All of a sudden, the word 'maggi' has become a scary name to most of the noodle lovers. In fact, instant noodles of all manufacturers, suddenly lost sales. This is because all of us are naturally scared about what would happen if we eat noodles.
Your health is important to you so you carefully take every bit of information that is given to you by others. This applies to pregnant women too. They are choosier about what to eat because they need to think about health of the growing child inside. So, is maggi healthy in pregnancy?
Is Maggi Healthy In Pregnancy
Why did we ever fall in love with these noodles? They came with a '2 minutes' tag. You can prepare them fast in minutes, and enjoy them. They are tasty to your tongue. And yes, they don't cost much; pizzas and burgers cost a bomb whereas noodles cost you peanuts.
Instant noodles are now looked down upon but frankly speaking, even before a decade, many people kept them at bay. They had their own reasons. They hated 'maida'; as noodles are made of 'maida', they never included them in their diets. Yes, the digestive system hates refined flours. Also, refined flours may cause obesity. So, those reasons were enough back then for some people to put aside noodles from their platter.
What Do Instant Noodles Contain?
Let us take a deeper look. What are they actually made of? Well, they contain salt, palm oil, starch and wheat flour. Let us also talk about some not so good ingredients. They are sugar and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Yes, these ingredients have become popular may be because of the recent controversy.
To begin with, health experts say that instant noodles may not hurt you if you eat them rarely and in small quantities. This means, moderation may not be a killer.
But hold on! Nobody said that they are really nutritious. You can't call them balanced diet. All you get from them is starch, salt and MSG. Eat them daily and you may easily fall prey to killer diseases like hypertension. Where are the minerals, vitamins, proteins or even fibre in these noodles? So, they are not really helping your body much.
What Makes Noodles Harmful?
Any manufacturer would want their edible products to last longer as perishable items would be a loss. The same applies to noodles too. So, to expand their shelf life, they are processed. That's the ugly part. They lack enough nutrition but they come with lots of harmful substances like sodium, preservatives, artificial ingredients like colours, other flavours, additives and so on.
Now, let us talk a bit about monosodium glutamate (MSG). This as well as some other ingredients in noodles have a role to play. They either add taste or extend the shelf life. They may not harm your system at first intake, but if you eat them every day, then they may damage your health gradually. At least, this is what most of the doctors say.
The 'Maida' Part
Wheat flour is generally bleached and refined to get the final product that is required to make these noodles. Also, this processed stuff loses its nutrients. So, in fact, they are no more than useless calories which add up to your obesity. Also, the added preservatives would start harming your system in various ways. On the other side, as many believe, 'maida' products do play around with your digestive health. In fact, they can also result in infections in some people.
The Fat Content
Generally, processed foods contain trans fats. They are not really the fats you need to ingest. If you carefully look at any of the ingredient list on these noodles, you will be surprised to know that most of the ingredients are not really so healthy for you. From the flavour enhancing agents to the vegetable oils, they contain real bad stuff that your body would otherwise hate to eat. To put in a nut shell, these noodles, if consumed in excess, may also spoil your cholesterol levels.
They may gradually cause type 2 diabetes too. Also instant noodles have another backdrop. Your body takes a lot of time to digest them unlike the other kinds of noodles. Yes, processing makes these noodles bad. Your body may have to strain itself to digest them and extract anything useful.
This not only applies for noodles but all kinds of processed foods. So, those who have embraced fast foods and have put aside the natural stuff might have to regret in the long run.
Every 100g of instant noodles carry nearly 2500 mg of sodium. This is not good for a pregnant woman and the child.
Can You Make Them Healthier?
Well, if you wish to consume a small quantity of noodles then try to add lots of fresh vegetables to it. This would increase the nutritional value of whatever you are consuming. But still, it doesn't take away the other side effects of consuming too much of MSG.
Also, remember this: Just because some brands sell noodles with vegetables, don't fall for them as they simply contain more preservatives. They could be more harmful.
What Is TBHQ?
Some brands of instant noodles do contain a compound called as TBHQ. The full form of TBHQ is Tertiary Butylhydroquinone. This is a synthetic chemical and a derivative of petroleum products. This is a preservative. Of course, almost all processed foods contain this chemical. Some reports suggest that this chemical is also used by the cosmetic industry, paint industry and even pesticide industry. Now, imagine its place.
The worst part is health experts have not yet found the safe amounts of consumption. Though this ingredient doesn't harm you if you consume it only once in small quantities it will surely harm when consumed regularly in the long run. But how much is too much? This is an ongoing debate and there is no single opinion yet. But everyone agrees that its harmful in the long run.
Side Effects Of TBHQ
If you consume one full gram of TBHQ, you may immediately experience nausea, delirium, breathlessness, and tinnitus; you may even collapse! Sounds scary, right?
Of course, your body will be able to eliminate this toxin within days; but if you eat noodles regularly then you are literally allowing the toxins to stay longer in your system.
In fact, a study claims that this ingredient had shown harmful effects when tried on animals. It is said to affect the liver, reproductive system in them.
Another study says that instant noodles are directly linked to certain disorders like metabolic syndrome. Well, studies say that women are at a higher risk of getting affected by metabolic syndrome if they consume instant noodles more.
Well, what is metabolic syndrome? It is a condition which shows several symptoms like high blood pressure, obesity and even bad cholesterol levels. This condition may alter lead to diabetes and heart issues also. So, is it safe to eat maggi in pregnancy?
What Should Pregnant Women Do?
Even if you love instant noodles, it is better to avoid them during pregnancy. A pregnant woman has to ensure that her diet and lifestyle totally supports the health of the fetus inside. Anything that may directly or indirectly affect the health of the baby must be avoided and therefore, any processed food can be totally avoided.
A pregnant woman can enjoy all her favourite foods soon after the childbirth. Health experts say that stress levels, poor diet and even harmful substances in processed foods do damage health though some of those effects go unnoticed or even undiagnosed.
To be on the safer side, avoid all processed foods including instant noodles when you are pregnant. Remember that noodles are processed foods and they contain a few ingredients which may damage your health in the long run.