Is it OK to eat instant noodles with rice? – Fast food, such as instant noodles, has become an inseparable part of modern society’s lifestyle. Instant noodles are often used as a substitute or complementary food choice to satisfy hunger. Many people consume instant noodles together with rice at one meal. However, the question is, are eating habits like this good for health? In this article, we will discuss whether consuming instant noodles and rice together is recommended or not.
What is Instant Noodles?
Instant noodles are noodle products made from wheat flour and other ingredients, sold in practical packaging, and ready to cook quickly. Momofuku Ando, founder of Nissin Foods, introduced the first instant noodles in Japan in 1958. Instant noodles are made by mixing wheat flour, salt, and preservatives. After being molded and dried, the noodles are packaged with spices. Ingredients generally found in instant noodles include high-protein wheat flour, salt, preservatives, food coloring and flavorings such as monosodium glutamate (MSG). Instant noodles are sold in plastic packaging containing dry noodles and seasonings, ready to be cooked easily.
Nutritional Content of Instant Noodles
Instant noodles generally contain high calories, with one pack weighing 85 grams containing on average around 400 calories. Total fat ranges from 12-16 grams per serving, most of which comes from unhealthy saturated fats. The salt content is also quite high, reaching 1500-2000 mg per serving, which can increase the risk of hypertension. Additionally, instant noodles contain limited amounts of MSG flavoring, which has been linked to health side effects. Thus, the nutritional content of instant noodles is dominated by calories, fat, salt, and flavorings which can have a negative impact on health.
What is Rice?
Rice, a staple food in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, is made from rice grains that are processed into rice and cooked in water. Rice is a major source of complex carbohydrates and energy. Every 100 grams of rice contains around 28 grams of carbohydrates, 2.7 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, 0.4 grams of fiber and vitamin B1. Plain white rice does not contain cholesterol, is low in saturated fat, and low in sodium, so it is good to consume as a source of carbohydrates and energy.
Can you eat instant noodles with rice at the same time?
Eating instant noodles and rice together has certain benefits and disadvantages. The benefit is that it can meet carbohydrate needs because both contain complex carbohydrates as an energy source. However, the disadvantage is the potential for excessive nutritional intake and the risk of obesity due to consuming two sources of carbohydrates at once. According to nutritionists, it’s best to avoid consuming instant noodles and rice together because both are high in sodium and have a high glycemic index, which can contribute to hypertension and blood sugar spikes. As an alternative, it is recommended to choose instant noodles or rice as the main source of carbohydrates and balance nutritional intake with protein and vegetables.
Impact on health
Eating too much instant noodles and rice can have a bad impact on your health. Some of the impacts include:
Instant noodles and rice contain quite high calories. If consumed excessively without being balanced by physical activity, it can cause overweight and even obesity.
- Digestive problems
Instant noodles generally contain a lot of sodium and preservatives. If consumed excessively, it can disrupt the digestive system such as constipation or diarrhea.
The high carbohydrate and calorie content of rice and instant noodles can increase blood sugar levels. If it continues in the long term, the risk of developing diabetes will increase.
- Heart disease
Excessive consumption of sodium in instant noodles can cause hypertension or high blood pressure. This is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
- Kidney problems
The workload of the kidneys increases to filter excess sodium and preservatives. If this condition persists for a long time, it can damage kidney function.
The solution for consuming instant noodles with rice at the same time
Although it is difficult to avoid consuming instant noodles and rice completely, there are several ways to consume them more healthily:
- Limit consumption of instant noodles to 1-2 times a week, and replace them with high-fiber foods such as vegetables, fruit, or whole grains.
- Choose instant noodle variants without preservatives and artificial coloring, or choose whole wheat instant noodles.
- Reduce instant noodle seasonings that are high in salt, and replace them with fresh vegetables and animal protein.
- Choose brown rice or whole wheat rice, and limit portions of white rice.
- Consume small to medium portions of instant noodles and rice, and add vegetables, fruit, and protein to your diet.
- As an alternative, consider replacing instant noodles with healthy foods such as oatmeal, vegetable soup, salad, or sandwiches.
That’s an explanation of Is it OK to eat instant noodles with rice? By adopting a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, we can enjoy instant noodles and rice without sacrificing our health. The choice is ours to consume wisely and responsibly.