Monday, January 18, 2010

How to Diet with Ramen

Ramen is a popular food for folks on a very tight budget.

I know ramen pretty well, I've eaten lots of it in my time. I'm half-Japanese, and I grew up on the stuff!

As far as eating ramen while on a diet, the trick is simple. When you open up a package of ramen, throw away the soup base packet. Don't use it. That's where much of the fat and sodium is.

Instead, substitute it with plain old soy sauce. Soy sauce itself is fat-free, and sugar-free. If you can, add some garlic, and red pepper for some spice. If you want to get more creative, throw in some chopped green onion, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and pea pods.

The soup base packet that comes with ramen is very high in fat, and very high in saturated-fat. In fact, the soup base contains "chicken fat" as an ingredient, that's assuming you've bought the chicken-flavored ramen. And oddly enough, the soup base contains a small amount of sugar.

Here are the nutrition facts labels for Top Ramen (top) and Maruchan Ramen (bottom), both Chicken-Flavored...

top ramen nutrition facts and ingredients

maruchan ramen nutrition facts

Notice that both nutrition facts labels claim that each package contains 2 servings. That means you have to double the numbers, assuming you're going to eat the entire contents. Thus the 7gm of fat is actually 14gm of fat. And the 3.5gm of saturated fat, is actually 7gm. Ouch!

By throwing out the soup base packet, you'll spare yourself from all that fat and cut those calories way down. In fact, you'll cut those calories in half, and you'll spare your blood vessels from all that saturated fat.

But what if you were to use the soup base packet anyways, but did not drink the soup? Well, the fat will still stick to the ramen noodles. So, you'll still end up consuming more fat than if you were to substitute the soup base packet with soy sauce instead.


Steve said...

Interesting. I always knew that those noodles would add weight but never thought about discarding the flovor pack.

Golden said...

Wow! i usually don't use the soup packets, i didn't know that it would cut the calories in half?? good to know :)

Anonymous said...

where did you get this info? i'm pretty sure the noodles are double deep fried (why they're so good when you eat them dry) and the soup base is basically bouillon with little fat but yes too much salt. the fat comes from the noodles. That's what i heard anyway...

Anonymous said...

Monosodium glutamate, wheat protein, hydrolized soy... This is not only a terrible way to lose weight, but a perfect to way to mess up your health

Rocky said...

As unhealthy as ramen noodles have a reputation to be, I lost 35 pounds eating them twice a day a few years ago. My choice to eat them was determined by my wallet. I was between jobs and ramen was all I could afford. I'm sure a ramen-only diet could cause some health issues but in my situation, the benefits greatly outweighed the risks. To each his own I guess.

Anonymous said...

There is a negligible amount of fat in the seasoning. I would be willing to bet 80% of the Sodium content comes from there, though.

And I'm sorry, but the HVP and MSG are probably the least of your worries with all the garbage that is thrown in here.

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