How Bad Are Instant Noodles For Your Health?

Ramen is a flavorful Japanese noodle dish made with hand-pulled wheat noodles and meat-based broth. Also known as shina soba, ramen noodles actually have roots and origins in China, but have quickly become an essential staple in one of Japan's most popular dishes. According to Spoon University, homemade ramen is usually made with scallions, bamboo shoots, sliced barbecue pork, and chicken or pork stock. However, there are a number of different variations of the dish with a wide range of ingredients.

For instance, miso ramen is a very famous type of ramen made with miso paste, seaweed, and tofu. Since ramen has skyrocketed in popularity in the West over the past few years, there are now many noodle shops located all over the U.S. However, going to a ramen restaurant can be quite costly for people on a budget. That's why instant ramen has become a quick and inexpensive alternative to traditional ramen.

Instant ramen is lacking in nutrients

While instant ramen may more be convenient, it might not be the best for your health. That's because instant ramen noodles are deficient in many key and essential nutrients. Unlike traditional ramen, instant ramen noodles are processed, pre-cooked, and do not contain any meat or vegetables (via Healthline). Generally speaking, instant ramen is only sold with a small packet of seasoning to help flavor the noodles as they're heated up on the stove or in the microwave.

While these packets are typically fortified with artificial forms of nutrients like iron, they are largely lacking in protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and B12. As it turns out, instant ramen is also loaded with sodium. While sodium is an important nutrient that your body needs in order to function properly, consuming too much sodium can negatively impact your health, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Although ramen noodles aren't necessarily bad for you, they should be consumed in moderation and in conjunction with a healthy and well-balanced diet.