are available, such as Cup Noodles, Buldak noodles, Top Ramen noodles, etc. Though they are easy to make and inexpensive, there is a controversy going on instant noodles as to whether they have adverse health effects or not. In this article, we have tried to burst the myths around instant noodles. So, stay tuned to learn everything you need to know about instant noodles.
What are instant noodles?
Instant noodles are a kind of pre-cooked noodles that usually comes packed in a packet or a cup bowl. It is made from wheat four, starch, water, salt, and palm oil. The package contains salt, seasoning, and MSG (monosodium glutamate). They are steamed, dried, and then packed to be sold by the retailers. Each packet of noodles contains a block of dried noodles and a box of flavoring/seasoning to add flavors. noodles, just like their name, are cooked instantly and can be served with imported drinks to enhance the taste.
Though different brands of instant noodles are available, their nutritional composition is usually common. They are low in calories, fibre, and protein with a high amount of fat, sodium, carbohydrates, and selected micronutrients.
- Calories – 188
- Carbs – 27g
- Fat – 7g
- Saturated fat – 3g
- Manganese – 11% of the RDI
- Sodium – 861mg
- Protein – 4g
- Folate – 12% of the RDI
- Iron – 10% of the RDI
- Thiamine – 43% of the RDI
Note that one packet of instant noodles serves for two, so double up the above nutritional values if you consume the entire packet. There is also some noodles brand marked as healthier as they are made using whole grain and low amounts of fat and sodium.
Low in calories but also low in fibre and protein.
Instant noodles are low in calories, with 188 calories per serving, but lacking in protein and fibre. Because they have a low caloric value, eating them could lead to weight loss. On the other hand, some people consume the whole packet in one sitting, doubling up the calories. Noodles are low in fibre and protein, which does not make them an excellent option to consume. During weight, protein helps to increase the feeling of fullness, decreasing hunger, making it useful for weight management. Fibre, on the other hand, is necessary to maintain digestive health. With only 1g of fibre and 4g of protein, it won’t make any difference.
MSG is an ingredient or a food additive generally used in processed foods to enhance flavour. Most instant noodles contain MSG. Though FDA has approved MSG as safe for consumption, it still has some potential effects on health that are controversial. MSG can be naturally found in products like yeast extract, soy extract, tomato, cheese, and hydrolysed vegetables. MSG consumption is linked to weight gain and increased blood pressure, headaches, and nausea. People sensitive to MSG should avoid having food items containing MSG, like noodles, or limit their intake. So we can say that noodles contain MSG, which may cause some adverse health effects, but if taken in a moderate amount, there are no side effects.
High in Sodium content
Noodles are high in sodium content, and it has 861g of sodium in one serving, so if you consume the entire packet in one sitting, you are probably consuming 1722mg of sodium. A high sodium intake may harm your health, especially for people who have high blood pressure and are considered salt-sensitive. Instant noodles like Buldak noodles are safe to consume if you have them in a small amount.
Regular consumption of instant noodles is linked to poor diet quality. Instant noodles served with imported drinks are a portion of comfort food for many, but consuming them regularly may risk your metabolic system. Including noodles in your diet in moderation won’t cause any adverse effects on your health. Pick a healthy variety of noodles and add some vegetables to make them healthier. To conclude the above, we can say that consuming instant noodles occasionally is fine as long as you maintain a healthy diet.