Instant ramen noodles are inexpensive and require only minutes to prepare, but they lack the nutritional value of fresh ramen. They are also loaded with sodium. So, how many calories are in one pack of ramen noodles?
Ramen noodles are among the most common kinds of instant noodles around the globe. Instant ramen noodles appeal most to those on a budget or waiting for time.
This article objectively examines instant ramen noodles to determine whether you can incorporate this convenient dish into a healthy diet.
Lacking In Key Nutrients
Ramen noodles are a variety of packaged, instant noodles composed of wheat flour, various vegetable oils, and flavorings.
The noodles are pre-cooked, indicating that they have been steamed, air-dried, and then fried to reduce the cooking time for consumers.
Instant ramen noodles are sold in containers with a small packet of seasoning or in microwaveable cups to which water is added and heated in the microwave.
Instant ramen noodles are prepared by adding them to a saucepan of seasoned boiling water. Because you can also prepare the noodles in a microwave, they are frequently consumed by college students residing in dormitories.
Ramen noodles are delicious and convenient, but their nutritional value warrants closer examination.
Nutrition In Ramen Noodles
Although nutritional information differs by brand, most instant ramen noodles are low in calories but deficient in essential nutrients.
One serving of chicken-flavored instant ramen noodles, for instance, contains:
- Calories: 188
- Carbs: 27 grams
- total fat: 7 grams
- Protein content: 5 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sodium: 891 mg
- Thiamine: 16%
- Folate: 13%
- Manganese: 10%
- Iron: 9%
- Niacin: 9%
- Riboflavin: 6%
Instant noodles for ramen are made with wheat flour fortified with manufactured forms of iron and B vitamins to boost their nutritional value.
However, they lack numerous essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, B12, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Moreover, unlike whole, fresh foods, packaged foods such as instant ramen noodles lack the antioxidants and phytochemicals that have numerous positive health effects.
In addition, they contain many calories without the variety of nutrients found in a more balanced meal of protein, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.
Even though one serving (43 grams) of ramen noodles contains only 188 calories, the average person consumes the entire package, equivalent to two servings and 371 calories.
You should note that instant ramen noodles are distinct from traditional Chinese or Japanese ramen noodles, typically served in soup form and garnished with nutritious ingredients such as eggs, duck meat, and vegetables.
Loaded With Sodium
Sodium is an essential mineral for the effective functioning of the human body.
However, excessive sodium from excessive salt in the diet is unhealthy.
Processed foods, including packaged foods such as ramen noodles, primarily contribute to economical sodium intake.
Insufficient sodium intake has been linked to adverse health effects, but excessive sodium intake can also be harmful.
In addition, a high-sodium diet may increase blood pressure, negatively influencing heart and kidney health in specific salt-sensitive individuals.
Although the World Health Organization’s current recommendation of two grams of sodium per day is subject to debate, it is evident that it is best to avoid foods that are exceptionally high in salt.
One package of instant ramen noodles contains 1,760 mg of sodium or 88% of the World Health Organization’s 2-gram recommendation.
Consuming just one package of ramen noodles would make adhering to current sodium intake recommendations extremely difficult.
But because ramen noodles are inexpensive and straightforward to prepare, they are convenient for people pressed for time.
Due to this, many people consume ramen multiple times per day, which can result in excessive sodium intake.
Should You Stay Away From Ramen?
The occasional intake of instant ramen noodles will not damage your health, but regular use has been linked to a poor diet in general and several adverse health consequences.
In a study of 6,440 Korean adults, those who habitually consumed instant noodles had lower protein, phosphorus, calcium, iron, potassium, niacin, and vitamin A and C intakes than those who did not finish this food.
Those who consumed instant noodles frequently consumed fewer vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat, and fish.
Regular eating instant noodles has been linked with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that includes excess abdominal adiposity, high blood sugar, elevated blood lipids, and high blood pressure.
As a result, you should limit your consumption of instant ramen noodles and not use them as a regular meal replacement.
How To Make Healthier Ramen noodles?
There are numerous methods to make instant ramen noodles healthier for those who enjoy eating them.
- Add vegetables: Adding fresh or cooked veggies like carrots, broccoli, onions, or mushrooms to the instant noodles will help add nutrients that regular ramen noodles lack.
- Pile on protein: Since the noodles in ramen are low in protein, topping them with fish, chicken, eggs, or tofu will provide a source of protein that will help you feel full for an extended period.
- Choose low-sodium versions: Instant ramen noodles can be found in low-sodium varieties, which can significantly reduce the sodium content of the dish.
- Ditch the flavor packet: For a healthier, lower-sodium version of ramen noodles, omit the flavor packet and create your broth using low-sodium chicken stock, fresh herbs, and seasonings.
While instant noodles such as ramen are a cheap carbohydrate source, many other healthful and inexpensive carbohydrate options are available.
Brown rice, potatoes, and oats are examples of budget-friendly carbohydrates that are versatile and economical.
Despite containing iron, B vitamins, and manganese, instant ramen noodles lack fiber, protein, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
In addition, their MSG, TBHQ, and too much sodium content may have negative health consequences, such as an increased risk of cardiac disease, stomach cancer, and metabolic syndrome.
Limiting your consumption of instantaneous manufactured foods such as ramen noodles and consuming a lot of whole, unprocessed foods is always the healthiest course of action.
Thank you for reading….