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Instant Noodles: Instant Weight Gain?

Posted by Abhilash P on

I still remember the first time I cooked and ate a packet of Maggi: the taste was out of this world, and a single packet kept me going until the next mealtime. This was in school, under strict adult supervision.

Then, college happened, and I had spending decisions to make: Go to the college mess that was,er,messy, splurge on a meal at a hotel outside or grab a packet of instant noodles? 

instant noodles
Needless to say, the answer was too easy. Instant noodles soon became our ambrosia: the essential item every dorm room comes stocked with(they should probably start a subscription option for students). Maggi and Top Ramen were our saviors at the end of the month when our coffers were dry. A measly 20 bucks was all it took. If we were feeling generous(and we had the equipment), we would go all out and add an egg or some carrot, to make it “healthy”.


It was only after I quit college that I realised the kind of effect these noodles had on me.

“Hold up, hold up. Just what ARE these instant noodles and why are they so popular?!”

Instant noodles are pre-cooked ramen-style noodles that come in a package with a flavor enhancer: that’s the magical part. One need simply to marry instant noodles, the tastemaker and boiling water for a few minutes and voila: you have a tasty treat that can also be a meal. They offered very little in terms of actual nutrition, had so many carbs you wouldn’t need to eat rice ever again, and they are so cheap we almost became addicted to them.

India-wise, instant noodles can be had for as little as INR 10/-: that’s a few cents in USD. When you factor in what it takes to cook a packet of these(boiling water and patience), you realise how effective it is for college students who would rather eat in the comfort of their dorm rooms while Netflix and chilling.

So why are they so bad?

Well, they simply don’t offer much in terms of health. A quick glance at one of the instant noodle brands gives us this info(approx information):

Information per 100gm

Quantity

Calories(kcal)

464

Protein(gms)

8.5

Carbs

65

Fats

20


There’s no easy way about it: instant noodles aren’t the most viable method of snacking or keeping yourself full.

“But they’re so easy and quick to make! I can’t give up on them!”

Well, it’s going to be a hard battle, to be honest. Some people have since discovered that there is a method of making your own quick noodles(apart from the usual stir-fry or other cooking methods). One particularly detailed recipe which I intend to try out very soon is this:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/diy-instant-noodle-cups-food-lab.html

So. Should you avoid instant noodles completely?

Not really. They’re still a great and easy way to beat the hunger. But next time you open up a second or even third packet(you know you’re out there!), have a glance at the nutrition information and decide whether you really need that many carbs in one sitting.


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