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Are Instant Noodles Bad for You?
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18th April 2017 Posted by Nina No comments
Filed in: Health & Fitness

Instant noodles are a popular convenience food eaten all over the world.

Though they’re inexpensive and easy to prepare, there is controversy over whether or not they have adverse health effects.

This is because they contain few nutrients and high amounts of sodium and MSG.

This article looks at the possible effects of instant noodles on health.

What Are Instant Noodles?

Instant noodles are a type of pre-cooked noodle, usually sold in individual packets or cups and bowls.

Typical ingredients in the noodles include flour, salt and palm oil. The flavoring packets generally contain salt, seasoning and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

After the noodles have been made in the factory, they are steamed, dried and packaged (1).

Each package contains a block of dried noodles as well as a packet of flavoring and/or oil for seasoning. Buyers cook or soak the block of noodles in hot water with the flavoring before eating it.

Popular brands of instant noodles include:

Top Ramen
Cup Noodles
Mr. Noodles
Sapporo Ichiban
Kabuto Noodles

Summary: Instant noodles are pre-cooked noodles that have been steamed and dried. They’re usually soaked in hot water before they’re eaten.

Nutrition Facts for Instant Noodles

Though there can be a good deal of variability between different brands and flavors of instant noodles, most types have certain nutrients in common.

Most types of instant noodles tend to be low in calories, fiber and protein, with higher amounts of fat, carbs, sodium and select micronutrients.

One serving of beef-flavored ramen noodles contains these nutrients (2):

Calories: 188
Carbs: 27 grams
Total fat: 7 grams
Saturated fat: 3 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Fiber: 0.9 grams
Sodium: 861 mg
Thiamine: 43% of the RDI
Folate: 12% of the RDI
Manganese: 11% of the RDI
Iron: 10% of the RDI
Niacin: 9% of the RDI
Riboflavin: 7% of the RDI

Keep in mind that one package of ramen contains two servings, so if you’re eating the entire package in one sitting, the amounts above would be doubled.

It’s also worth noting that there are some special varieties available that are marketed as healthier options. These may be made using whole grains or have lower amounts of sodium or fat.

Summary: The majority of instant noodles are low in calories, fiber and protein, but high in fat, carbs, sodium and some micronutrients.


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