Instant noodles, or instant ramen, are usually our go-to meal when we are too busy to cook or when it’s the end of the month and we’re just too broke to afford healthy food! At least that’s what we tell ourselves…
Isn’t it the ideal lunch or dinner? Cheap, tasty, and quick. Well yes, but actually no!
Did you know that consuming this instant meal that takes less than 3 minutes to prepare may take years off your life? That is especially if you eat it every single day.
Instant noodles and their flavoring or seasoning packets contain a number of food additives and chemical compounds that may cause you metabolic ailments from abnormal cholesterol levels to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
#1 – Digestion problems
Unlike fresh, homemade ramen noodles, manufactured noodles are difficult for your body to digest.
A recent study by Dr. Braden Kuo, the director of the gastrointestinal motility laboratory at Harvard University’s Massachusetts General Hospital, used a tiny camera inside a patient’s stomach to observe how instant noodles are digested.
The study has shown that instant noodles, which are high in salt, bad cholesterol, food additives and chemical compounds like Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) and Propylene Glycol, remained intact even after two hours.
The study concluded that the stomach cannot break down instant noodles or any processed food as smoothly as it does fresh food, which causes digestive complications and stresses your digestive tract in the long run.
#2 – Obesity
A good diet for weight loss should be low in calories and while that applies to instant noodles that contain only 188 per serving, they are hardly the ideal or healthy option for you, especially if you eat a whole pack in one sitting.
Instant noodles are low in calories but that does not redeem the fact that they have a high concentration of saturated fat including carbs, sodium, and palm oil.
So yes, instant noodles may lead to weight gain and other metabolic syndrome conditions, especially if you eat two servings at once.
#3 – High cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart disease
Several studies, including a new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), have also shown that people who eat instant noodles several times a week are more prone to heart disease and more likely to develop glucose intolerance than those who don’t.
Instant noodle packets contain large amounts of refined carbohydrates that are linked to abnormal cholesterol levels, excess body fat, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar, leading to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
If you experience heart palpitation, nausea or headache, nausea, and sweating after eating instant noodles, you should stop because it is likely due to the amino acid that adds a savory taste to instant ramen noodles, called the Monosodium glutamate (MSG).
#4 – Weakened Organs
According to the Food And Drug Administration (FDA), Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ)—the main preservative and antioxidant in instant noodles which is also found in other cheap, processed foods— causes sickness and weakens the organs if consumed regularly.
The TBHQ should be fine to consume as long as it does not exceed 0.02% of its fat and oil content, says FDA. Otherwise, it becomes responsible for tumor growth in your organs.
In addition, instant noodles contain Propylene Glycol found in tobacco products causes toxic effects which may result in kidney and liver damage.
#5 – Cancer
One package of instant noodles contains 1,875 milligrams of sodium which is more than the recommended daily salt intake of no more than 1,500 milligrams.
That is bad news for your body because although sodium balances the amount of liquid around cells and ensures the proper function of muscles and nerves, too much of it may result in fatal conditions including high blood pressure, enlarged heart muscles, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, kidney stones, and stomach cancer.
In the same way, TBHQ additive in instant noodles may result in the incidence of cancerous tumors in your intestines, especially if you consume instant ramen on a regular basis, according to a study by the US Centers for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
Another study by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) observed an increase in tumor growth in laboratory animals, caused by the TBHQ additive, in addition to convulsions, liver enlargement, and paralysis.
In short, instant noodles can trigger the activity of cancer cells in the body like all processed food.
If you are someone who is “addicted” to instant noodles, it’s about time you cut down on them and other processed foods. Giving up on nutrients like protein and fiber found in vegetables and fruits in favor of processed food is a crime against your own health.