Opinion / From the Press

Instant noodle is not complete food

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-18 07:39

A group of nutrition experts from Tianjin published a study recently saying instant noodles are not junk food because they are rich in protein, fat and carbohydrate, the three basic nutrients for human body, and have more balanced nutrients than traditional staples such as rice and steamed buns. But other experts have dismissed the study saying basic nutrients are far from enough to sustain a healthy body, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

The study by Tianjin-based experts is seriously flawed, says Fan Zhihong, vice-dean of the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering in China Agricultural University, because the three basic nutrients cannot account for all the necessary nutrients needed by the human body. Also, fried instant noodles do not have sufficient vitamin.

No nutrition expert has ever used the three basic nutrients to assess the value of a bowl of rice, a piece of beef or a plate of cabbage, Fan says, because the human body needs more than 40 types of nutrients every day.

Besides, according to overseas research, instant noodles are rich in sodium, which causes high blood pressure. Regular intake of instant noodles can also cause viscera obesity and metabolism disorder. So, people with hypertension, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia should keep away from instant food.

"Instant noodles are only meant to fill the stomach when nothing else is available," Fan says. "They should never replace normal meals, and people are recommended to not have it frequently."

Gu Zhongyi, council member of the Beijing Dietetic Association, says many studies warn against regular consumption of instant noodles, because they are harmful to the heart. If one eats certain type of instant food as staple, the body will not be able to get a balanced doze of nutrients. Therefore, junk food should not be judged on the basis of the three basic nutrients, but nutrients as a whole.

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