Noodles And Your Heart

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

newsIt may be easy to pop one of those instant packages of noodles, a cup of water and a packet of broth into the microwave when you are too busy to cook, but you could be risking more than you know when you’re cutting corners. Here are some facts to consider.

Noodle consumption is the highest in the world in South Korea. Researchers studied 10,711 adults, a representative sample of the Korean population. [1]

According to the study [2], women who ate instant noodles at least twice a week were 68 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome which results in abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which, in turn, increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Dr. Hu said, instant noodles are definitely not part of a healthy diet. “Once or twice a month is not a problem,” he said. “But a few times a week really is.”

It turns out that a small packet of crispy noodles can deal a big blow to your heart health. If you’re cramming for finals, opt for something healthier than the packaged noodle student staple. If you’re a working person and besieged by deadlines, obligations and find yourself always short on time, don’t let your body pay the price. Get used to choosing a healthier alternative.

Pick up pre-packaged vegetable snacks at the grocery store in the produce sections, or make your own snack packs and carry them with you. Rice and beans are easy to prepare the night before and take along in a air tight container. Sliced green, red and yellow peppers are refreshing, crispy and loaded with vitamin C. A paper or plastic sack full of unsalted, unbuttered popcorn (use herbs and pepper for seasoning) will fill you up and contribute to your lower GI health. (Pop the corn from dried kernels, use only a small amount of canola oil and avoid the prepackaged microwave popcorn varieties.)

A cup of fat-free low sugar yoghurt will also satisfy your hunger pangs as will an apple, a bunch of grapes, or a handful of plums.

When it comes to the convenience of a package of dried noodles that magically come alive when you add boiling water, get in the habit of saying no to the noodles and yes to a healthier heart.

[1] A version of this article appears in print on 08/26/2014, on page D4 of the New York edition with the headline: Nutrition: It’s Time to Reel In the Ramen.


Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy™ is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding. While earning her PhD in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University.