Nowadays, we are all constantly rushing somewhere, and the lack of time has been compensated with unhealthy lifestyle and dietary choices.
Instant noodles are one of the most harmful foods we turn into whenever we get home late and hungry from work, and their good taste and quick preparation made them popular and present in numerous homes.
Yet, instant noodles are seriously damaging our health, and lead to severe health concerns. They are a rich source of sodium, fats, carbs, and MSG, and are very low in protein and fiber.
Even though they come as a life-saver when we are short of time, they are actually a silent killer that needs to be avoided.
We give you 8 good reasons to ditch instant noodles for good:
1. Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome can lead to diabetes, strokes, and heart disease, and instant noodles have been found to increase the risk of it.
According to Hyun Shin, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health, and co-author of a South Korean study that examined the effects of instant noodles on human health:
“Although instant noodles are a convenient and delicious food, there could be an increased risk for metabolic syndrome given [the food’s] high sodium, unhealthy saturated fat and glycemic loads.”
“Women who ate instant noodles twice a week or more had a higher risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate less, or not at all, regardless of whether their diet style fell into the traditional or fast-food category.”
2. Poor Nutrient Absorption
Monosodium glutamate found in instant noodles, used to improve their flavor, can reduce the normal absorption of nutrients and affect the growth of children, while in adults, it can cause burning sensations, allergies, headaches, and reddened face.
Dr. Sunil Sharma, general physician and head of emergency, Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital, New Delhi, maintains:
“In most cases, monosodium glutamate (MSG) as well as tertiary-butyl hydroquinone(TBHQ) -- a chemical preservative derived from the petroleum industry -- may be present in instant noodles for their taste enhancing and preserving properties.
Though dietary intake of these elements is allowed within a limit, regular intake of these can cause severe health issues.”
These noodles are full of empty calories and sodium that causes water retention, so their regular consumption leads to obesity. If you are struggling to lose weight, instant noodles are something you should definitely avoid.
Most instant noodles types are actually made of maida, which is a milled, refined and bleached version of wheat flour.
“Maida-based instant noodles are loaded with preservatives and are nothing but a source of empty calories ripped of all nutrition.
Excessive consumption may lead to obesity, and in most cases, it has been seen that these maida-based instant noodles take a toll on the digestive process.
Its remnants may reach the appendix area of the body and trigger infection,” says Dr. Simran Saini, Nutritionist at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi.
Therefore, they are a good example of the types of processed foods you should stay away from, as their consumption will make you both, fat and sick. Dr. Mercola warns:
“Processed foods encourage weight gain and chronic diseases because they are high in sugar, fructose, refined carbohydrates, and artificial ingredients, and low in nutrients and fiber.
They are addictive and designed to make you overeat, encourage excessive food cravings leading to obesity. They also promote insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, which are hallmarks of serious diseases.”
4. High Blood Pressure
Instant noodles are rich in sodium and their consumption raises blood pressure and leads to water retention. Also, they might be the reason behind the swellings in your feet.
5. Digestion Issues
Since they are very low or free of fiber, instant noodles lead to indigestion and digestive issues, since the food cannot be broken down properly and thus excreted from the body on time.
As stated by Della Rachmadia Annur, a nutritionist at the Prawijaya Women and Children’s Hospital,
“Instant noodles take longer to digest than other sources of carbohydrates, like rice and potatoes. When you feel bloated after eating instant noodles, it’s because your system is working hard to digest it.
Worst case scenario, all the carbohydrates from instant noodles can cause a buildup of sugar in your body, causing diabetes.”
Instant noodles are high in preservatives and additives that negatively impact fetal growth and can cause miscarriages.
Instant noodles contain numerous preservatives, added to increase their shelf life, and most of these are petroleum by-products.
Therefore, the frequent consumption of instant noodles can lead to the accumulation of these petroleum by-products in the body, which are known carcinogens.
8. Heart Disease
Instant noodles contain vegetable oil, usually palm oil, that is rich in saturated fats, and thus increase blood cholesterol, and leads to heart disease and obesity. Dr. Sharma spoke about the possible detrimental effects of the presence of vegetable oils in these noodles:
“How will you ever know what kind of oil has been used? Edible vegetable oil could mean anything; usually, it is nothing but palm oil, which has a high content of saturated fats and is detrimental for health.
Processed foods including instant noodles contain high amounts of sodium, food additives, petroleum by-products (in some cases), bad cholesterol, simple carbs with no nutrition and no fiber whatsoever. How can you not expect the regular consumption of such items to harm you?”