7 side effects of instant noodles you need to know about

Are you a fan of instant noodles? If yes, then you need to know these 5 side effects of instant noodles. Although they may prepare quickly, they can harm your health in many ways!

Instant noodles are very popular thanks to their savory taste and quick preparation. However, despite their widespread love, instant noodles do not fit into a healthy diet. They are high in sodium, preservatives and other chemicals, making them one of the unhealthiest food choices. In fact, regular consumption of instant noodles can lead to several health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and metabolic syndrome. While they may take less time to prepare, it is essential to consider their nutritional drawbacks and limit their intake for better overall health.

What are the side effects of instant noodles?

They are one of the most useful foods that can be prepared easily and quickly. However, they are not considered healthy. Here are 5 side effects of eating instant noodles:

1. Low nutritional profile

Instant noodles are notorious for their poor nutritional value. They hardly provide essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins and fiber. Instead, they provide a large number of calories, mainly from refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, which can be problematic for weight management. If you regularly consume instant noodles, they can increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies.

2. Contains Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a common additive in these noodles and is used to improve the taste. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers MSG generally safe, there is ongoing debate about its potential side effects. A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that high MSG consumption is associated with weight gain, headaches, nausea and even high blood pressure. However, some other studies found no link between weight and moderate MSG consumption.

Instant noodles contain harmful chemicals. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Rich in sodium

One of the most alarming side effects is their high sodium content. A single serving can contain more than half of the recommended daily allowance of sodium. According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, excessive sodium intake is linked to organ damage and can cause a range of health problems, including hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease and stroke. “For people with existing heart conditions or those prone to high blood pressure, regularly consuming instant noodles can aggravate these conditions and lead to serious cardiovascular complications,” explains nutritionist Saloni Arora.

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4. Made from white flour (maida)

Instant noodles are mainly made from maida, a type of highly processed white flour. Maida is low in dietary fiber and essential nutrients compared to whole grains. Arora says, “Consuming large amounts of maida can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, making it particularly harmful for people with diabetes or insulin resistance.” Additionally, diets high in refined carbohydrates are associated with an increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

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5. Potential health risks

In addition to the immediate nutritional concerns, regular consumption of instant noodles poses potential long-term health risks. A study published by Nutrition Research and Practice has suggested that frequent consumption of instant noodles may be linked to metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk of high blood pressure, high blood sugar (diabetes), excess body fat around the waist and abnormally high blood pressure . cholesterol levels.

Another study published by the Journal of Korean Medical Science found that regular consumption of instant noodles is linked to low vitamin D levels in the body. However, low vitamin D levels are also linked to insufficient sunlight exposure and poor diet.

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6. Loaded with bad fats

Instant noodles are often fried in palm oil or other unhealthy oils during the production process. This results in a product high in saturated fats and trans fats, which are known to increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. “A diet high in these fats can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke,” says Arora.

Instant noodles can increase the risk of many health problems. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Additionally, excessive intake of saturated fats and trans fats is linked to obesity, liver disease and other chronic health problems.

7. Packed with harmful preservatives

To extend shelf life and preserve flavor, instant noodles are packed with preservatives such as tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). Although these chemicals are safe in small amounts, long-term use can be harmful. A study published by the Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences linked chronic exposure to TBHQ to neurological damage, increased risk of lymphoma and liver enlargement.

How do you make instant noodles healthy?

Now you know how regular consumption of instant noodles can be harmful to your health and its side effects. However, if you’re a fan of instant noodles every now and then, fear not! Make it healthy with these tips:

1. Add vegetables

Add fresh or frozen vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots or peppers. These vegetables are packed with essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which can help make your instant noodles healthy!

2. Add more egg whites

In addition to vegetables, you can also add a boiled egg, shredded chicken or tofu to increase the protein content. This will help meet your daily protein intake and keep you feeling full for longer.

Instant noodles
There is a right way to eat instant noodles! Image courtesy: Adobe Stcok

3. Healthy fats

Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, help the body absorb various nutrients, such as vitamins A, D and E. Add healthy fats, such as avocado slices or a dash of sesame oil, to boost nutrient intake and increase satiety to improve .

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4. Use less spices

You should avoid or reduce the use of seasoning packets that come with instant noodles as they may contain high sodium and MSG. Instead, you can use fresh herbs like coriander or a pinch of chili flakes to add flavor and some antioxidants.

5. Check the portion size

It’s easy to overdo it with instant noodles. But try to stick to one serving and avoid finishing the seasoning packet if it contains too much sodium. You can also opt for whole wheat or brown rice to increase the fiber and nutritional content.

Keep these tips in mind when preparing instant noodles and make sure it’s healthy for you!

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