How Do Ramen Noodles Really Affect Your Body?  

One of the most popular foods amongst college students is the quick and easy Ramen noodles. Add some water, flavoring packet, and noodles into a bowl, then just microwave for about 3 minutes and you’re all set. It doesn’t get easier than that. One of the most known brands of ramen is Maruchan Ramen Noodles.

However, the human body is not made to digest this form of processed food. Ramen doesn’t degrade because of its preservatives, which puts strain on your digestive system. Your stomach is unable to digest highly processed noodles even two hours later, causing digestion to become delayed. 

Instant noodles have been a staple since 1958. Yet, there are many underlying health factors to the consumption of these. The length of time it takes for ramen noodles to digest can depend on a few different things. For instance, the type of noodles you eat and the amount of water you add to them might determine how long they take to cook and, as a result, how long they take to digest.  

Ramen noodles’ flavors and other additives can also have an impact on digestion. For instance, some people may get heartburn or indigestion from spicy ingredients. Fresh versus instant noodles differ in digestion rate. 

One key factor that makes Ramen noodles so unhealthy is the high levels of sodium. A packet of Ramen equivalates to almost 2/3 the recommended daily sodium amount. The Mayo Clinic released a piece on “Sodium: How to tame your salt habit” which provided an explanation to the sodium claims we see in our food each day. 

The Mayo Clinic Staff shared:

Here’s a rundown on common sodium claims and what they really mean: 

  • Sodium-free or salt-free. Each serving in this product contains less than 5 mg of sodium. 
  • Very low sodium. Each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less. 
  • Low sodium. Each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less. 
  • Reduced or less sodium. The product contains at least 25% less sodium than the regular version. 
  • Lite or light in sodium. The sodium content has been reduced by at least 50% from the regular version. 
  • Unsalted or no salt added. No salt is added during processing of a food that normally contains salt. However, some foods with these labels may still be high in sodium because some of the ingredients may be high in sodium.

That much sodium consumed in one sitting causes your body to overcompensate by retaining more water. You may experience short-term water weight increase as a result, feeling bloated and tired. Although you will most likely feel bloated, it’s likely that you won’t be nourished. The ramen is practically the definition of empty calories. This is due to the fact that it is high in refined carbohydrates and low in protein and fiber. Consuming too many refined carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar to escalate and then drop. This cycle leaves you hungry and ready to eat again, which results in weight gain. 

Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), which can damage organs if consumed routinely over an extended period of time and raise the risk of cancer, is the primary preservative in instant noodles, according to the FDA. For instant noodles to maintain their texture even when cooked in boiling water, propylene glycol is also added. Tobacco products share the same ingredient. The amount of saturated fat in just one block of fried noodles, with the broth, is 14 grams which is nearly 40% of what your body requires each day. The broth may contain some of this fat, which accounts for why it tastes so rich, but the overwhelming majority comes from the noodles.

The result of eating Ramen every day is incredibly bad for you. The same components that make instant Ramen practically indestructible also make it difficult to digest, and your liver may have a particularly difficult time processing an instant Ramen meal. When your liver is overworked, it begins to store fat in its own cells, and if this fat buildup is not reduced, it might harm your liver. If you think about it, your body is trying to go into overdrive as it attempts to break down these preservatives.

Practically everyone who is healthy can occasionally eat a bowl of instant ramen and digest it without any issues. However, it’s a good idea to limit your intake of instant Ramen.  The comforting cup of chicken noodle soup that quick Ramen mimics is distant from nutritious. Although “instant ramen” can save you minutes when you’re on-the-go, it’s costing you a healthy life.