Cheap, delicious, and easy to prepare, instant noodles have actually become a favorite food in many countries all over the world, including the United States.
The preparation of instant noodles takes a couple of minutes, which makes it easy for full time workers to prepare something quick and tasty. A lot of people do not pay attention to the labels of instant noodles since they think this food is not so bad.
What these people don’t realize is that instant noodles that they slurp on regularly in the comfort of their home and at the office are harmful to their health.
A gastroenterologist, Dr. Braden Kuon, claims that eating large amounts of instant noodles over time is associated with many health risks.
Dr. Kuo used a tiny video camera to find out what really happens inside the digestive tract and stomach after consuming a common sort of instant noodles known as ramen noodles.
This Food Is NOT Broken Down After Several Hours of Being Ingested
As you can see in the video, ramen noodles are intact in the stomach even after a few hours of digestion.
Moreover, it negatively affects the digestive system, thus forcing it to work harder to break down the ramen noodles. In fact, when food is not broken down and remains in the stomach for hours, then it can have a negative impact on insulin release, blood sugar levels and nutrient absorption.
The Regular Consumption of Instant Noodles Is Associated with Metabolic Syndrome
Instant noodles are rich in fat and carbohydrates that can increase your risk of metabolic changes.
Namely, the Journal of Nutrition published a study suggesting that the participants who ate a greater amount of instant noodles were at a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome in comparison to those who consumed less, without regard to their physical activity level and overall diet.
To be more specific, participants who consumed instant noodles 2 times within 1 week were at a greater risk of metabolic syndrome by a whopping 68%. Additionally, metabolic syndrome is a set of symptoms, including raised fasting blood glucose, raised blood pressure, raised fasting triglycerides, decreased HDL (good) cholesterol and central obesity.
In case you experience at least three of the above mentioned symptoms, then you are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. What’s more, researchers also tested the total intake of nutrients between those who consume instant noodles and those who don’t consume it. The results showed that the consumption of instant noodles does not increase the total nutrient intake.
In other words, those eating instant noodles had a greatly reduced intake of essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, niacin, calcium, protein, iron, and phosphorus in comparison to the control group. Also, those eating instant noodles had an extremely high sodium, unhealthy fat, and energy intake. In fact, 1 package of instant noodles possesses 2,700mg of sodium.
Instant Noodles Are Loaded with Many Other Harmful Ingredients
Apart from being high in sodium, and unhealthy fats, instant noodles also possess many other harmful ingredients that can lead to various health issues.
– MSG or Monosodium Glutamate
The monosodium glutamate is a harmful ingredient used in instant noodles. It acts as an excitotoxin that overexcites the nerve cells, thus leading to brain damage and dysfunction. That’s not all, it can also contribute to Alzheimer’s, learning disabilities, Lou Gehrig’s, Parkinson’s, etc.
According to the Korea Food and Drug Administration, Benzopyrene, i.e., a known carcinogen is present in 6 noodle brands produced by Nong Shim Company Ltd
– Glutamic Acid
MSG is about 78% free glutamic acid, which is the same type of neurotransmitter used by the nervous system, pancreas, brain, eyes, and other body organs to initiate specific bodily processes. But, high levels of glutamic acid could result in nerve receptor over-stimulation and many neurological disorders like Lou Gehrig’s disease and epilepsy.
– Tertiary Butyl Hydroquinone or TBHQ
Ramen noodles are a highly processed food that has NO nutritional value. In addition, it is loaded with additives, such as TBHQ or tertiary butyl hydroquinone, which is a toxic preservative.
Tertiary butyl hydroquinone is an artificial chemical that has antioxidant properties. It is a byproduct of the petroleum industry. TBHQ typically interferes with oil and fat oxidation, which prolongs the shelf life of various processed foods.
The chemical is used in all types of processed foods. That’s not all, this harmful ingredient is often used in perfumes, cosmetics, lacquers, pesticide products, and varnishes to enhance stability and decrease the evaporation rate.
The WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives decided that if 0-0.5 mg of this ingredient is taken per kg of body weight, it is safe for human consumption.
But, the highest allowable limits of 100-400 mg per kg, depending on the kind of food, were set by the Codex commission. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 0.02% is the maximum allowable limit of TBHQ.
Moreover, A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives reports that exposure to only a gram of the ingredient can result in:
- A feeling of suffocation
- Vomiting and nausea
- Ringing in the ears or tinnitus
The animal studies conducted by The Environmental Working Group showed that TBHQ is connected to the following health problems:
- Liver problems at small doses
- Biochemical changes at small doses
- Reproductive issues at high doses
- In vitro tests done on mammalian cells showed positive mutation results
Instead of Eating Instant Noodles, You Should Consume Whole Foods
Of course, occasionally consuming a package of instant noodles will not kill you. However, if you introduce this highly processed food in your daily diet, then it may increase your risk of developing many health problems.
You should avoid eating instant noodles since they can make you fat and sick if taken regularly.
The regular consumption of processed foods can contribute to weight gain, obesity, and many chronic conditions because they are rich in artificial ingredients, refined carbohydrates, sugar, fructose, but low in fiber and nutrients. Plus, these foods are created to lead to addiction, thus causing uncontrollable food cravings and weight gain.
As mentioned above, consuming processed foods can also trigger chronic inflammation and insulin resistance that are the main culprits of most serious or chronic diseases.
So, it is advisable to introduce more organic veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, meats, and many other organic, whole foods in your diet and avoid eating any processed foods, including instant noodles.
- Gagne, Chloe. ˮProcessed Foods: Quality, Safety Characteristics and Health Implicationsˮ;
- Bradley, Bruce. ˮHow to Ditch Processed Foods & Start Eating Realˮ;