College students, brace yourselves and your wallets. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition states that eating instant noodles, like the budget ramen that makes up so many budget meals, can increase your risk of developing cardiometabolic syndrome, which is a risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Researchers used data from 10,711 adults in the range of 19 to 64 years old during the time period of 2007-2009. The information was collected through the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In the study abstract, the authors identify that two diet patterns emerged from the study—a “traditional dietary pattern” and the “meat and fast-food pattern.” Neither of those diets were directly related to the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. However, consuming instant noodles two or more times a week was linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease when it came to women.
A press release notes that South Koreans have recently been experiencing an increase in heart problems, including heart disease and an increase in obesity. So researchers focused their research here to see in consuming instant noodles —where South Korea reportedly has the highest number of per-capita instant noodle eaters— to see if there was a relationship. But the study also applies in the United States which comes in sixth for global instant noodle sales.
It’s not exactly know what causes this increase in risk. Yahoo Health notes that it could be because the noodles come packed in Styrofoam, which contains bisphenol A (BPA). The hormone disruptor could also explain why women were more affected by the noodles as eel. However, the high level of saturated fat or chemicals such as MSG or the petroleum byproduct TBHQ could also still be factors.
Overall, the primary investigator in the study, Hyun Joon Shin, MD, stated that the most important part of this study is is to understand what foods we are feeding our bodies. Following this information, will you cut back on your instant ramen or pre-packaged foods altogether?