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Are Instant Noodles Good For Your Health?

When you talk about convenience food, instant noodles are one of the most popular ones. They are cheap and fast to make. Top Ramen, Mr. Noodles, Cup Noodles, Kabuto Noodles, Maruchan, and Sapporo Ichiban are some popular brands that are liked by adults and kids alike. In each packet, you get a block of noodles that have been steamed and dried. There is also a small packet of oil and flavoring that you use to season the noodles. These noodles are made up of flour, palm oil, and salt, while the flavors contain salt, MSG, or monosodium glutamate, and seasoning. But are they good for your health? There is a lot of controversy around this. It’s time to get into the details.

Nutritional Facts

One serving of ramen noodles contains 188 calories, 27 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 4 grams of protein, 0.9 grams of fiber, and 861 mg of sodium thiamine. One package of ramen gives you two servings. As a result, if you are having a full packet of ramen altogether, it will be twice the amount mentioned above. You might have heard or come across certain varieties of noodles that claim to be healthier. Those noodles might have been made from whole grains or have lower quantities of sodium and fat.

Low in Calories, Even Protein and Fiber

One serving of ramen noodles contains 188 calories. The amount is less than some types of pasta. You get 377 calories from a serving of lasagna and 257 calories from a serving of canned meatballs and spaghetti. Since the calories from a serving of instant noodles are comparatively lower, it can serve as food for weight loss. With that being said, there are lots of people who would consume two servings of instant noodles at a go. This implies that they are actually taking in 376 calories at one time. Also, instant noodles don’t offer optimum amounts of protein and fiber. That’s certainly a drawback as far as weight loss is concerned. Protein makes you full and you don’t feel hungry for a substantial period of time, that is why protein is essential for weight loss. On the other hand, the movement of fiber through your digestive tract is much slower that helps develop a feeling of fullness within you. This goes on to enhance the process of weight loss. Instant noodles, as stated above, gives you 4 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber that hardly makes any difference.

Do Instant Noodles Offer Important Micronutrients?

It’s a fact that instant noodles are low in protein and fiber. However, they might contain important micronutrients like Vitamin B, magnesium, iron, and folate. There are a few instant noodles that contain additional nutrients. In Indonesia, they have mostly added minerals and vitamins to these noodles. As per a study, if you consume noodles and milk laden with iron, the probability of developing anemia will be much less. The presence of wheat flour in some instant noodles leads to increased consumption of micronutrients, without compromising with the texture and the taste factors. Research has also suggested that consuming instant noodles can lead to an increase in the consumption of some micronutrients. If a 2011 study is taken into account, those who ate instant noodles reportedly had an increased thiamine intake of around 31%, and also a higher riboflavin intake of almost 16% in comparison to those who didn’t.

Instant Noodles Contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

In almost all instant noodles, you will find an ingredient known as MSG or monosodium glutamate. MSG is actually an additive that is used for increased flavor in processed foods. According to the FDA, MSG can be consumed. However, whether it has adverse effects on your health or not is a question that has a lot of answers. If you talk about the United States, the products that contain MSG in them need to mention that on the label of the ingredients. Studies are inferring that MSG if consumed in high quantities, would lead to weight gain, nausea, headaches, and high blood pressure as well. But, as per some other studies, MSG doesn’t have any impact on your weight if you stay away from overconsumption.

Few experts have claimed that consuming instant noodles regularly can be linked to the poor quality of your diet. Eating instant noodles has also been found to bring down the levels of vitamin D in your body.

So, are instant noodles healthy for consumption? Do let us know about your opinion in the comments.