Instant ramen noodles are a popular convenience food, but they can be very high in sodium. This trend will continue growth in US markets due to its convenience, affordability, and flavor.
But have you ever looked at the nutrition facts on a package of instant ramen? It’s crazy how much sodium is packed into those little seasoning packets.
The average sodium in one serving of ramen noodles is about 800-1800 milligrams, around 34.8% – 78.3% of the daily recommended allowance, just in one bowl. (FDA recommends not taking sodium over 2,300 mg per day)
So why does ramen have so much sodium? The main reason is taste. Ramen noodles are usually marketed for their intense flavor, so companies load them up with salt to make them more flavorful, and sodium can help increase the product’s shelf life; instant ramen noodles typically can last long on the shelf for more than one year with fewer preservatives, due to high sodium content.
I love instant ramen, and I thought you loved them too. It’s painful that everything we love comes with risks. So, how can we reduce the sodium content? Let’s dive into this.
The Sodium Content of Instant Ramen Noodles
The broth is the base of any good bowl of ramen, and it’s also where a lot of the sodium comes from.
Here’s a breakdown of the sodium content of instant ramen noodles:
|Instant Ramen Noodles||Sodium Content (per 1 cup serving)|
|Buldak – Spicy Ramen x3||1,510 mg|
|Buldak – Hot Chicken Flavor||1,360 mg|
|Buldak – Cheese Flavor||1,440 mg|
|Nongshim Shin Original Ramyun||1,040 mg|
|Ichiran Instant Noodles – Tonkotsu||2,555 mg|
|Mi Goreng Instant Stir Fry Noodles||380 mg|
|Mike’s Mighty Good Vegetarian Miso Ramen Soup||780 mg|
|Nissin, Cup Noodles Soup, Chicken Flavor||1,060 mg|
|Maruchan Instant Lunch Cheddar Cheese||1,100 mg|
As you can see, even a single cup of ramen broth can pack a severe sodium punch. And it will vary by the flavor and type of ramen you buy. But if you think sodium is only in seasoning packets, it might be wrong.
The Sodium Content of Ramen Noodles
It’s not just the broth that contributes to the high sodium content of ramen. The noodles themselves also have a decent amount of sodium. The average sodium content for a 2 oz serving of dried ramen noodles is around 400mg, but it can vary depending on the brand and the type of noodles.
Have you experienced cooking instant noodles before seasoning them and tasting the soup with flavorless ones? The soup will still be salty even without the seasoning packets because the salt is part of the noodles and will still be there if you use plain water or no broth.
As I said before, salt can help extend the noodles’ shelf life, so many ramen companies add extra salt to make it last for an extended period with fewer preservatives. It’s not just about flavor; it’s also about business practices.
Sodium in the Seasoning Packet
This little packet of powder is packed with flavor, but it’s also packed with sodium. The average sodium content for a seasoning packet is around 800-1000 mg, a significant portion of your recommended daily sodium intake.
The easiest way to reduce the sodium is to use half of the seasoning packet or just discard it altogether. This will help to reduce the sodium content of your ramen significantly. But if you want to advance more ideas, below is what you can do.
How to Lower Sodium Ramen
There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the sodium content in your ramen:
Opt for a lower sodium broth
It’s simple: broth or flavor have different sodium content, so be aware of each product’s sodium levels.
If you want to eat tasty flavor, it will come with more sodium inevitable, such as; cheese, tonkotsu, spicy, beef, chicken, etc.
If you want a lower sodium soup base, opt for a vegetable or miso flavor with less sodium content but still full of flavor.
Cook your own bowl
Making your own ramen is much healthier than eating instant ramen. It will be much healthier than a packaged version. You can still use the noodles from them but the adjusted amount of seasoning, added vegetables, eggs, and more.
I recommend this post : 15 things you can add to upgrade Buldak ramen
Pour water off
One simple tip is to boil only ramen noodles and discard the water you boiled them in. Add new hot water and add a seasoning packet. This method can help reduce the sodium content in ramen noodles.
Looking for healthy instant noodles ramen
Healthy ramen noodles are available now. Look for products with reduced sodium content, or try whole wheat noodles. Some healthy brands also use organic ingredients and offer vegan and gluten-free options.
Please don’t eat it regular
Ramen noodles are a great source of comfort and are quick to make. But remember that it is still processed food with high sodium content. So, don’t eat ramen every day but try to have them occasionally as a treat.
One or two takes will not worsen your health, but eating it daily can lead to health problems. So, watch your intake and find healthier alternatives.
You don’t have to give up your favorite instant ramen noodles if you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy the flavor of instant ramen while still protecting your health. I hope this article helps you make healthy ramen noodle choices and reduce your sodium intake.