Probably the most popular “make-it-yourself” meal amongst students, singletons and rushed mothers, Instant noodles have long been a household staple in most modern homes.
They are quick and easy to prepare, easy to store and inexpensive. Instant noodles also taste so great that they are almost addictive.
But have you ever stopped to wonder what you are really eating?
The truth is going to make you rethink your next shopping list, because it turns out that instant noodles are bad for you for many reasons.
Your body can’t digest instant noodles very well. In a recent medical study doctors asked two people to each swallow a tiny, capsule sized camera after eating noodles. The first person ate homemade pasta noodles and the other ate instant noodles. Their digestion was then observed with the tiny cameras.
After a while the homemade noodles were digested and no longer visible, but the Instant noodles were still completely undigested and intact. Hours later the instant noodles were still undigested! If your body is unable to digest something it may make you feel full for a while but you are probably not getting any useful nutrients out of it.
Watch the video below –
But that isn’t even the real problem with instant noodles. Not being able to digest them is only a symptom of the real problem. The question you have to ask yourself is why can’t your body digest instant noodles?
The answer lies mainly in the process and the additives that are used when Instant or 2 minute noodles are manufactured.
Refined white flour
The key ingredient in instant noodles is refined white flour. That is a problem in itself because refined white flour is not very good for you. It clogs your digestive system making it very difficult to absorb any nutrients and it is full of empty calories. Empty calories are calories that essentially make you fat without actually giving you any real nutritional benefits. Refined white flour has a very high Glycemic Index (GI) which causes large amounts of sugars to be released into your blood very quickly. The result is that it taxes your liver, raises your blood sugar and sends your insulin levels up.
Anything that sends your insulin and blood sugar levels out of their normal range is a hazard to your health. Excess sugars in your blood stream are turned into fat which then gets deposited under your skin as body fat.
What’s more is that the process and the preservatives used in instant noodles make them one of the worst refined foods on the market.
Flash drying in hot oil and Trans-Fats
In order to dry your noodles, the manufactures take the cooked noodles and flash fry them in extremely hot oil. This process causes hundreds of tiny holes to penetrate the noodle which are each coated in oil. This Process renders your instant noodles high in that deadliest of ingredients, trans-fats. Although Trans-fats are not actually being added to the ingredients of the noodles (making it easy for manufactures to leave them off of labels) the particular cooking process used actually creates trans-fats.
Trans-fats are notorious for clogging arteries and putting pressure on the heart by loading it in fat deposits.
If you think that your noodles don’t contain trans-fats just because they aren’t mentioned on the label, think about this: Most companies use every advertising opportunity they can find. Which is why they announce proudly “Trans-fat free!” when they are in the clear. If they are quiet on the subject you should ask yourself why that is.
So now the noodles are cooked, flash dried, and full of bad fat. Next the manufactures have to make sure that they have a long shelf life. To achieve this they add many preservatives, including something called Tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. TBHQ is an antioxidant, but not the good kind. TBHQ is a preservative that is often used in foods that are high in fats or iron because it stops them discolouring, prevents them from going rancid and extends their shelf life.
TBHQ is usually used together with other additives like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and propyl gallate. None of which is good for you.
There is evidence from studies done by the Centers for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) that large quantities of TBHQ increased the cases of tumours in rats. It also caused neurotoxic effects, liver enlargement, convulsions and paralysis in animal tests. Tests done with humans confirmed that large quantities of TBHQ cause visual disturbances.
TBHQ and Attention deficit disorder (ADD). TBHQ is believed to have a negative effect on those who display ADD which is why it is on the list of foods banned by the Feingold diet, a dietary approach to managing attention deficit disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The FDA (The Food and Drug Administration of the US) doesn’t allow for more than 0.02% of fats and oils to be accounted for by TBHQ because not enough testing has been done to render it safe.
Needless to say any chemical substance that is controlled by FDA and has not had extensive testing done on it probably should not be consumed on a regular basis. Other names that TBHQ goes by are tert-butylhydroquinone, tertiart butylhydroquinone and butylated hydroxyanisol. Look out for them. Not only are they toxic but they also tell you that there is a good chance that the product they are in contains a lot of fat and oil.
So Now we have an instant noodle cake that is made with High GI refined flour, trans-fats and preserved with potentially dangerous and behaviour altering chemicals. Let’s have a look at what’s inside the flavour sachet.
What about that great instant noodle taste?
You may have noticed that instant noodles have an almost addictive flavour. That’s because the key ingredient in the flavour sachet of most brands is actually addictive. MSG or Monosodium glutamate is a flavour enhancer which is found in most Instant noodle flavour packets. When asked about the MSG content of instant noodles manufactures like Nestle are quick to say that there is no “added” MSG.
They don’t say “No MSG” they say “No added MSG”. This makes you wonder. Does that mean there is MSG in the raw ingredients but they don’t add any more during the cooking process? Why not just say, “No MSG” wouldn’t that be simpler? The answer is yes it would be simpler, but they can’t say it, because it’s not true.
As If the indigestible trans-fats and TBHQ were not bad enough, the manufactures also decided that they would make their noodles addictive by using a flavour enhancer that has well known negative side effects and health risks.
I have spoken at length about the dangers of MSG in the past, but just to recap quickly:
MSG is known to be associated with muscle tightness, numbness or tingling and fatigue as well as headaches and stomach upsets. It also over stimulates the nervous system, causing damage and inflammation in brain tissue and retinal tissue.
To make matters worse MSG has a cumulative effect. It builds up in your body over time so that even if you don’t notice the side effects right away, you will eventually.
Because MSG flavours seem to be mildly addictive, the chances are high that your MSG levels will build up pretty quickly. If you allow yourself to eat instant noodles, you will want to eat them often because your body will actually be craving the MSG.
Now that you know these facts about instant noodles, you want to take note of other foods that affect your digestive system.
If you are often suffering from digestive problems, go to the next page and watch the 3 tips to reduce these digestive-related issues –
About the Author:
Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.
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