Eating Instant Noodles Linked to Serious Health Problems

Eating Instant Noodles Linked to Serious Health Problems

They’re a common staple of any college dorm or just a quick budget-friendly way to get some food without breaking the bank. Instant noodles are cheap, easy to cook and come in a wide range of flavors. However, reading the package labeling could give you information that might surprise you.

With the low cost, there is some loss of the quality of the food you’re eating. In fact, eating instant noodles can be seriously damaging to your health. From short term to longer term, instant noodles might be a fast fix for a meal but they could leave you with a host of consequences.

Here are five reasons to rethink your love of instant noodles and how they can hurt your health.


The chemicals used in foods aren’t the only things posing a threat to your well-being. The actual packaging the noodles come in also carry potentially dangerous elements. Some instant noodles even show signs of Benzopyrene, a known carcinogen. If you use the containers the noodles are packaged in, pouring hot water on them can cause the release of plasticizers and dioxins. Both of these are toxic substances that can cause the development of cancers and the deterioration of your health. Dioxins, in particular, is a byproduct that along with being a pollutant, comes from paper bleaching.

Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Eating instant noodles doesn’t put you at risk for one particular health issue but a collection of them. This group of disease risk factors is called metabolic syndrome. Among them, there are high blood sugar levels, increased body fat and higher blood pressure. Eating instant noodles also decreases your cholesterol levels. Having one of these symptoms can be bad, but when they combine to create metabolic syndrome, your body becomes weaker and more at risk for diseases that affect your heart and even diabetes.

Allergic Reactions

There’s a reason a lot of restaurants advertise that they don’t add monosodium glutamate (MSG) to their products. MSG can trigger allergic reactions when eaten. Unfortunately, instant noodles have high levels of MSG as it’s used to enhance their flavor. If you’re allergic to MSG, you might feel headaches, chest pain or flushing. You might also have a reaction triggered by wax. In order to keep the noodles from clumping, they are coated with wax, which sometimes does not disappear and only melts off the noodles when they’re cooked. This can cause an unpleasant mouth feel as well as slight burning sensations when combined with the MSG.

Lingering Food

When you eat something, it enters your digestive system and immediately begins to get broken down by the various acids in your stomach. These acids destroy what your body can’t use and start extracting what you need. But instant noodles do not break down as quickly. The longer food remains in your digestive system, the harder it has to work to expel the food and also, there is a higher percentage of exposure to non-natural ingredients. For example, instant noodles are filled with additives and it will remain in your stomach while the noodles remain undigested.


It might not be instantly recognizable but Tertiary butylhydroquinone is definitely something to be aware of. Like most preservatives, it can wreak havoc on your insides. But how it’s produced is also questionable and could make you put down the noodles. TBHQ is a toxic byproduct derived from petroleum that is often labeled as an antioxidant on the packaging. Besides food, it can be found in pesticides, perfumes and furniture varnishes. When your body has too much TBHQ, you might feel delirious, nausea or as if you’re suffocating.

Image credit: © BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons

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