How Healthy Are Ramen Noodles?

While instant ramen noodles may be the unofficial meal of the broke college student, they are also not the healthiest option. A case of instant ramen for $10 is a pretty good deal for the student who has used up their meal plan one month into the semester.

Though you might want to think twice about going down memory lane and forego eating instant ramen noodles once more if you have a soft spot for them. Actually, this quick meal doesn’t offer much besides convenience.

Is Upcycled Food Safe — or Healthy?

How Healthy Are Ramen Noodles?

Since upcycled food isn’t always food that would have been consumed by humans, it’s normal to wonder if it’s safe to eat. Whether upcycled food is good for the planet is separate from another concern that might be on your mind — is it safe to eat. And if it’s technically safe, is it healthy?.

In terms of safety, upcycled certified foods should be fine. The Upcycled Certified label has premarket approval by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the US Department of Agriculture. The FSIS provides labeling ingredients guidance and inspection methods to protect consumers from misbranding and unsafe food.

The FSIS also requires a third-party supply chain audit to ensure that foods come from a verified source. In this case, verification is performed by Where Food Comes From, which also certifies products for the Non-GMO Project, among others.

The upcycled label has nothing to say about health, though. It doesn’t imply that the ingredients are natural, organic, or free of pesticides, though it doesn’t rule out those qualities either. Additionally, a lot of upcycled foods are processed foods made with unwholesome ingredients like refined sugar, natural flavors, etc. Some upcycled foods may contain upcycled animal products, such as Blue Circle’s upcycled salmon fish sticks.

Before purchasing these (or any other) foods, it’s still crucial to read the Nutrition Facts and ingredient labels, even though a certified upcycled label may be a sign of sustainability.

4 Ways to Make Ramen Noodles More Nutritious

As you might have guessed by now, the majority of the instant ramen noodles available today are not healthy. Traditional instant ramen brands are best saved for those sporadic cravings when you’re feeling nostalgic because they have low nutritional value, high carbs, too much sodium, and some questionable-sounding ingredients. (Sort of like hot dogs on the Fourth of July. ).

However, there are some methods you can use to add more nutrition to your next bowl of ramen noodle soup. Here are just a few:

  • Opt for low-carb noodles: Thank goodness for keto-friendly noodles. We admit they don’t taste exactly like the ones you slurped as a kid, but they can still satisfy your cravings. You can try shirataki noodles, which are made from the Japanese konjac yam (although many people complain that shirataki is too slimy and jellyfish-like). Better yet, stock up on immi ramen, which has the chewy noodle texture that you love. These fresh, shelf-stable noodles (not dehydrated) are also low in net carbs, high protein (40 grams!), fiber rich, keto friendly, and vegan.
  • Serve with a variety of veggies: Your mom was right when she said to eat your veggies, which are loaded with vitamins and nutrients your body needs to fight off sickness and disease. By adding different vegetables to your ramen noodles — green onions, mushrooms, squash, cabbage, zucchini, and bok choy, to name a few — you can amp up the nutrient quotient and fill up on nature’s bounty rather than just the noodles themselves.
  • Don’t forget the protein: Back in the day, you might have thought that instant ramen flavored with chicken, beef, or pork was enough to get your protein intake. (Or maybe you weren’t thinking about it at all.) Either way, you can make any bowl of noodles a much more rounded (and filling) meal by adding protein — and it doesn’t just have to be meat. You can try eggs, tofu, or edamame.
  • Replace the seasoning packet: Instead of using the seasoning packet that accompanies traditional instant ramen, make your own version with low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth and season with whatever seasonings you have on hand. Garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, coriander, cayenne, and black pepper are great at doctoring up any soup, including ramen.
  • Ramen noodles don’t offer much nutrition

    Its important that we distinguish right away that theres a big difference between homemade ramen noodles and the ones that cost a dime at the grocery store. As Spoon University points out, real ramen is made with hand-pulled wheat noodles, while stuff like Top Ramen is simply mass-produced dehydrated noodles that are full of preservatives.

    According to Healthline, while instant ramen may be low in calories, and the noodles themselves do have some nutrients like such as iron, they lack a lot of key nutrients your body needs. Instant ramen noodles are a poor source of protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and B12. They may fill you up for a short period of time, but their nutritional offerings are going to be a real letdown for your body.


    Can ramen noodles be healthy?

    Yes, healthy ramen isn’t only possible, it’s easy to make. When combined with other ingredients to make a nutritious meal, ramen noodles are at their healthiest. Maruchan ramen is simple to make quickly and a great base for a variety of healthy dishes.

    Are ramen noodles very unhealthy?

    Despite having iron, B vitamins, and manganese, instant ramen noodles are deficient in fiber, protein, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, the MSG, TBHQ, and high sodium levels in them may have a negative impact on your health by raising your risk of heart disease, stomach cancer, and metabolic syndrome, for example.

    How unhealthy is instant ramen?

    Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health discovered in 2014 that women who consumed instant ramen noodles at least twice per week had a 68 percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that include high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, as well as obesity and other conditions that increase the risk of developing chronic diseases.

    Is ramen good for weight loss?

    Additionally, these instant ramen noodles won’t aid in weight loss. Although the package is small, they are calorie-dense and low in fiber and protein, two essential nutrients for losing weight; even if you eat the entire package (two servings), you’ll probably feel hungry again soon.

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