Fact CheckHealth

Do noodles truly impact health negatively?

Claim: A Facebook user urged the public to avoid eating noodles because it has no nutritional value and can be harmful. 

Do noodles truly impact health negatively?

Verdict: MOSTLY TRUE. While noodles can potentially cause harm to the body, it still possesses some nutrients in it. 

Full Text

Instant noodles are a type of pre-cooked noodle, usually sold in individual packets or cups and bowls. Instant noodles have been a popular food item worldwide for decades because they are affordable, convenient, and can be prepared in just a few minutes.

A Facebook user named Doctor of the Future said noodles are bad for children. In his post, he advised parents to keep noodles away from children, stating that it has no nutritional value.

He also stated that noodles are just synthetic wheat filled with monosodium glutamate (MSG), carcinogenic preservatives. The doctor then mentioned that noodles allegedly inflamed the gut, killed the taste buds, and destroyed the dopamine receptors. 

This claim has also been shared on different websites and Twitter

As of  July 7, 2023, the claim had garnered 14,000 likes, 55,000 comments, and 13,000 shares since the post was made on Facebook.

The virality of the claim, its popularity and the accessibility of this product made DUBAWA investigate this claim.


Some research has found that regular consumption of instant noodles may be associated with poor overall diet quality. Intake of instant noodles was associated with decreased levels of vitamin D. It was also associated with obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.

What does instant noodle contain? 

Most instant noodles contain an ingredient known as monosodium glutamate (MSG), a common food additive used to enhance flavour in processed foods. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and t-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) are the main preservatives added to noodles to prevent rancidness and keep them usable. BHA doubles, and TBHQ triples the shelf life of instant noodles, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemist’s Society.

Instant noodles are made from white flour. The nutrient-rich parts of a wheat kernel are the germ and the bran. It also contains a high amount of salt.

Depending upon the manufacturing process, the amount of saturated fat found in different brands of instant noodles may differ. When fried in palm oil, lard, or butter before packaging, they will likely have a higher saturated fat content. Some instant noodles’ seasoning may also contain oils high in saturated fats. Check the nutrition label to learn the exact amount of saturated fats in your preferred brand of instant noodles and assess the health risk accurately.

Expert Opinion

We spoke to a nutritionist, Kemi Abidakun, about the nutritional value of noodles, and she explained that while parts of the claim might be true, noodles are not entirely bad for consumption. 

She stated that noodles contain dietary fibre, which helps prevent constipation, iron, and copper, for people with iron deficiency and is low in calories. 

“Remember I said part of the claim might be true because noodles are not to be consumed frequently because its ratio shows it causes more harm than good,” she emphasised. 

We also spoke to Abiola Ayanbukola, a Doctor of surgery at Abuad teaching hospital, who told us that noodles are not good for health because they do not give the minerals and vitamins that the body needs for growth.

Ms Ayanbukola said kids shouldn’t eat noodles. Rather; the meal must be garnished with lots of vegetables and proteins so they can have some of the required nutrients. He said food like noodles stays in the gut and could cause harm later.  

She also noted that noodles have high sodium, which can affect the dopamine receptors. For children whose taste buds are just developing, the dopamine that gives the body a surge of happiness is suppressed.


Noodles are affordable and easy to prepare but can cause harm to the body. Also, while noodles might not contain essential nutrients, they still have some vitamins.

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