Can pregnant women eat instant noodles?
The answer is yes, but it’s not recommended.
When you’re pregnant and craving a snack, instant noodles are an easy choice. They’re cheap, they’re fast, and they’re easy to make. But is it safe for you to eat them?
Doctors suggest that eating processed foods is a strict no for expecting mothers. It increases the risk of excess weight gain, gestational diabetes, and other complications.
You’ve also heard about hidden ingredients in processed foods that you may not be aware of and the effects they will have on your body. Certain genetically modified foods may also pose a long-term threat to the mother and the baby, even though the effects are still unknown. This includes food like instant noodles during pregnancy.
The fetus is affected by whatever the mother consumes. Why would you want to put yourself and your baby at risk? So, instant noodles during pregnancy should be off your diet chart.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Instant Noodles?
We know how much of a go-to snack instant noodles are. But there are two main reasons why eating instant noodles during pregnancy may not be the safest option for you. Before you indulge yourself in a bowl of these guilty pleasure noodles, find out why they’re not exactly the best food to eat when you’re expecting. But, can pregnant women eat instant noodles?
Image Source: Pexels
1. High Salt Content
Eating one serving of instant noodles during pregnancy gives you 861 mg of sodium. That’s about 1,722 mg from one full package.
Now, consider the fact that experts say people should limit their sodium intake to between 1500 mg and 2300 mg a day. So, just one packet of instant noodles fulfils this recommended amount. Doctors advise you to watch your salt intake for good reasons, mostly because it can contribute to high blood pressure or hypertension.
But, can pregnant women eat instant noodles? When pregnant, you need to be extra careful with your blood pressure, as hypertension can lead to many health complications. Expecting mums need to watch out for preeclampsia, which can have severe health consequences on both baby and mummy.
Scientists have conducted studies and proved that lessening the amount of salt in your food does help to reduce high blood pressure. Another study even shows that, in the long run, not taking in too much salt reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 30 per cent.
So, it makes sense to expect mums to avoid overeating salt, especially high-sodium foods like instant noodles, during pregnancy.
2. Instant Noodles Contain Synthetic Chemicals Like Preservatives & Colouring
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Can pregnant women eat instant noodles? Processed food has added chemicals, such as preservatives and colouring. Numerous studies are showing the health risks of such additives. When pregnant, if consumed in large amounts, certain additives can have severe health implications on the developing baby — even affecting his brain.
In addition, instant noodles take longer to digest in your body, even during pregnancy. That’s because they contain wax and a preservative called TBHQ – taking as long as four to five days to be completely digested. The delayed digestion can interfere with your digestive system — which is already frequently affected by problems due to pregnancy hormones.
Are Instant Noodles Bad for Pregnant Women
Many instant noodles are on the market today with varying levels of sodium and other ingredients, so it’s important to know what kind you’re getting into before you eat them. For example, some brands contain more salt than others, meaning one serving might have more sodium than another.
Sodium can be bad for your blood pressure if you have too much of it—and being in the middle of pregnancy is no time to start messing with your blood pressure!
Other things to watch out for when choosing a brand include preservatives and extra ingredients not listed on the package. Some brands add MSG (monosodium glutamate), which can cause headaches and nausea in some people—especially those who are pregnant or have high blood pressure!
So if you’re asking “Can pregnant women eat instant noodles?” remember to read the labels carefully before buying new instant noodles. If the label doesn’t list all of its ingredients or doesn’t mention anything about preservatives or added flavours, then don’t buy it!
Is Instant Noodles Safe for Pregnant Women
The answer is a little complicated. Pregnant women should be mindful of their salt intake, which can lead to high blood pressure, swelling in the legs and feet, and preeclampsia (a condition that affects some pregnant women).
Most instant noodle packets have between 400 and 600 milligrams of sodium per serving; however, if you’re watching your salt intake or have been advised by your doctor to reduce your sodium intake while pregnant, you should opt for low-sodium varieties or make your instant noodles with fresh ingredients.
How to Eat Instant Noodles Reasonably in Pregnancy?
To eat instant noodles reasonably in pregnancy, you should pay attention to the following tips:
- Don’t eat instant noodles too often. It’s best not to eat instant noodles more than once a week.
- Don’t eat instant noodles late at night. It’s best not to eat instant noodles after 8 pm.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits daily to supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals lost during pregnancy due to increased urination and perspiration, frequent trips to the bathroom caused by morning sickness, etc.
How to Choose Safe Instant Noodles for Pregnant Women?
Can pregnant women eat instant noodles? Is it safe? Well, Safe instant noodles for pregnant women should be low in sodium and high in protein.
You want to ensure that the noodles you eat are not high in sodium. This can lead to swelling and bloating, which can be dangerous for pregnant women.
You also want to make sure that your noodles are high in protein. This will help you stay full longer, so you don’t feel like snacking on junk food or overeating at dinner!
What Doctors Say About Eating Instant Noodles During Pregnancy
Dr Benny Johan Marpaung is a Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brawijaya women’s and children’s hospital in South Jakarta. He says,
“While pregnant, whatever mums eat will affect foetal development. Therefore, it’s best for pregnant women to pay attention to their food intake.”
Dr Benny explains further that synthetic flavours and preservatives in instant noodles can be dangerous for a mum’s pregnancy. It can also hurt the baby. Therefore, to answer the question “Can pregnant women eat instant noodles?”, the doctor advises mums to steer clear of eating instant noodles during pregnancy.
Craving For Instant Noodles During Your Pregnancy: Why Not Try This Instead?
Image Source: heatherchristo.com
Why not try a healthier alternative to instant noodles like a hearty and healthy beefy tomato noodle soup?
Ingredients (for four):
- 4 tomatoes – roughly chopped (skin removed; make a cross at the base of the tomato and soaked in hot water for 5m for easier peeling)
- 500g beef – sliced
- 500ml beef stock
- 1 tsp of:
- Tomato puree
- Sugar to taste
- Sesame oil
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Dash of pepper
- Cornflour + water for thickening
- Noodles of your choice – cooked according to packet instructions
How To Make It:
- Boil the tomatoes in beef stock till soft and all broken up.
- Add in beef and the remaining ingredients.
- Add in cornflour with water to thicken.
- Serve it over noodles.
This article was translated and republished with the permission from theAsianparent Indonesia.
Updates by Pheona Ilagan
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