The Top Five Reasons Why Ramen Noodles Are Tasty Little Death Traps
Welcome to hell.
As if the news hasn't been depressing enough
forever lately, now ramen noodles are back in it, getting a bad rap -- what could be worse than that? Apparently America's favorite college-diet staple is all set to fuck up stomachs, destroy lives and even shove some folks into their cold graves, all while looking just as innocent and delicious as they always do.
Here's a list of the top five reasons why ramen noodles are tasty little death traps. Apparently they will kill you good and dead, even the Oriental flavoring -- the best of the ramen powder packets.
5. Ramen packs are cheap as dirt.
No, really -- a brick of ramen noodles is so cheap, they'd probably let you pay for it with a handful of dirt -- which is the main reason why those suckers are so popular. Noodles in packs or cups usually cost under a buck; adding a few squirts of cock sauce or a bit of canned corn may raise the flavor profile without adding much more to the price. And sadly, ramen makes a meal for more than just broke-ass college kids -- they're also a staple with broke-ass every kind of people, and the easy prep makes ramen a quick meal for the kiddos too.
Why are cheap, hot, somewhat-filling noodle packs and cups a bad thing? Because the low price makes them easily accessible to folks who may not know that they are really, horribly, cruelly unhealthy.
4. Ramen noodles are really effin' fatty.
A little known -- and less thought about -- fact is that ramen noodles are incredibly high in fat, with a single brick containing around eight grams, four of which are saturated fat. We all hear enough about that to know that saturated is the rotten, artery-clogging kind of fat, and excess amounts will spike your cholesterol. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet (because everyone adheres to that, right?) eating a full ramen pack fulfills around forty percent of your daily value for saturated fat.
In other words, those noodles are fried in fatty-fat-fat. And you probably thought that the sodium was the ingredient that would kill you off.
3. Ramen noodles have enough sodium in them to send you casket-shopping.
And if the above-average amount of fat in a single cup of ramen isn't enough, there's the notoriously ridiculous amount of salt to finish the job. Sure, in ramen's defense, you'll find trace amounts of iron, protein and fiber, but these negligible amounts of nutrition can't possibly defray the whopping 1,560 grams of sodium per pack, which is more than half of your FDA-recommended sodium limit of 2,300 mg per day.
Excess sodium can mess with your kidneys, causes high blood pressure, and increase the risk of strokes and heart failure. Y'know--no big deal about the organs and all.
For more reasons why ramen could kill you, read on...
2. Ramen packs are meant to be more than one serving each.
Funny thing is: most people don't know that a single package of instant ramen noodles is actually supposed to be two servings. That's right -- enough noodles for two. Aside from a parent splitting the noodles between two kids for lunch, who actually breaks the dry noodles in half, uses half the seasoning pack, and saves the rest for later consumption? *Crickets chirping loudly*
This is problematic because at first glance at the nutritional info on the packaging, ramen seems a bit unhealthy, but you have to double the listed amounts because you know you're gonna eat the whole bag.
1. Noodles, digestion and chemicals--oh my!
A recent vid clip that journeys to the center of a stomach digesting instant ramen has revived the whole "ramen is sorta, maybe, kinda bad for you" critique. A doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital did a rad new micro-camera trick by recording 32 hours worth of what the inside of the human tummy-tum does while digesting noodles, and here's a hint--it ain't appetizing in the slightest. So spoiler alert -- it took for-ev-er for the noodles to break down, which means that the chemicals used to preserve the ramen were stuck in the stomach longer.
And about the chemical thing: Ramen noodles contain tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), a petroleum industry byproduct used as a food preservative. It's not digestible and has zero nutritional value, and it's used to keep the noodles fresh (as if). But this stuff is bad for you in small doses, worse for you in large ones, and makes the tastiest flavor of ramen noodles, Oriental, seem not quite so scrumptious.
At this point the ramen pack seems about as healthy as stapling raw liver to your swimsuit and jumping into a piranha tank.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Denver dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.