Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Fact of the Day: Instant Soup Noodles are Very Salty

So many different kinds of instant noodles, so much sodium in each pack!
I don't know about you, but I try to avoid eating instant cup noodles unless it's the last thing left on the planet to eat.

Not only are the noodles deep-fried, but now I have another reason to avoid them like the plague -- the soup base is laden with salt. How much you ask?

A study of 10 types of Asian soup noodles by the Hong Kong Consumer Council and the Centre for Food Safety shows more than 75 percent of the samples contain so much sodium that it can affect high blood pressure and heart disease.

Instant noodles have enough sodium for three days' worth
Of the 100 samples, 76 of them contained sodium levels that exceeded the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommended daily sodium intake of 2,000mg for an average adult. The average sodium content of the samples was 350mg per 100g.

The sample with the highest sodium was a type of spicy rice noodles that contained a whopping 6,000mg per bowl -- triple the WHO limit.

Perhaps people needed a gallon of water while they ate these noodles to wash down the saltiness!

"Eating one bowl of these rice noodles will consume three days' worth of sodium in one sitting," warned Dr Henry Ng, the centre's principal medical officer.

The other noodles were in tom yum soup, spicy noodles with pork belly and cuttlefish balls, barbecue pork ramen in pork bone soup, dan dan noodles with spicy and minced pork, stewed beef noodles and seafood laksa.

"Even the lowest sodium sample, a wonton noodle with 1,200mg, exceeds the intake limit by 80 percent, Ng warned. "The high sodium content in most of the samples in the test is putting consumer health in jeopardy with increased risks of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases," he said.

Avoid eating them altogether or cut down on the soup base
Ng advised consumers to either cut down on drinking the soup base or avoid it in order to cut down their sodium intake. But even if you do that, you're still ingesting way beyond the recommended amount from WHO.

What I don't understand is why the Hong Kong government is not insisting on producers of these noodles, and heck any other processed food product, to drastically cut down on their sodium content?

People in Hong Kong buy products without thinking about how much sodium is in them. Shouldn't the government be looking out for its residents' well being? That in turn would help reduce medicare costs.

If anything the government should encourage its citizens to be as healthy as possible, with the aging population outstripping the number of babies born each year.

While it's great the Consumer Council comes up with these warnings periodically, more needs to be done to educate the public on the perils of processed foods and businesses should be encouraged to find out ways to produce good, healthy food at a decent cost.

1 comment:

  1. Do you know how packeted instant ramen compares to the cup ramen in terms of salt content? And what if you eat the ramen but don't drink (all/much of) the soup it's in??