What Ramen Noodle Companies Don’t Want You To Know
Written by: Kat Gal
Ramen Noodles, otherwise known as the American college student’s staple food.
With school around the corner, millions of college students are hitting the stores for their cheap staples, caring moms are packing up goodie bags, while dorms are handing out welcome packets. All of them more than likely include Ramen Noodles or other instant noodle varieties.
Surely, Ramen Noodles are easy to make, no doubt about it. Hot water, that’s all. A quick meal…
But let’s be honest, these are hardly a nutritional meal.
Other than being quick, there is nothing much to Ramen Noodles. They are not tasty without the added flavoring (which is loaded with sodium and junk) and they are certainly not healthy.
According to a 2014 study, people that consume the chemically preserved instant noodles are at a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a series of conditions – increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol level – that occur together, increasing the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
And a study conducted in South Korea found that those who consumed Ramen Noodles more than twice a week often suffered from metabolic syndrome. The numbers were even higher in women, as women who consumed the most Ramen Noodles experienced the highest risk of metabolic syndrome. This was the case regardless of the participants exercise levels or diets next to Ramen. The prevalence in women suffering from this condition is likely due to hormonal and metabolic levels.
Though the American diet includes less noodles than most Asian diets, according to a New York University professor and nutritionist, these findings can also apply to Americans.
Ramen Noodles are Ramen Noodles, no matter where they are sold. If you buy them and consume them, you are at risk of its negative consequences. Ramen Noodles – as other instant noodles too – are high in fat, high in salt, high in calories and they are processed full of artificial flavors, colors and additives that can contribute to health problems.
Sure, if you are one of those people who actually love Ramen Noodles and you eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains, eating Ramen once or twice a year will not kill you. However, eating it on a regular basis can be detrimental to your health.
If the above didn’t convince you on how unhealthy Ramen Noodles can be, just look at the label:
Does this look something you want to put in your body or feed your college-aged child with? I didn’t think so…
Unfortunately, most people who consume Ramen Noodles and other instant noodles consume them regularly, after all, it is less than $150 a year if you decide to live on it. It is also a part of the college culture – I remember it being kind of a joke when I was in college.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can eat healthy on a budget and you can eat healthy while in college as well.
- Make a list and stick to it – If you have a good list, you will have an easier time keeping to a budget while keeping your belly full.
- Use coupons, saving cards and look for sales – Do I need to say more? Those help you to cut down the cost.
- Eat local and buy your produce at the farmers market – Less transport means lower cost. You can also make friends with your farmers and get deals at the end of the day.
- Buy seasonal – Seasonal fruits and vegetables will likely be local and are most of the time cheaper than out of season counterparts because they are abundant.
- Bananas – Bananas are not local (unless you live in a tropical location) but they are cheap, filling and nutritious, full of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals.
- Buy bulk – Get your staples, rice, beans, grains, nuts and seeds in bulk. It really helps with costs.
- Cook – Cooking is cheaper than eating out. Cook more and eat left-overs over the week. You can even freeze some for later.
- Make smoothies – Even to a college dorm you can sneak in a mini blender. A banana, some greens and some water can make a simple smoothie, but there are so many exciting alternatives, if you are willing to experiment.
- Eat enough during the day – Eating during the day helps you to not get cravings at night. If you do, go for something healthy – veggie sticks, fruits, nuts and seeds, or perhaps some dehydrated fruits.
- Drink water – Water is free. Coffee, sodas and juices are not. Not to mention, you need to stay hydrated for optimal health and energy.
- Opt for whole foods – Fruits, vegetable, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains are your friends – even at your cafeteria. Go for real food.
As you can see, it is possible to eat healthy and Ramen Noodle-free on a budget, even on a college budget. No excuses.
Do you have any more suggestions for eating on a budget? Feel free to share them below!
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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