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Are ramen noodles really so unhealthy?

Ramen noodles are one of the most popular fast foods in the world. The World Instant Noodle Association estimates that 98 billion servings were consumed worldwide last year. They are increasingly popular since they are cheap, fast, and tasty.

Most people have an idea that these quick noodles are not so healthy, but let us be more specific.

Are ramen noodles really so bad for your health?

Yes, they really are. They have been described as a “food bomb” in a cup. They may be the most unhealthy popular junk food you can buy.


What makes ramen so quick and easy to make, and tasty, is that they are the ultimate processed food. They are chemically formulated to please the consumer, but not his health.

The bad things in ramen include lots of sodium, saturated fat (seasoning oils), and simple carbohydrates. What makes them worse is that they are also full of preservatives, artificial flavoring and colorants. On the opposite side, they contain essentially nothing good: no fiber, little protein, poor supply of vitamins, and not even a hint of an antioxidant.

I have heard that they especially bad for women?

Based on a Harvard study done in South Korea, they do seem to be even worse for women. South Korea has suffered a rapid increase in obesity and heart disease, and the changing diet is suspected to be one main culprit. South Korea has the highest per-capita ramen consumption in the world.

The researchers studied the diets of 10,711 adults (ages 19-64), and found their diets fell into 2 basic categories. One diet followed a “traditional dietary pattern” of mostly rice, fish, vegetables, fruit, and potatoes. The other diet category was called the “meat and fast-food pattern”. These people ate less rice, but more meat, soda, fried food, and fast food, including ramen noodles.

The results showed that the women who ate ramen noodles at least twice a week had a 68% greater chance of developing “metabolic syndrome”. In this condition, a person has some combination of high blood pressure, elevated blood sugars, abnormal cholesterol and/or triglycerides, and abdominal obesity. A person with metabolic syndrome has a much higher risk of diabetes and heart disease, and stroke. The men suffered many of these issues as well, but not in combination like the women.

Why is ramen particularly bad for women?

The researchers are not sure, but suspect women are more susceptible due to the differences in sex hormones and metabolism. Also, the Styrofoam packaging contains the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which has been shown to affect how hormones, especially estrogen, send messages in the body.

So ramen noodles are not so bad for men?

No, they are unhealthy for everyone, just seemingly worse for women. As said, they are nutritionally poor, and if you eat ramen, you are likely not eating things that would be good for you, like a salad.

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Are ramen noodles really so unhealthy? was last modified: October 10th, 2016 by

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)