It is shocking to know that every year the world consumes close to ten thousand million servings of instant noodles. World Instant Noodle Association estimates China as the largest consumer of instant noodles followed by Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, America and of course, India. Time and again, experts try to draw our attention toward the harmful effects of instant noodles. Any packaged product with a shelf life would essentially be processed in nature with a host of artificial agents and preservatives. Monosodium glutamate is one such agent. Though one can consume such agents within limit, regular consumption may often trigger health issues. No the mention the high sugar and sodium content present in processed food items. In most cases instant noodles are the product of processed/refined flour (maida) which scores zero in nutritive value and can create metabolic to digestive disorders.
Whole wheat noodles were the discovery of the insatiable human need to continue gobbling down instant noodles but be guilt-free. Of course, these variants weren't that appealing or palate appeasing as compared to their refined flour counterpart. Enter, more flavourings and agents to enhance the taste, texture and palatability of these noodles which didn't really make them any better than their refined flour version.
(Also Read: The Dark Side of Instant Noodles: What Makes Them Harmful?)
"Maida-based instant noodles are packed with preservatives and contain nothing but empty calories devoid of any nutrition. Excessive consumption may lead to obesity," Dr. Simran Saini, Nutritionist at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi.
A departure from processed, maida-based instant noodles would certainly be whole-grain noodles cooked at homes. Sabo ramen, for example, is one of the healthiest ways to prepare noodles at home and enjoy and hearty, wholesome meal. Spaghetti can also also serve the purpose, but remember, you also get spaghetti made of refined flour. Originally, spaghetti is supposedly made of durum wheat or semolina which is not only delicious to consume but loaded with a bevy of health benefiting properties.
"People have started replacing real food with fast food, that is the biggest problem" noted Dr. Sunil Sharma, General Physician and Head of Emergency, Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital, Delhi. Fast food and processed items should be consumed occasionally and should never be taken as a replacement of our daily meals. The importance of a balanced diet should never be overlooked.
Inputs from IANS