Instant Noodles: The College Staple

Have you ever gotten that hunger pang while studying for a midterm? You look at your shelf semi-stacked with boring dry snacks. You take an uninterested glance at the fridge with nothing but week-old milk, apples you smuggled out of Crossroads, and leftovers from Gypsy’s. Then, out of the corner of your eye, you spot a pack of Cup Noodles. You make no hesitation in boiling some water for your late-night snack.

Instant noodles have been a college staple since… instant noodles were created. They’re a quick and easy meal for many students who are short on time but need to fill their stomachs. But we all know from an early age that eating these small packages of waxed starch can be really, really bad for us. Yet we still eat them.

Noodles are originally just a form of stringy pasta, but instant noodles are a preserved form that contains almost 25% of the worst forms of sodium compounds. This is coupled with the fact that the soup base is often saturated with oil and horrifyingly high level of sodium. High sodium and oil intake has been linked to negative long-term health effects such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and strokes. In other words, you can eat some extra salt every once in a while, but it should certainly not be a staple in your diet.

Even though most people know about the unhealthy effects of instant noodles, they are rarely deterred from eating these salty snacks because of how convenient and cheap they can be. One thing you can do to reduce the effects they have on your body is to first wash the noodles out with the hot water, which softens the noodles and disintegrates the wax layers around them. This waxy covering takes your body 3 to 4 days to process and is actually very poisonous in large amounts. This rinsing can be done with any ramen brand except Cup Noodles, because the seasoning that comes with Cup Noodles have already been directly imbued into the noodles.

Another method of reducing these effects is not drinking the soup. Although the noodles soak up a high amount of sodium already, the soup is the main source of sodium and will dehydrate the body if drunken. All in all, we know instant noodles to continue to be a common food item in the college environment, but there are methods we can use to help reduce the dangerous health effects that consuming instant noodles entails.

Article by Spencer Liem

Feature Image Source: Gizmodo