If you’re thinking of having instant ramen noodles for a quick and cheap meal, think again.
Dr Braden Kuo, a specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital recently recorded a video of how the body digests the precooked and dried noodles that could serve as a warning to varsity students who rely on it for energy.
By using a camera the size of a pill to capture the effects of ramen inside the body, the footage showed the preservative-laden noodles were mostly intact, a full two hours after it has entered the body, according to the Epoch Times (via USA Today).
“The most striking thing during the time intervals of two, four and six hours was the degree of breakdown of ramen noodles,” Dr Kuo said.
“At two and four hours, the particular size of the ramen noodle was much larger or formed than the homemade ramen noodle at each of those time points, suggesting ramen noodles were difficult to break down into extremely infinite particulate matter during the process of digestion.”
Dr Kuo said doctors still don’t understand the impact to a degree of digestion, but the striking visual image is enough to begin the discussion.
“But I can’t say for certain at this point whether they [ramen noodles] will have an impact on health or nutrition or absorption.”
Macon State College senior Kristina Whitaker told USA Today that money and time are major factors to deal with, which is why the cheap noodles appear to be a solution.
“They fill you up and are great when you are constantly on the go and have deadlines to meet,” she said.
“After seeing this video I will definitely change how often I eat ramen noodles.”
“I will try to eat them once a week or I might just stop eating them all together unless I have no other choice.”
A study in the medical periodical The Journal of Nutrition, cited by Epoch Times, said women in South Korea who ate more instant noodles were more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome.
“Although instant noodle is a convenient and delicious food, there could be an increased risk for metabolic syndrome given [the food’s] high sodium, unhealthy saturated fat and glycemic loads,” said Harvard doctoral candidate Hyun Shin.
Those with metabolic syndrome had increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Other specialists, however, say that instant noodles are alright, provided they are eaten in moderation.
“Once or twice a month is not a problem, but a few times a week really is.” Dr. Frank B. Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard, told The New York Times.