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Why you should keep your hands off instant noodles!

By Martin Lewicki | April 29, 2020, 5:24 p.m.

Instant noodles from the supermarket or late-night purchases are a popular snack, especially with children and young people - because they are unbeatably cheap. Often they are not even cooked, but rather eaten raw. But how unhealthy is this meal? FITBOOK asked the nutritionist and got a shocking conclusion.

A pack of instant noodles from manufacturers such as Yum Yum, Nissin or Mama costs just 50 cents or less. These brands are particularly often represented on supermarket shelves, in Asian stores or late-night shops around the corner. Normally you should put them in a bowl with the accompanying spice mixture and the flavored oil and pour boiling water over them. In a few minutes, the instant noodles become soft and a particularly quick meal. Alternatively, they are also available in a mug, which means that you don't even need a bowl to brew.

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But when you're out and about, you usually don't have boiling water to hand. That too is not a problem - at least for many children and young people. Because instead of preparing this snack with hot water, crumble the contents, mix it with the spice mixture and the oil - and the snack is ready.

Instant noodles are often cheaper than snack foods

But why don't they grab chips or other nibbles straight away? Because the instant noodles are unrivaled in terms of price. While a pack of chips is rarely available for less than one euro (branded products usually over two euros), instant noodles rarely cost more than 50 cents, even when bought late. This is an unbeatable argument for young people who only get a few euros in pocket money per week.

Our self-test in the editorial department showed: The salty spice mixture full of flavor enhancers in conjunction with the garlic oil unfolds its effect even without water. The uncooked pasta is surprisingly easy to chew. This is how the snack actually works as a spicy snack. And as is known from other flavor-enhanced products, it is not so easy to stop after the first bite. The popularity with children and adolescents can therefore be understood.

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That's how unhealthy instant noodles from Yum Yum and Co.

What a look at the list of ingredients shows - it is teeming with E numbers. These stand for food additives. Behind it are flavor enhancers, thickeners and acid regulators. The palm oil used contains antioxidants to prevent it from going rancid. Of course, no real meat is used in the chicken variant, only flavor. Amazing: The vegetarian version contains even more additives, possibly to compensate for the missing meat flavor.

We wanted to know more precisely and had the nutritional values ​​analyzed by a nutritionist.

"A single 320 milliliter soup, prepared according to the manufacturer's specifications, delivers a product that has no nutritional benefit," says study doctor Dr. Stefan Kabisch from the German Institute for Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke on FITBOOK request. With around 240 kilocalories, a plate of this soup provides relatively little energy compared to a classic pasta plate (500–600 kcal).

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In addition, 50 percent of this energy consists of quickly absorbable carbohydrates (white flour and sugar) and 20 percent of saturated fats. The instant noodles hardly contain any filling protein, hardly any healthy fatty acids, and hardly any fiber. “You neither get full from it, nor do you stay healthy in the long term with larger amounts of the product. This is not recommended, not even once in between. The stomach will growl again very quickly, ”states the nutrition expert.

According to Kabisch, the three grams of salt contained in 320 milliliters of soup make up more than half of the daily requirement. "A great thirst will follow quickly," says the doctor. You should also keep an eye on the amount of salt, because you have already consumed most of the salt with the noodle soup.

But what about the raw consumption of uncooked noodles - is that dangerous? "Raw noodles are hardly digestible, nutritionally but largely irrelevant in the small quantities," says Kabisch and gives the all-clear at least on this point.

The expert conclusion: unacceptable as a food!

His conclusion on the product is extremely bad, even as a quick snack for now and then. "I cannot give the product a safety certificate for any time frame, it is at no time an acceptable food," confirms study doctor Dr. Stefan Kabisch served instant noodles as a meal.

So it is frightening that many children and young people in particular use instant noodle soups as a snack and put this "unacceptable" product on their growing bodies.

So should you prefer snacks like potato chips?

But should you choose other snacks like potato chips instead? “200 grams of chips have three times as many calories as 320 milliliters of this soup, also mainly simple carbohydrates and unfavorable fat as well as way too much salt. So we're comparing plague and cholera, "says the expert provocatively and finally formulates his nutritional recommendation as a question:" How about freshly cooked food? "

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