Ramen noodles are an iconic convenient meal, but most packs come loaded with sky-high sodium. If you love ramen but want to keep your salt intake under control, you’re probably wondering: where can I buy low-sodium ramen noodles?
Luckily, healthy ramen options are out there! Both online retailers and local grocery stores offer lower-sodium varieties and DIY ramen ingredients. With some savvy label reading and recipe ideas, you can create flavorful ramen while watching your sodium intake.
This article will map out exactly where to find low-sodium ramen, from specific brands to online stores. We’ll also provide tips for making your own sodium-slashed ramen masterpieces. Get ready to enjoy your ramen noodle fix without derailing your health goals!
Why Choose Low-Sodium Ramen?
Before we dive into the noodle hunt, let’s look at why low-sodium ramen is worth seeking out:
Lower Health Risks
- Ramen can contain over 50% of your daily recommended sodium per serving. Yikes!
- Too much sodium increases risks of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
- Cutting back on salt improves overall health, especially for those with conditions like high blood pressure.
Same Slurp-Worthy Taste
- You don’t have to sacrifice on flavor! Low-sodium ramen can be just as tasty.
- Umami-rich broths made with mushrooms, seaweed or miso paste pack flavor without excess salt.
- You control the seasoning, so you can adjust to your preferences.
- Some low-sodium brands offer extra protein and fiber for staying power.
- Making your own ramen allows you to pile in veggies for added nutrition.
- Avoiding MSG and preservatives found in some standard ramen packs is a bonus.
Decoding Sodium Levels on Ramen Packages
If you want to get your slurp on while keeping sodium in check, start by reading labels:
- Check the sodium milligrams (mg) per serving.
- Look for 140mg or less per serving to be considered low-sodium.
- Some brands advertise “reduced sodium” – but check the mg to be sure. 25-50% less sodium can still be high!
- Watch out for megadoses of sodium in the 1,500 – 2,300mg range – yikes!
- Zero added MSG is ideal for limiting total sodium.
Once you know what to look for, it’s time to start your hunt!
Where to Buy Low-Sodium Ramen Online
Searching online opens up a world of options beyond what’s on local shelves. Here are top picks for low-sodium ramen online:
Lotus Foods Ramen
- Made from brown rice and millet noodles
- 390mg sodium per serving
- Vegan and organic
- Flavors like miso ginger and winter spicy
- Shop on Amazon
Koyo Organic Ramen
- 470mg sodium per serving
- Packed with veggies like carrots and kale
- Vegan, non-GMO, and MSG-free
- Shop on Amazon
Maruchan Less Sodium Chicken Ramen
- A sodium-slashed version of the classic Maruchan ramen
- chicken flavors
- Around 570mg sodium per pack
- Shop on Amazon
Make Your Own Low-Sodium Ramen
Get total control over sodium levels by DIY-ing your own ramen!
Start with Low-Sodium Noodles
- Opt for plain wheat noodles, soba noodles or noodle kits.
- Look for 700mg or less sodium per serving.
- Rice noodles are an excellent low-sodium swap.
Make a Light, Flavorful Broth
- Use reduced-sodium broths like chicken, vegetable or mushroom.
- Add dry mushrooms, kombu seaweed or miso paste for savory umami flavor without salt.
- Stay away from salty soy sauce or seasoning packets.
Pile on Fresh Toppings
- Load up on veggies like baby spinach, bean sprouts, zucchini noodles, mushrooms.
- Poach or soft boil an egg for protein without sodium.
- Sprinkle on sesame seeds, chili oil or crushed red pepper flakes.
Sample Low-Sodium Ramen Recipes
Get inspired by recipes like:
- 15-minute miso ramen
- Spicy ginger ramen with kale
- Chicken noodle ramen with zucchini
With the right noodles and creative flavors, you can still enjoy ramen minus the megadose of sodium!
Tips for Cutting Sodium While Enjoying Ramen
Here are some final tips for keeping your sodium in check:
- Choose low-sodium brands when possible, or make your own.
- Read nutrition labels closely and watch sodium mg.
- Limit yourself to 2 ramen meals per week at most.
- Balance with fresh, whole foods like veggies, fruits and lean proteins.
- Flavor ramen with spices, herbs, chili flakes instead of salt.
- Request low-sodium broth and skip salt packets when dining out.
Is Plain Instant Noodles Contain Sodium?
Yes, plain instant noodles without any seasoning do still contain some sodium, but much less than flavored instant noodles. Here’s an overview:
- Instant noodles go through a process called “pre-gelatinization” where the wheat flour and water are boiled and dehydrated before drying. This process adds some sodium content to the base noodles.
- Plain instant noodles typically have between 150-300 mg of sodium per serving. This comes from the processing of the wheat flour itself.
- In contrast, a serving of flavored instant noodles can contain 500-1000 mg sodium coming mostly from the seasoning packet.
- So plain instant noodles contain significantly less sodium than flavored varieties, but they aren’t completely sodium-free.
- To reduce sodium intake, look for plain or unseasoned instant noodle varieties that are labeled “low sodium” with 140 mg or less per serving.
- Also check for instant noodles made from whole grains or rice instead of just wheat flour, as these tend to be lower in sodium.
- Making homemade fresh noodles from scratch avoids the pre-gelatinization process and contains minimal sodium.
Is it possible to make no sodium ramen noodles at home?
Yes, it is absolutely possible to make no sodium ramen noodles at home! Here are some tips for making tasty no sodium ramen:
- Use sodium-free noodles. Look for plain wheat noodles, soba noodles, rice noodles or noodle kits without added salt.
- Make a homemade broth using water, vegetables, mushrooms, and herbs/spices for flavor instead of salt. Good options are carrot, onion, garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, kombu seaweed.
- Avoid adding soy sauce, miso paste, or salty seasoning packets. Opt for seasoning like sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce.
- Load up on toppings like spinach, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, boiled egg, etc. The veggies provide flavor.
- Finish with a dash of chili oil or a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes. This gives a kick without sodium.
- Try making the broth in a slow cooker or Instant Pot for extra richness without salt.
- For convenience, you can make a big batch of sodium-free broth and freeze in portions to use later.
- Look up recipes for low-sodium shoyu ramen or mushroom ramen to get inspired.
Ramen lovers rejoice – you can slurp happily while staying healthy! Armed with these tips, you’ll be a sodium-smart ramen master. Now go get slurping!