Ramen noodles, quite popular among kids and youths often make news for their side effects on health. However, nobody would ever believe that these instant noodles can be life threatening. Yes, many of you may not know but a recent study conducted by the experts at the Harvard and Baylor University indicates that these noodles can change the metabolism of people, which in turn can lead to their stroke or heart disease.

According to the reports, these noodles are found containing Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), a petroleum industry byproduct, which is also a food additive needed for preserving cheap foods. To prove the facts an eminent gastrointestinal specialist called for an experiment along with a time lapse video that showed what happens inside the stomach two hours after getting ramen noodles digested. The video is really shocking.

A recent report published in the renowned Journal of Nutrition stated that South Korean women, who consumed a huge amount of precooked dried noodles, had the maximum risks of getting “metabolic syndrome” irrespective of the else they consumed or how much they exercised. This metabolic syndrome increases their risk of high blood sugar, blood pressure, heart attack as well as stroke. While air-dried instant noodles are favorite among the Westerners, Asians still prefer the use of flash fried noodles.

Irrespective of the countries consuming the noodle blocks, its main ingredients are palm oil, wheat flour and common salt. Sugar, seasoning, monosodium glutamate and salt are used for preparing the seasoning. If a cup-type noodle block is taken, you will get around 2700mg sodium. Doctorate candidate of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Hyun shin, who is also the co-author of the study said, “Although instant noodle is a convenient and delicious food, there could be an increased risk for metabolic syndrome given [the food’s] high sodium, unhealthy saturated fat and glycemic loads.” Along with his colleagues, Shin analyzed food habit of almost around 11,000 adults in South Korea in between the age group of 19-64 years. Everyone who took part in the survey reported whatever he or she consumed so that the researchers could determine whether they prefer fast food or traditional healthy food. The categorization was made based on the number of times people ate instant noodles.

According to Shin, the study was concentrated in South Korea as this country has the maximum number of instant noodles consumer across the globe. For that, the country is reporting an increased number of obesity and heart diseases in the recent years. However, South Korea is not just the only concern of the researchers here as the United States is on the sixth spot when it comes to instant noodles consumption. If the statistics are to be believed then in 2013 alone, people in the United States consumed 4,300 billion packets of instant noodles. Five nations topping the US in terms of instant noodles sales are China, Indonesia Japan, Vietnam, and India respectively. South Korea has been a leading ramen noodles consumer, as it accounted for the sale of 3.4 billion packages only in the year 2010. Though the findings were based on South Korea, it is applicable for North Americans as well, said professor and nutritionist of New York University, Lisa Young. According to Young, “We [in the States] don’t eat it as much, but the ramen noodles are being sold, so this could apply to anywhere they’re sold, and they’re sold almost everywhere.”

Why instant noodles are so bad?

While discussing about the side-effects of the instant noodles, Young said, instant noodles contain a huge amount of salt, fat, calories and when they are processed, these factors can lead to different health issues. She even added, “That doesn’t mean that every single person is going to respond the same way, but the piece to keep in mind is that it’s not a healthy product, and it is a processed food.”

Benzopyrene, a substance known for causing cancer was found in six noodles brand manufactured by Nong Shim Company Limited, in June 2012, when the Korea Food and Drug Administration or the KFDA tested the noodles. Though KFDA reports indicated the presence of Benzopyrene to be nominal and not quite harmful for health, the company identified the batches and asked for a recall in October 2012. The reports also indicated that the noodle contained Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone or TBHQ that can make long-term side effects on health and can weaken organs, leading to tumor and cancers. Processed foods contain a significant amount of salt and sugar so that these can be stored on the shelves for a longer period of time. Young said, it is always better to avoid instant noodles and prepare pasta, noodles with veggies or ground-rice at home. This will require a big planning but it will help in avoiding metabolism syndromes and will also not make a great impact on health.

Source: Get Holistic Health