Here, in Nigeria, there are about 10 different brands of instant noodles. Indomie, being the most popular at the time of writing this article, will be my focus. Even though the contents (and ingredients) of these noodles and their flavoring powders may vary, the medical views I present can be comfortably applied to all the various brands, sub-types, and flavors of instant noodles (in general).
Healthy or harmful? Is eating indomie healthy? Not really! Is eating indomie harmful? Not really!
What then is real? What is true?
Even though I hate to say this, I will: indomie is junk food! It is processed food, and we do not readily advise anyone to consume such — especially frequently and in large amounts — because of the effects on the blood vessels, heart, and body weight!
“Number one, don’t eat it every day…Number two, portion control.” — New York University professor Lisa Young
But not to worry; there’s hope! The problem here is that, prepared and eaten as it is packaged, indomie is far from being a balanced, healthy diet; especially for children. Some major nutrients are either too low or completely absent; other nutrients are way too high in amount.
Solution: instead of saying, “Stop eating indomie” (which will be an almost impossible command for many people — especially babies, students, and bachelors!), I would say, “let’s attempt to balance the indomie meal“. Just like balancing chemical equations in chemistry! Lol! Let try and make is a fairly balanced diet (as much as we can!)
I promise to, as usual, spare you all those medical and dietary jargons! And, I will go straight to the point.
First, two very important things to quickly note:
#1: Indomie is already very high in sodium and carbohydrates. Watch the way you add table salt. People with hypertension should know that this meal might be contributing to poor blood pressure control. Those trying to lose weight and burn the calories cannot afford to be addicted to frequent consumption of indomie. It has to be a once-in-a-while thing, and eaten in small quantities. Please, note these very carefully.
#2: Indomie is low in fibres, vitamins, and minerals (even though the company attempts to improve on these recently). As a rule, especially for growing children, a good source of protein must be included in every meal of indomie. And adding some vegetables would, at last, balance the equation! Make sure your indomie meal is richly “endowed”!
Tomatoes. Onions. Meat. Green beans. Crayfish. Fish. Green vegetables. Egg.
Please, don’t add palm oil to your indomie. [Time and space will not allow me explain why not!]
Perhaps the most important point of this article is to dispel all the lies and exaggerations about eating indomie. So far, no reliable scientific research shows any definite medical harm [as at the time of writing this article!]. There are no harmful additives or preservatives. The flavoring powder or sauce is safe. Indomie doesn’t cancer. It doesn’t make children dull or stubborn or sick.
However, as always, too much of anything is bad. So, eat moderately. And, instead, eat more of natural, unprocessed foods.
Spread the truth. Please, SHARE!