Ramen noodles are almost a cult affair. Many of us have chosen these instant noodles for breakfast, lunch, and quick dinners, which by the way, aren’t quite made like the traditional ramen, but do come in a similar style, combined with an addictive flavor. Instant noodles are also super cheap, which is another reason why they are so popular among college students and those on tight budgets.
But are instant noodles a danger to your health? Some say they are. Let’s check out the information found on instant ramen noodles that may change your mind about lunch today:
Since South Korea has the highest number of people per capita who choose to eat ramen noodles on a regular basis, the recent study was conducted there. Within the past few years, more Koreans have started developing serious health conditions, such as, heart disease and obesity, so it made sense to begin the study there due to the decline of health in that area.The study was performed on adults between the ages of 19 and 64. It was conducted by a Harvard School, doctoral candidate, Hyoun Shin.
What ingredients are in most ramen instant noodle packs?
High salt content and MSG (monosodium glutamate)
We would assume that it is not just the noodle itself that may be causing harm to South Koreans, but also the accompanying ingredients, which you add yourself. Shin studied two different types of eating patterns; one that included rice, vegetables, and fish, the other was the fast foods diet, which included, of course, instant noodles. Shin found that traditional eaters, those who cooked a variety of healthy foods, as mentioned above, were less likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The other group who consumed mostly fast foods like instant noodles, were more likely to suffer from these two health issues and more.
This is really no surprise to most of us. These are probably the same numbers that would come out of an American study, where many people consume a fast food diet, and yes, they are more likely to deal with these common health problems. However, do we need to single out instant noodles with a WARNING! sign, when there are many other foods that cause the same health problems along with an individual’s genetics?
The best thing for your overall health is moderation. It’s great to be aware of the dangers of varying types of foods and what they can do to your body if you overeat, but are we sure that singling out certain foods as the “causes” of all of these chronic diseases is the answer? The old adage that “moderation is the key”, and “remember to eat your vegetables”, still works in most cases. If you are already dealing with high blood pressure, heart disease, or strokes, it is best to lower your sodium consumption or cut out sodium altogether. However, this is an issue where you need to listen to your physician first.
As for South Koreans, Shin says that instant noodles appear to be the culprit of the country’s declining health and this is not an argument against that study. We are here to say that not everyone consumes the amount of instant ramen served in many Asian countries and that in Western countries, we have the very same issues with fast food french fries and burgers.