Did You Know?
While Europeans and Americans celebrate their birthdays with cakes, Chinese celebrate theirs with noodles! Instead of birthday cakes, they serve birthday noodles! In Chinese culture, noodles are a symbol of long life. Noodles are an invariable part of the birthday menu, and also of the menu that is specially planned for the Chinese New Year.
Despite being a quick meal on a budget, Ramen keeps you satiated for a longer period of time. Whether Ramen is native to China or Japan is not clear, but amazingly, it has gained popularity in almost all parts of the world, and can be referred to as a "global food." A wide variety of Ramen is available in Japan as well as in the U.S. Let us take a look at some of the drawbacks of regular consumption of Ramen.
Why Daily Consumption Should Be Avoided
✦ High in Saturated Fat
Although, noodles symbolize longevity in Chinese culture, Ramen can be harmful for your health as they belong to the category of "processed food". They are "pre-fried", and hence, take less than five minutes of preparation time. Being deep-fried, they are high in saturated fat. Total fat in 100 g Ramen is 17.59 g., 50% of which is saturated fat.
It can raise the blood cholesterol levels, and can eventually lead to several health problems like weight gain, high blood pressure, and a number of cardiovascular diseases.
It is more than half of the daily recommended intake for healthy adults. People diagnosed with high blood pressure and people who are at a higher risk of such disorders need to reduce their sodium intake. For them, consumption of Ramen can be more risky.
✦ MSG and TBHQ
For a longer shelf life, a hazardous chemical compound like TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone―a byproduct of petroleum) is used as a preservative in Ramen. Moreover, MSG (monosodium glutamate) is added to enhance the flavor. Preservatives delay the onset of rancidness, but they are not properly digested in the body. They can affect the function of bodily systems in several ways. Excessive consumption of MSG can lead to headaches, weakness, nausea, chest pain, palpitations, tingling sensation in face, hands and feet, etc. Although more research is needed to prove that these elements are harmful for the health, it is better to avoid foods containing such compounds.
✦ Low in Nutrients
Although the noodles are made from wheat flour, they are low in nutrients. They contain some vitamins and minerals, but there are several other healthier foods that are literally packed with nutrients. For example, fruits and vegetable smoothies, salads, yogurt with berries, baked or grilled fish/chicken, etc. Although Ramen is inexpensive, it is not a good option, considering the price you have to pay later in the form of bad health.
According to the USDA, here is a data chart revealing the nutritional elements present in any flavor, dry Ramen noodle soup.
|Serving Size: 100 g|
|Total lipid (fat)||17.59 g|
|Total Dietary Fiber||2.9 g|
|Total Sugars||1.98 g|
|Vitamin C||0.3 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.038 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0.25 mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||1 µg|
|Vitamin A, IU||12 IU|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||2.44 mg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||8.9 µg|
|Total Saturated Fatty Acids||8.117 g|
|Total Monounsaturated Fatty Acids||6.156 g|
|Total Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids||2.198 g|
|Fatty Acids, Total Trans||0.065 g|
A packet of Ramen (85 g) is actually meant for two servings, but people usually consume the entire content, as a meal. If you can't immediately stop eating Ramen, you may consume half package at a time. Similarly, you may avoid using the small packet of seasoning. This will help reduce the sodium content. You may add a pinch of salt and pepper. You can also add one egg, spinach, lean meat, or other vegetables to the boiling water. Thus, you can increase the nutritional value of the soup. You can have a healthy salad, bread, or fruits along with the soup. 100 g of reduced-fat, reduced-sodium variety of Ramen contains 1200 mg sodium and 2.50 g total fat (no saturated and trans fats). You may incorporate this in your diet if you cannot avoid it.
A gastrointestinal specialist has recently uploaded a video on the Internet to show how the stomach actually processes the preserved Ramen Noodles and homemade noodles. He has used a miniature camera to see the processing in the stomach. The results are clear and astonishing. They show that homemade food is easily digested, while it is very difficult for our body to digest processed food. So, you can now imagine how regular consumption of processed food can damage your systems seriously.