When you're in a pinch and need a quick and easy dinner option, you might turn to instant noodles like ramen.
While these inexpensive noodles have become a staple in college cuisine, they're not exactly something that many would deem a healthy meal. Just like any other highly processed food, they can be full of salt and other ingredients that have been linked to various medical problems and conditions.
I was never the biggest fan of ramen noodles during my time at college, and now that I've read about the heath risks that they carry with them, I definitely won't be putting them in my shopping cart anytime soon.
Ramen noodles do not digest like most foods. In the video below, you can see the noodles sitting in the stomach hours after being consumed. This can spell trouble for the digestive system, which is forced to work overtime to try to break down the processed noodles.video-player-present
Instant noodles also contain a variety of additives that can be harmful to your stomach. One of the most dangerous is tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), an antioxidant that extends the shelf life of products.
TBHQ can be found in cosmetics, perfumes, varnishes, and pesticides, as well. The recommended consumption of the additive varies. According to the FDA, we should not allow TBHQ to exceed 0.02 percent of our total oil and fats consumption. The Codex Commission says that up to 400 mg per day is acceptable.
According to "A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives," five grams of TBHQ can be lethal. A single gram of the additive can cause nausea, delirium, fatigue, and collapse. Studies of animals' intake of TBHQ have found that in low doses, the additive can affect the liver and bring about biochemical changes. High doses have been shown to affect the reproductive process.
If women consume ramen noodles regularly, their risk for metabolic syndrome may increase.
In one study, women that ate ramen at least twice a week were 68 percent more likely to develop the syndrome, symptoms of which can include elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, and fasting triglycerides, as well as low levels of good cholesterol.
Those with three or more symptoms of metabolic syndrome have a significantly higher chance of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, a pack of ramen noodles contains 2,700 milligrams of sodium on average. If that and the TBHQ aren't enough to make you swear off the instant noodles, their monosodium glutamate (MSG) content might do the trick.
MSG is an amino acid that can overexcite your nerve cells to the point of brain damage and increase your risks of developing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
MSG is 78 percent free glutamic acid, which is a neural transmitter used by your body to initiate several bodily functions. It is also used to fatten up mice for field studies.
(via Healthy Holistic Living)