Truth about… Warning: It’s never my intention to ruin someone’s experience with food. If “we are what we eat” we should be aware of who we are and what we’re eating. This portion of the blog will provide more details on certain food to give you the opportunity to be conscious about what you’re consuming. If you want to continue to eat for taste without an understanding of what you’re consuming…stop reading now!
Ramen noodles are a staple for many people. Whether you’re trying to save money, are a college kid, don’t care for cooking, or just like the taste…it’s a pretty convenient food option. You can even find certain brands and flavors that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
If you’re health conscious at all, ramen noodles should be the last choice for a meal option. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that instant ramen may increase a person’s risk of increased cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.
But what’s in instant ramen, exactly, that makes it so bad? Its’ ingredients include preservatives found in antifreeze and biodiesel. It also contains ingredients that could cause side effects such as nausea, headache, flushing, sweating, and heart palpitations. One package of instant ramen (which is two servings, according to most brands) has around 1,875 milligrams of sodium. That’s significantly more than the recommended daily intake of no more than 1,500 milligrams per day.
Take a look at this infographic that breaks down the major ingredients commonly found in popular brands of instant ramen:
Many types of instant ramen noodles come in Styrofoam cups that can contain BPA. That BPA can leech off of the cup and into the ramen which will likely heat the chemical and allow it to absorb within your food.
A study was down in South Korea with 10,000 adults aged 19 to 64. They discovered that even those who lived on an unhealthy fast food diet but no instant noodles were less likely to have metabolic syndrome than those who ate ramen noodles at least twice a week on an otherwise healthy diet. Women appear to suffer more ill effects than men from high ramen consumption due to hormones.
Healthier options are not much more expensive than ramen noodles. Beans, vegetables, grains and a host of other whole, natural foods can replace cheap instant noodles. Shop carefully and they’ll provide great taste and a nutritional kick without busting your wallet or endangering your health.