Instant noodles are easy to cook and tasty when garnished with the right toppings.
It has gained popularity as a comfort food during sick spells. Parents working full time often find it convenient to give their kids as well as themselves a bowl of noodles. It can be a perfect midnight snack and perfect lunchbox option for kids.
Instant noodles have famously become an ultimate go-to food for every college student trapped for money.
Due to its inexpensiveness, many homes almost buy at least 4 or 5 packs of instant noodles when grocery shopping.
But did you know that instant noodles are devoid of any nutritional value? Every aspect of their production packs a major health risk factor for consumers – from their basic composition to the measures taken to preserve them.
Here Are Some Reasons Why Instant Noodles Affect Your Health In A Negative Way
High In Salt
Instant noodles are rich in salt, and therefore, rich in sodium. Too much sodium is very harmful to your health.
According to a 2014 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, high dietary sodium consumption was recognized as a major factor in high death rates in 23 case studies and 274,683 randomized control trials.
Excess sodium has been linked to high blood pressure (hypertension) and, in turn, strokes, heart disease, and heart failure.
High In Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are especially harmful. They tend to spike your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol) level and increase the risk of heart disease.
In a 2002 study published in Diabetologia, it revealed that LDL cholesterol levels, abdominal fat levels, and insulin sensitivity improved in subjects who switched from saturated fats to polyunsaturated fats.
The World Health Organization recommends avoiding dietary saturated fats.
Contain Harmful Preservatives
To prevent rancidness and keep them usable longer, T-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) and Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) are added to instant noodles.
According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemist’s Society, BHA doubles and TBHQ triple the shelf life of instant noodles.
These chemicals are reasonably anticipated as being a human carcinogen. They can have endocrine-disrupting effects. The endocrine system is responsible for the production and regulation of hormones, a disruption of which is likely to cause several adverse developmental, reproductive, immune, and neurological effects.
Don’t Digest Easily
Studies revealed that the stomach works hard, contracts back and forth, to break down the noodles. The noodles remained undigested for a long time and severely strained the digestive tract. Due to this, you get overexposed to the toxic chemicals and preservatives, TBHQ and BHA, which can prove carcinogenic. For some people, this can cause anxiety, diarrhea, and asthma. It can also affect the reproductive organs and liver.
May Contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Some brands of instant noodles use MSG as an ingredient in flavor packets that accompany instant noodles.
MSG is a flavor enhancer which is popular in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisines.
High MSG consumption has been linked to excess weight gain, severe headaches, chest pain, mouth and neck numbness, flushing episodes, and excessive sweating.
Increases The Risk Of Heart Disease
A metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that increases one’s chances of having a stroke, developing diabetes, and contracting heart disease.
These symptoms include increased abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high triglyceride level, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.
According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, women who consumed noodles 2 or 3 times a week reported an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome.
Made From Refined Flour
Instant noodles are made from white flour.
During the production of refined flour, the nutrient-rich part of a wheat kernel, which is the germ and bran, are both removed. What remains is nutrient-devoid carbohydrates in the form of starch.
Carbohydrates increase the risk of diabetes because it increases the blood sugar levels in your body.
With high consumption of instant noodles, there would be an increased risk of excess sugar in the bloodstream. Excess sugar is gradually converted by your body into fat and store away for later use. This induces obesity – another risk factor for heart disease.
May Contain Harmful Toxins
During the production process, most instant noodles are fried.
When the oil used for frying these noodles isn’t properly maintained or constantly changed, oxidizing agents accumulate in the oil and these gradually attract toxins that are transferred to the packaged product along with the spoiled oil and fat.
According to a 2006 study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, food poisoning has broken out in Japan in the past due to the presence of degraded oil and fat in instant noodles, causing nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and headaches.