Imagine this, you’ve had a long day at work but it is finally over and you’re about to leave office. Your plans for the evening include cooking something delicious or trying out the new recipe you saw online. A nice treat after a long day, isn’t it?
But just as you are about to leave, you get pulled into a meeting or worse you’re stuck in heavy traffic. Whatever be it, you reach home later than you expected and now you are starving – ready to eat the first thing in your sight.
So what’s the quickest thing you can whip up? Instant 2-minute noodles – of course! A guilty pleasure for some, a quick-fix for others.
While long gaps between meals are not recommended for anyone – it is even riskier for people with diabetes. Nonetheless, instant noodles should not be the answer to your hunger – Nandita Murthy, Diabetes Care Expert at Wellthy Therapeutics explains why.
What makes instant 2-minute noodles or pasta unhealthy?
- High sodium: the amount of sodium in one packet of noodles is almost double to your recommended dietary allowance (RDA)
- Deep fried noodles: the combination of deep fried noodles with preservatives make it difficult to digest. This is especially difficult for people with gut and heart problems since it takes longer to digest needs the heart to pump more blood.
- Refined flour (maida): Since it is made out of refined flour (maida) the simple carbohydrates content is higher. Refined flour (maida) and deep fried noodles can not only cause weight gain but also other complications like high blood pressure and CKD (chronic kidney disease).
- Empty calories: The numbers of empty calories present can be a cause in weight gain.
- Lastly, they are low in fibre and high in both, glycemic index and glycemic load.
Are atta noodles a healthier option?
Yes, but only to some extent. Since atta noodles are made with part wheat flour and part refined flour, they are healthier than the noodles which are entirely made out of refined flour although it is not considered as the better alternative.
Does that mean you have to give it up entirely?
Well, it would be good if you can but if you can’t, then follow this:
- Have it not more than two times a month and whenever you do, make sure you add a lot of vegetables (fibre) to it. The ratio of your vegetables to noodles should be 2:1 – so if you are having one packet of noodles/pasta, add at least twice as many vegetables.
- Give cheese sauce or cheese, in general, a miss – even if you have atta noodles.
- Try looking for noodles or pasta with no added preservatives or refined flour (check online stores – they are readily available)
- If you can, make your noodles/pasta at home – let your inner chef shine!
What should you look for while buying instant noodles or pasta?
If making noodles/pasta at home is not an option for you, here are some tips for you to on what to look out for – so read your label:
- Carbs come from sugar – not just flour. So pick ones with 0 carbs from sugar.
- The fat % should not be more than be 5% and a maximum of 10 gms.
- Remember ‘No added preservative’ is what you’re looking for.
- Low sodium is what you should go for.
And lastly, noodles or no-noodles, make sure you make time for your daily 15-20 minute walk – no shortcuts there!