Why Instant Noodles Can Potentially Wreck Your Health

Posted on February 25th, 2015 by Dr. Mercola  |  3 Comments »

instant noodlesStrapped for cash or feeling too tired to whip up a wholesome dinner? For many people the first option might probably be to cook some instant noodles. Indeed, easy-to-cook ramen noodles have become a popular go-to snack or meal choice for many, especially those who are pressed for time or are just not skilled in the kitchen, because they’re “flavorful and filling.”

But have you ever wondered why instant ramen noodles, which are processed and loaded with artificial flavors, make you feel so full  far longer compared to wholesome organic (and ideally healthier) foods?

The answer is simply astonishing… and should make you think twice about eating this popular convenience food.

Instant Ramen Noodles Remain Undigested Even After TWO HOURS in Your Stomach

Dr. Braden Kuo of Massachusetts General Hospital revealed what happens to ramen noodles when ingested in your stomach. Using a pill-sized camera, he found that instant ramen noodles still sit intact in your stomach TWO hours after ingestion. Watch the video below:

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, this is very concerning for a number of reasons. First, it might put a strain on your digestive system, as your stomach is being forced to work for hours to break down this processed food.

“When food remains in your digestive tract for such a long time, it will also impact nutrient absorption, but, in the case of processed ramen noodles, there isn’t much nutrition to be had,” he said.

Dr. Mercola said another potentially damaging effect of processed ramen noodles is its long list of additives, like monosodium glutamate (MSG). This excitotoxin can lead to brain dysfunction and damage, and may even trigger or worsen learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

TBHQ: Just Five Grams of This Preservative Can Kill You

Another potentially toxic preservative called tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) is found in processed ramen noodles. This substance prevents oxidation of fats and oils, helping extend the shelf-life of processed foods. It is a byproduct of the petroleum industry, and while it is often called an “antioxidant,” Dr. Mercola says that it’s actually a synthetic chemical with antioxidant properties – not a natural antioxidant.

While TBHQ can be found in processed foods like McDonald’s chicken nuggets, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and Red Baron frozen pizza, it can also be found in lacquers, varnishes, perfumes and cosmetics, and pesticide products, as a stabilizing agent.

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives said that TBHQ was safe for human consumption at levels of 0 to 0.5 mg/kg of body weight. However, the Codex commission set TBHQ’s maximum allowable limits up to between 100 to as much as 400 mg/kg, depending on the food it’s added to.

There is still quite a discrepancy in the supposedly “safe” limits, but Dr. Mercola advises that having little to no exposure to this toxic chemical is the best way to go. According to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, exposure to just one gram of TBHQ can lead to:

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Delirium
  • Feeling of suffocation
  • Collapse

TBHQ can be eliminated by the body, and does not bioaccumulate. However, if you eat instant noodles frequently, your body might be getting prolonged exposures to it, which is still a cause for concern.

Dr. Mercola Says: Return to Whole, Living Foods

If you make a habit of substituting convenience for real food, then there may be an added risk of developing health problems. Instant ramen noodles are one very good example, and are a type of food that you should veer away from, especially if you want to avoid disease and obesity.

“Eating processed foods also promotes insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, which are hallmarks of most chronic and/or serious diseases,” Dr. Mercola warns.

Instead, make a total lifestyle change by planning your meals in advance. Plan a week’s worth of meals in advance, and shop for your ingredients at local farmer’s markets. The best thing to do is to take it step-by-step – start making the shift to healthy wholesome foods slowly but surely, and you will be able to painlessly remove processed foods from your diet.

For more healthy eating tips, check out Dr. Mercola’s optimized Nutrition Plan.

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Responses to “Why Instant Noodles Can Potentially Wreck Your Health”

  1. Sharon Schaible says on :

    What about only the noodles w no seasoning packet?

  2. brs says on :

    I would like to ask a question regarding Dr. Mercola’s article about Vitamin K2 and his recommendation to eat “grass fed dairy” products and “egg yolks” to obtain it. When you read what others say about eggs an dairy being harmful, Dr. Mcdougall for instance, I don’t get it! Why can’t everyone get on the same page with nutrition?? So frustrating to constantly be be in a who’s right? state of mind. Ridiculous! Does anybody really “know” the truth? I purchase products from Dr. Mercola, but I tell you, if I get no response from him on this concern of mine,I will cut off my association immediately.

  3. Rose says on :

    Hi brs
    You have to do your own research & use your own intelligence re what foods are harmful or not.
    Eg. Monsanto still trying to say Roundup is safe.
    Currently there are at least 2 court cases in USA with Monsanto, as they have long covered up the carcinogen causing properties of this weed killer.
    So, who do you want to believe re the ‘safety’ of this product?
    Become a label reader & only believe claims when you’ve done your own homework.
    Cheers Rose

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