Asians for ages have been in love with noodles — for the fun, taste and a “full-up feeling” which makes it a complete meal in itself. From being an integral part of our dinner/lunch, it started occupying an important space in our kitchen as a snack, in the form of instant noodles. Instant, or generally pre-cooked, noodles provided respite by helping us prepare a meal in just two minutes. From backpackers to hikers, from hostellers to housewives, everyone loved them. But the recent controversy put all noodles under the scanner and also made them go off the kitchen shelves of many. That left an indelible mark in the minds of many Indian consumers and a question: Are noodles actually healthy?
It’s time we take the onus on ourselves to find out if the product we consume and feed to our dear ones is actually healthy. Most brands present in India have noodles made of refined wheat flour/maida which has high content of fats, calories, sodium and preservatives. Instant noodles contain saturated fats which, if consumed excessively or regularly, can raise the cholesterol level in the blood, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
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Although instant noodles are convenient and delicious, they bring with them higher risks of indigestion due to the high maida (flour) content and metabolic syndrome owing to the high sodium and unhealthy saturated fat and glycemic loads as has been proved through studies conducted at Harvard. As a matter of fact, a doctor at a leading hospital chain has said: “Maida-based instant noodles are loaded with preservatives and are nothing but a source of empty calories ripped off all nutrition. Excessive consumption may lead to obesity.”