10 Facts About Instant Noodles, The Food That Has Saved Many Lives in S’pore

Image: vitals / Shutterstock.com + Rachata Teyparsit / Shutterstock.com

To many of us, instant noodles is a lifesaver; without them, our nights would be literally empty, our kitchen empty and our life incomplete.

But how much do you really know about instant noodles, other than it’s unhealthy?

Do you know that it takes hours for the noodles to be digested in your stomach, or that there’s actually a reason why it takes three minutes to cook it?

If you prefer to watch this instead, here’s a video we’ve done for this topic:

(Since you’re here, follow our Instagram for more informative videos lah)

Here’re ten facts about instant noodles you’ve got to know before cooking your next Michellin-starred instant noodles at home.

It might just make you power up your food delivery app instead #justsaying

Worst Thing About Instant Noodles Isn’t the Calories or the MSG

We’ve all heard stories about how unhealthy instant noodles are, and most would be about the MSG or the empty calories (i.e. carbo). While these are worrying, what’s worst is actually the sodium content.

If you’ve not paid attention during science lessons, sodium is basically salt lah.

While it depends on the brand of the instant noodles, most of them have very high sodium content. According to HuffPost, a Nissin Top Ramen pack (not sure if this is sold in Singapore, but anyways~) contains a whopping 1,820 mg of sodium.

And guess what? A person is not reccomended to have more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day.

PMD ban in Singapore is like Internet ban? Why? Watch this and you'll understand: (Also remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel!)

In the same article, it’s mentioned that another brand has a shocking 2,858 mg of sodium.

Consuming too much sodium increases your risk of heart failure, osteoporosis, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease.

So next time, when you reach for that pack of instant noodles, remember this: you’re downing salt like you’re drinking plain water.

It takes hours before they could be ingested

The definition of viral video in Singapore is this

Or this

#advertisementlevel101

But do you know about this global viral video?

Someone put a small camera inside the stomach and it turns out that it takes two hours for instant noodles to be ingested.

Two. Hours.

This isn’t some scientific breakthrough, but it has created quite a hoo-ha on the Internet a few years back.

After all, imagine this: the instant noodles you’ve just makaned an hour ago is still intact in your stomach. Gross, indeed.

You can eat them uncooked– but it’s really not recommended

Anyone who has been through NS would have heard of this before: don’t eat your instant noodles raw, if not you’ll laosai (+ confinements + extras if kana caught).

So, is it really not advisable to do so?

Well, technically, instant noodles are already cooked, having them “raw” isn’t too much of a health issue, but more of a palatability issue: It just doesn’t taste that good

In Nissin Food’s website, they have an FAQ catered to this. Here are the question and answer.

Is it safe to eat the Top Ramen noodles without putting them in boiling water first?

Some people have found that they enjoy Top Ramen as a snack, much like potato chips. The noodles are broken up and eaten straight from the package or sprinkled on top of salads. Since the noodles are already cooked, it is totally safe to eat this way.

So yeah. Safe but not recommended.

Long-term effects of Having too Many Instant Noodles

Okay, we all know how unhealthy it is, but what exactly are the consequences?

Studies have shown that having way too much instant noodles increases the chances of metabolic syndrome, which, generally speaking, includes heart disease, diabetes and stroke

The study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, shows that if one has two or more servings of instant noodles per week, those chances would increase

Guess many of you are downloading food delivery app now. If so, check out this guide lah.

Instant noodles cause more harm to women than men

Here’s one interesting takeaway: instant noodles are sexist

No, we’re not talking about the colour of the packaging that seems to appeal to only one gender, but the long-term health effects it has.

You see, according to a Harvard University Study, women have 68% higher risk of metabolic syndrome if they have instant noodles twice a week.

But not men.

Scientists aren’t certain why that is so, but some of them think that the results could be due to the female subjects reporting their diet more accurately or that they count the servings more precisely

Still, instant noodles…

Research shows that it’ll cost USD140 a year if you makan instant noodles for every meal

I don’t know why anyone would do this, but here’s something interesting: If you makan instant noodles for every single meal for a year, it’ll just cost you USD$140.

Which is about SGD$184.

But of course, the medical costs that come with it isn’t included lah.

Then again, come to think of that, it’s really cheap. SGD$184 for a year leh.

It’s called cup noodles instead of bowl noodles because Nissin invented the cup noodles and took it off in 1971

We Singaporeans like to call this 杯杯面 although this is obviously a bowl:

Image: Amazon UK

It’s because in 1971, Nissin invented this and it’s called Cup Noodles.

Image: Wikipedia.org

Other manufacturers started to change the shape, but the name 杯杯面 stuck.

Well, at least in Singapore / Malaysia lah.

Coz in other regions, they call it differently. Read on.

The “correct term” to use is instant noodles; American called it ramen while S’poreans and Malaysians called it Maggi Mee

Some people call it Instant Noodles, some call it Instant Ramen while Singaporeans and Malaysians call it Maggie Mee.

You see, this is actually all about linguistics.

In the US, they called it instant ramen because it looks like Japanese ramen, though it’s technically not Japanese ramen

In Singapore and Malaysia, we call it Maggi Mee even if the brand is otherwise, because the older generation call it that.

So if you’re overseas, don’t tell anyone you’re longing for Maggie Mee: they might just call Maggie out.

Shelf life of instant noodles isn’t long, at just 4 to 12 months.

Many of us have this misconception: since it’s instant noodles, it can last forever in our cabinet.

Well, wrong.

Their shelf life is actually just 4 to 12 months, so if there’s a zombie apocalypse in Singapore…

It’s actually better to stock up canned food instead of instant noodles.

#justsaying

Rumours have it that the reason why it took 3 minutes is this

Okay, this is purely a rumour but if you think about it, it kind of make perfect sense.

Have you ever wondered why it takes three minutes to cook a pack of instant noodles? Heck, it’s the same even for 杯杯面, when the water is just hot and not boiling

Doesn’t make sense, right? I mean, it’s invented in 1958, so there must have been many R&D to lower the cooking time

Well, it’s because they allegedly didn’t want to.

You see, rumours have it that companies once did an experiment: They have a 1-min instant noodles, and because it’s so fast, people didn’t buy it as they somehow didn’t feel hungry seeing it.

3 minutes is the perfect timing, as it makes the person hungry during that 3 minutes of waiting.

You see, that 3 minutes aren’t for you to cook the noodles: It’s for you to get hungry, even if you’re not.


So, there you have it, ten facts about instant noodles. Now, we’re not trying to tell you not to have instant noodles.

Instead, have them in moderation.

Because anything in excess is always unhealthy. You do know that, don’t you?