Abom-Edible #2: Ramen Noodles

Published on: 04/12/2015

The brand name “Ramen” is often used to refer to the general category of “instant noodles”

To be fair, I’m talking about all instant noodles, not just the Ramen brand.

I’m floored by the correlation between metabolic syndrome (characterized by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood lipids and abdominal obesity), amongst the children I see, and consumption of instant noodles. I suppose I shouldn’t be, since one package typically contains:


  • 1600 mg of sodium (our daily goal should be less than 2300 mg)
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate), a controversial flavor enhancer
  • 14 grams of total fat
  • 7 grams of saturated fat (this type of fat raises our “bad,” or LDL cholesterol; for heart health, aim for 3 grams or less of saturated fat per serving)
  • 52 grams of refined, processed carbohydrates
  • A multitude of other additives

In a recent study, women who consumed instant noodles twice weekly had a 68% increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, regardless of weight, activity level, or other dietary choices.

When I took this photo, I was amazed (and a little saddened) at the number and variety of instant noodles available now

Based on that study, it’s a miracle I got through college alive since Ramen was a staple meal for me! But aside from that short phase in my past, my life has been relatively instant-noodle-free. What concerns me is not the occasional consumption of this abom-edible, but the increasing ubiquity in people’s diets to the point where it’s part of the normal family meal rotation – sometimes even being consumed multiple times per day! The human body is not made to withstand such an assault. Our taste buds and our brains light up at that potent combination of fat, refined carbohydrates and sodium. Pair the ridiculously low cost with a flavor enhancer like MSG, and many people find it almost impossible to resist. 

My suggestion?  Resist.  Nothing about this food will add to your health or well-being.


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