We’ve all heard the warnings before, but now it’s official. You may love the taste and convenience of instant noodles, but you definitely won’t love what it does to your body. A recently published study revealed that eating too many of the popular snack is not only unhealthy, but it can actually cause some very serious problems for you, possibly even leading you to a premature death.
Researchers from Baylor University and Harvard University have some very stern warnings for the millions of instant noodle eaters around the world. Just published in the Journal of Nutrition are results of a study conducted by analyzing the diets and health of 11,000 South Koreans aged between 19 and 64. The reason South Koreans were the subjects of the study is simple — in 2015, they ate an average of 76 packages of instant noodles a year, which is about one every five days, by far the most in the world. Unfortunately, consequences of this are already manifesting itself. Apparently, many women in the study were at risk for metabolic syndrome, whose symptoms includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. All of this, of course, can lead to diabetes, a heart attack or even a stroke, and none of those is worth having just for a quick fix of instant noodles. Oddly enough, the men in the study were not found with a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome, which the researchers attributed to the biological differences between men and women.
But noodle-loving men all over the world still have much to fear. In India, Nestlé’s Maggi brand had seven times the legal amount of lead in their products. The government immediately banned the noodles from public consumption, noting their hazardous effects on the human body. Back in South Korea in 2012, a cancer-causing substance known as Benzopyrene was found in six different brands of noodles produced by Nongshim, South Korea’s largest instant noodle and snack company. Because of this, all of the company’s problem brands were recalled, not only in South Korea, but all over the world. Pretty scary stuff.
The list of bad-for-you ingredients in instant noodles goes on and on. Eating too much of anything isn’t going to be good for you, but when scientists tell you that you’re going to die if you don’t be careful in your consumption of something, it’s probably time to make some drastic changes.
The appeal of instant noodles lies in the name. Instant – meaning no-stress, hassle-free food. No time to prepare yourself lunch?
Just take some instant noodles along to the workplace, add some water, heat them up, and voila! Lunch is served. Plus, they’re cheap, so if you’re a broke college student, they’re a great instant option for you. Except instant noodles might actually be killing you. They have a ton of deadly ingredients that are pretty bad for the body. Read on to find out more about how they’re harmful for you and your loved ones.
They’re packed with preservatives
You know how you don’t have to refrigerate instant noodles or anything because of their long shelf life? Well, that shelf life is a result of instant noodles being packed with preservatives like tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), a petroleum byproduct that make the noodles stay fresh. Even though TBHQ is only part of the ingredient used for this, the more you eat this product, the more your intake increases.
Metabolic syndrome risk
Eating instant noodles two or more times a week can cause a higher risk of metabolic syndrome in women. This is associated with abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, excess abdominal fat, and high blood sugar, and so increases the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Contains high amounts of sodium
Never ignore what instant noodles can do to your body. Those high amounts of sodium are part of what makes noodles so tasty, but in those proportions, they can lead to kidney damage, heart disease, and other debilitating cases of crippling illnesses.
Lacks substantive nutrients
Instant noodles don’t have any important nutrients like proteins, vitamins or minerals. In fact, they absorb nutrients during digestion, so that any healthier foods you’ve consumed will also lose their efficacy. This makes instant noodles especially bad for children under five years of age.
Makes exercise less effective too
Even if you leave an active and fit lifestyle, constant consumption of instant noodls will actively undermine this. If you eat instant noodles more than two to three times a week, it will prove counterintuitive to your attempt to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Higher chance of miscarriage
If you’re pregnant, don’t consume instant noodles at all. These ingredients can harm the developing fetus, leading to a higher risk of miscarriage. Instead, eat wholesome meals such as kale salad with dried fruit and ratatouille with baked eggs.
Instant noodles are nothing but carbs
Instant noodles have no nutritional value. Apart from sodium, the only nutrient they have in high quantities is carbohydrates, since the product is made from refined and bleached wheat flour. This makes them a highly processed staple that does nothing to help the body except fill it up.
They contribute to obesity
Instant noodles are packed with sugar, salt, syrup, edible vegetable oil, and flavoring. These ingredients are common in other junk foods that lead to weight gain and obesity. For those who are conscious about their size, instant noodles will only serve to make you bigger.
The Bisphenol A (BPA) in the containers is toxic
The styrofoam containers which the noodles come in are made from Bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic synthetic that has been found to have health effects like prostate and breast cancer, developmental problems and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
It can contribute to hair loss
It is not clear what exact chemical in instant noodles is the culprit but hair loss is also thought to be a consequence of eating instant noodles a lot. A study on Japanese men links consumption of the noodles with baldness.
It contains MSG
Monosodium Glutamate has been sold as a flavour enhancer. It can be found in just about everything like crackers, Chinese food, salad dressings, and canned soups. Many people are actually allergic to MSG with symptoms varying from headaches, flushing face, and indigestion. Research suggests it may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
It can cause bloating
Bloating is a common side effect from eating too much instant noodles during the week. It is when the stomach protrudes more than what it normally does, not helping with your body image at all. This might be one reason why your waist length has suddenly increased.
The digestion of instant noodles vs. homemade noodles
A tiny camera closely followed the instant noodles during digestion in the stomach. Within two hours, the homemade noodles are broken down in the digestive system. That is when they start to show their harmful effects to your body.
The reason instant noodles have such a consistent shape and color
Food should readily break down by our digestive enzyme. But the shape and color of all instant noodles is more or less the same, which means our digestive tract has to work harder to break the noodles down. Researchers believe this is due in part to the presence of TBHQ.
It contains propylene glycol
Propylene glycol is a synthetic compound usually found in shampoos and conditioners. It also happens to be found in instant noodles. The body absorbs propylene glycol when digested, weakening the immune system and damaging the liver, kidneys, and heart in the process.
Thanks for reading!