Many college students around the world consider ramen noodles as a staple – especially if they are on a tight budget. It’s also a favourite among those who are too busy to eat a proper meal because they only take a few minutes to prepare, are easy and convenient to eat and really filling.
However, according to a study ramen noodles are, unfortunately, really unhealthy. Researchers even call them “death in a cup”. If you regularly eat ramen noodles, you increase your risk of harmful metabolic changes that are connected to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Asians are at a Higher Risk
Asians eat more noodles than others. In particular, South Koreans eat more ramen noodles than any other country! Reflecting this is the fact that health problems have steadily increased in South Korea in recent years. Aside from the population getting fatter, they are also seeing higher rates of heart disease than ever. These facts convinced researchers that South Korea is the ideal choice for a study of the real effect of high instant noodle consumption on one’s health. The results were astounding.
Based on information from a national health and nutrition survey (from 2007-2009), it was found that people who ate instant noodles of any variety (including ramen, Thai, lo mein, or glass) twice a week or more, tended to get the condition called metabolic syndrome.
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
It is the name given to a group of risk factors that increase one’s risk for health issues, including diabetes and heart problems, among others. The term “metabolic” is used to refer to the biochemical processes that are involved in a body’s normal functioning.
The study showed that South Korean women who consumed the most processed ramen are more likely to get metabolic syndrome. This held true no matter what kind of other foods they ate regularly or how much physical activity they performed.
What Makes Ramen Unhealthy?
They are particularly unhealthy due to the food additive that they contain which is called Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone or TBHQ. This TBHQ is a type of preservative that is also a petroleum industry by-product. Additionally, ramen is high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium.
It also does not help that their packaging often has the chemical BPA or bisphenol-A which may be a carcinogen. It is also regarded as a hormone disruptor that can negatively affect one’s hormones, including estrogen.
With the preservatives it contains and the packaging it comes in, ramen is indeed a minefield of possible health risks!
It is time that you say goodbye to ramen and say hello to healthier food options. They need not be expensive! If you don’t know where to start, you can drop by Sloan Natural Health Center so we can talk about making healthy choices!