Forget grabbing a pack of instant noodles when you’re on the fly — a study has found that people who eat lots of them have an increased risk of cardiometabolic syndrome, which makes you more likely to get heart disease, diabetes or stroke.
Instant noodle consumption is particularly high amongst Asian populations, so the researchers studied South Koreans who have the highest per-capita instant noodle consumers in the world and are also reporting rapid increases in heart disease and obesity.
Dr Hyun Joon Shin, a clinical cardiology fellow at Baylor University Medical Center in the US, led the study that found eating instant noodles two or more times a week was associated with cardiometabolic syndrome.
“This research is significant since many people are consuming instant noodles without knowing possible health risks,” he said.
“My hope is that this study can lay a foundation for future research about the health effects of instant noodle consumption.”
Dr Robert Grenfell, the Heart Foundation’s National Director of Cardiovascular Health, told ninemsn that nutrition is complex and it’s difficult to pinpoint a certain food to contribute to heart disease.
“What we do know about instant noodles is they are high in salt and too much salt is known to increase your blood pressure which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” he said.
“By lowering salt in foods, we can make a big difference to the country’s health, and especially for those people who need it the most.
“Most of the salt we eat is found in processed supermarket and takeaway foods, with only 15 percent of salt in our diet consumed by adding it at the table or in cooking.”
Australian adults average about 9g of salt each day, however the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) advises adults to limit consumption to 4g a day — less than half of what most are getting.
“Research suggests that if we cut the nation’s salt intake by an average of three grams a day, we could prevent 6000 deaths in Australia every year,” Dr Grenfell said.