Salty instant noodles pose health risks

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 March, 2010, 12:00am

If you are a fan of instant noodles, you may want to think twice before eating them again. Having a bag or cup of instant noodles can be equivalent to consuming two teaspoons of salt and oil.

According to a joint survey by the Centre for Food Safety and the Consumer Council, 13 types of instant noodles sold in Hong Kong are too salty, with Supreme Noodle wonton soup flavour at the top of the list. It contains 4,350mg of sodium, twice the daily limit recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO).

Eating too much salt causes high blood pressure. Doctors believe lowering the amount of salt we consume will reduce the risk of heart disease.

The other problem with instant noodles is the fat content. In the survey, nine samples were found to contain saturated fat equal to or more than the maximum daily intake recommended by WHO - 60 grams, or four teaspoons of oil. Three brands - Imperial Big Meal beef flavour, Doll bowl noodle tonkotsu flavour and Jin Mai Lang bone soup noodle spare rib flavour - contained more than 30 grams of fat.

The survey also said there were 541 kilocalories in cup noodles, more than twice the kilocalories in a bowl of rice (230 kilocalories).

The Centre for Food Safety said a new nutrition-labelling regulation would be enforced in July so consumers would know the nutrition value and amount of calories of food items.

If you want to keep slurping, the centre recommends not adding the seasoning and not drinking the soup.