Monday, May 2, 2011

Instant Noodles: A College Staple

Ramen noodles are another food that I believe every college student has consumed. Sadly, these instant noodles are extremely cheap (19¢ per package), and require only water, a microwave, and a few minutes to make. However inexpensive and easy, these noodles are terrible for the body.

First, let us think about the ingredients. The seemingly innocent noodles are actually deep fried. That doesn't bode well for any health aspect of the food. This is basically taking enriched flour (the non-whole grain variety), which is already stripped of pretty much any fiber or nutritional value, and dropping it in oil. The seasoning packet is almost all pure salt. How do I know? I looked at the ingredients list on the package. Ingredient number one is salt. Followed by the phrase 'contains less than 1% of...' 

Next, we can look at the nutrition information on the package. One package of ramen (technically two servings) contains 14g of fat (half of which is saturated fat).  That means one bowl of ramen has one fifth of your daily fat intake (remember, this is just noodles and broth). Ramen also contains almost 1800mg of sodium - 75% of your daily intake. Definitely not good. Lastly, there are 52g of carbohydrates (hey, they are noodles), however, only 2g of this are dietary fiber. In total, this constitutes 400 calories for the bowl of ramen noodles, 150 of which come from fat. Ew.

All of these factors combine into a higher risk for weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Instead of buying ramen deathbricks, try getting some whole grain pasta, and jarred pasta sauce. It might cost slightly more per serving, but it will keep you going in the long run. More on pasta soon.


  1. If you boil the noodles, let them sit for about a minute, then pour off the water, you lose a good chunk of the fat and oil. I'm obsessive and I then "rinse" them a couple more times (pour in water, swirl it around, dump it out) to minimize the amount of fat. Then, if you put in about half the salt packet, and then (this is super important) don't drink the leftover soup when you're done with the noodles, you can reduce the salt intake considerably too.

    It has to be said, though, that this method makes them taste considerably less delicious...

  2. Good stuff Brandon. Also, I actually don't think I've consumed any Ramen while in college. I ate it occasionally in high school, but eat better (and cheaper) now.

    ($.19 / 3oz.) * (16oz. / lb.) = $1.01 / lb.

    organic rolled oats from Natural Grocer:
    $2.49/4 lb. = $.62/lb.

    bananas (HEB): $.44 / lb.
    18lb bag of grapefruit(HEB): $~5 / 18lb. = $.28/lb.

    Though admittedly most people don't eat all the parts of bananas and grapefruit.

    Point is, Ramen isn't actually all that cheap.