Are Instant Noodles Healthy?

For college students, instant noodles are a popular go to lunch or dinner because it’s easy to cook and is affordable. Reports published by the World Instant Noodles Association show that India stands fourth in the consumption of noodles, listing at 55 billion serving every year. We often think that instant noodles are not healthy but they are not that bad for our health. Well, guess what? They are! New studies suggest that intake of instant noodle regularly can increase the risk for heart diseases and stroke.

Consumption of instant noodles more than twice a week is associated with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in women. Metabolic syndrome is a set of conditions including excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure and blood sugar level and abnormal cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that the BPA content of instant noodles that is bisphenol-A, commonly found in the containers used to hold some instant noodles interferes with estrogen, the female sex hormone.

Reasons to avoid instant noodles

High on saturated fat

The instant noodle is called instant because they are cooked prior to packaging. The raw noodles are first steamed and then fried in palm oil, which is high in saturated fat. Palm oil is cheaper than any other oil and has a longer shelf life. Saturated fats are harmful and increase your chances of obesity and heart diseases.

Difficult to digest

Experiments conducted show that instant noodle does not break down in the stomach even after two hours of consumption. This impacts the nutrient absorption and also strains the digestive system as it is forced to work for hours to break this highly processed food, which is very ironical because processed food is left destitute of any fiber which makes it very easy to be broken down.

 High amount of salt

Instant noodles have a high amount of salt in them, which makes them rich in sodium. World Health Organization has recommended a maximum of 200gm of sodium per day for adults. Some instant noodles contain more than 100% of an adult’s sodium intake for a day. Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.

Harmful preservatives

Preservatives are added in high quantities to instant noodle in order to prevent rancidness and to extend their shelf life. In most of the instant noodles, monosodium glutamate (MSG) a chemical derived from the petroleum industry is added to enhance the taste. MSG can have hazardous effects on health when taken regularly.

Maida content

Instant noodles are mostly made of maida, which is refined and bleach version of wheat flour. Maida is really bad for our health because it is highly processed which makes it rich in flavor but devoid of any nutrition.

Studies suggest that some chemicals found in instant noodles are also capable of causing cancer. Some believe that adding vegetables to instant noodles may enhance their nutrient value, but it does not counter their negative effects on the health and magically turn them into a healthy food. Instant noodles should be consumed occasionally and not replace actual meals. One should always remember that overindulgence doesn’t do any good to anyone.

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