Too much of everything can be bad for you, even your favorite meals.
Some foods are bad for us when consumed in large quantities, and instant noodles may be part of them.
Instant noodles are the comfort and convenience food for many demographics, from busy students to bustling workers to families.
There’s a lot of contradicting information about how often you should eat instant noodles and if they pose problems for your health. It is easy to get confused when you’re overfed with contrasting information.
This brief article examines how often you should eat instant noodles and what that means for your health.
How often can I eat Instant Noodles?
At most, you should eat instant noodles twice in two weeks.
You can eat instant noodles two to three or four times a month.
When you constantly exceed this suggested limit, you are at risk because instant noodles are high in sodium and calories. This is only the tip of the iceberg; other risks are associated with the increased consumption of instant noodles, many of which we will discuss later in this article. So, we suggest you hang in there for a bit.
How much Instant Ramen is too much?
More than one serving a week of instant ramen is too much for you. If you have to consume instant ramen at all, you should not be consuming instant ramen more than once a week.
You need to tone it down if you’re eating instant ramen noodles more than once every week.
To drive our point, here’s what you’re taking in every time you eat a pack of instant ramen noodles, and that is if you decide to take one pack:
1300 mg sodium
A packet of instant ramen noodles often contains around 1300 mg of sodium.
This is problematic because the daily recommended sodium intake is about 2300 mg, which means you have already consumed 56.5% of the daily recommended sodium intake with one packet of instant ramen noodles.
And when you eat two packets of instant ramen noodles at once, you have consumed over 100% of the daily recommended sodium intake with just one meal.
Almost 400 calories
You’re ingesting two servings when you eat a packet of instant ramen. One serving contains 190 calories. Since one packet equals two servings, you’ll consume around 380 calories per packet of instant ramen noodles.
So you see, it is impossible to maintain a healthy diet while eating instant ramen noodles in excessive portions.
We’ll speak more on the consequences of eating instant noodles, but for now, let’s look into what you need to do after you eat too many instant noodles.
What to do after eating Instant Noodles?
If you are stuffing your body with instant noodles, you should remember that instant noodles usually take a long time to digest and often make your digestive system work harder.
Additionally, as with other heavily processed foods, instant noodles are not the most nutritious. This is because instant noodles lack the necessary micronutrients your body needs.
To balance this lack of micronutrients, here are things to do after eating instant noodles:
Eat foods rich in fiber
Since instant noodles take a toll on your digestive system, eating foods rich in fiber will facilitate the digestion of the instant noodles through your digestive system.
Drink plenty of water
After you have eaten instant noodles, water intake will help your body break down the noodles faster and help your stool be softer, relieving any constipation.
Drink some olive oil
This may be new to you if you do not know that olive oil can be drunk. However, olive oil can positively impact your digestive health.
Olive oil interferes with the movement of gastric acid in your gut by introducing the acid slowly into the duodenum. This makes you feel fuller and improves digestion.
Enjoy some salad
Introducing vegetables to your body helps ease up and prepare your digestive tract for dense foods, which in this case, is instant noodles.
In simpler terms, the salad makes digestion easier for instant noodles.
Take some yogurt
Yogurts with active probiotics and fruits will help decrease the risks of constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.
Fruits like apples, kiwi, apricots, strawberries, guava, mangoes, bananas, and oranges can help with digestion because they are rich in micronutrients like vitamins K, A, C, and potassium that aid digestion.
Read also: Lo Mein vs Pad Thai – Key Differences
How long do Instant Noodles stay in Your Stomach?
Instant noodles can stay in your stomach for hours before full digestion. However, homemade ramen noodles are digested within two hours of consumption.
Instant noodles are bad news for the digestive system because of TBHQ, an extra additive.
TBHQ (Tertiary butyl Hydroquinone) is a petroleum product used to make instant noodles that make them hard to digest.
How Unhealthy are Instant Noodles?
As much as instant noodles are delicious and convenient, it is no news that they are not the healthiest food. Here’s why:
Instant noodles are high in sodium
Foods high in sodium are bad news for your health. High sodium foods have links with cancer, heart issues, stroke, and increased blood pressure in salt-sensitive individuals.
As we stated, a packet of instant noodles is above 50% of the recommended daily sodium intake. So, consuming instant noodles multiple times a day or week can lead to elevated sodium levels in your body.
Instant Noodles lack necessary micronutrients
Although low on carbs, instant noodles are notorious for not having a reasonable amount of needed nutrients like Niacin, folate, manganese, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, fiber, magnesium, vitamins (A, B12, C), potassium, and protein.
Instant Noodles contain TBHQ and MSG
Instant noodles are made with TBHQ (Tertiary Butyl Hydroquinone), a petroleum product that stresses the digestive tract. TBHQ is a chemical preservative that helps extend the shelf life of foods.
Although TBHQ is deemed safe in small amounts, when consumed in large quantities, TBHQ can put you at risk of liver swelling, neurological damage, and lymphoma.
Many instant noodles contain MSG as well. MSGis a commonly processed food flavor enhancer.
MSG ingestion has links to fatigue, high blood pressure, nausea, muscle tightening, and headaches. It is worth noting that some people are more sensitive to MSG than others; hence the symptoms may be more pronounced in the former.
The packaging can be harmful to you
Most instant noodles come in packages made with BPA (Bisphenol A). When the instant noodles are heated in the microwave, BPA can seep into the food. Therefore, when this food is eaten, it can disrupt the normal functioning of the renal, cardiovascular, and metabolic systems, especially in women.
Do Instant Noodles make you gain Weight?
Instant noodles can make you gain weight.
When you eat instant noodles consistently, your weight may increase due to the high cholesterol content of instant noodles.
Instant noodles are higher in cholesterol and carbs than protein, which means a higher chance of weight gain.
If you are building a weight loss diet, we don’t recommend including instant noodles as it will be counterproductive to your weight loss journey.
If you are not building a weight loss diet, you can add instant noodles to your diet, as long as you don’t eat them all the time. First, however, ensure you eat instant noodles healthily.
Here’s how to make instant noodles healthier:
- Include vegetables like carrots, onions, spring onions, spinach, broccoli, etc.
- Eat low-sodium instant noodles instead of the ones high in sodium
- Make your chicken broth instead of using the flavor packet
- Take advantage of chicken, fish, eggs, or tofu to add a boost of protein to the meal
Read also: What Internal Temperature Must Vegetables Reach While Cooking?
Consequences of eating Instant Noodles Every day
- Eating instant noodles daily can trigger elevated sodium levels in the body, which can cause heart problems, stroke, cancer, and increased blood pressure in sodium-sensitive individuals.
- Lymphoma, liver swelling, and neurological disorders are caused by TBHQ found in instant noodles.
- Consuming instant noodles daily can cause weight gaindue to the high cholesterol content of instant noodles.
- If you eat instant noodles daily without spicing them up with healthy ingredients, your body will lack the needed micronutrients.