Instant noodles (often known as "Ramen" noodles) are one of the most popular foods in the world. College students just about anywhere could tell you that without these incredibly cheap, instant meals, they might have starved. While that's often somewhat of an exaggeration, the convenience, inexpensiveness, and ready availability of these noodles certainly has made them a very popular option for a lot of folks. Unfortunately, while they do fill your belly, they don't really provide much nutrition. They're mostly just carbohydrates, saturated fats, and lots of sodium.
As if that wasn't bad enough, however, it turns out that these noodles actually carry several other risks beyond malnutrition. Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) is a byproduct of petroleum processing, and is used by as a cheap preservative by the food industry. Its presence increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who regularly consume instant noodles have an increased risk of developing "metabolic syndrome."
Symptoms of metabolic syndrome include:
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Increased risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease
Although Dr. Hyun Shin, one of the study's co-authors, says that not every person would necessarily have the same response, he also warns that the ultimate lesson to learn here is that instant noodles are "not a healthy product, and [they are] a processed food."
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