Instant noodles a health hazard: report
HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- They're a staple in many Asian kitchens, but a new study shows consumers should think twice before stocking up on instant noodles.
Tests by the Australian Consumers' Association show there is as much fat in a single serving of two-minute noodles as there is in a cup of French-fried potato chips, or a quarter of a medium-sized pizza.
The noodles also contain nearly 75 percent of the recommended upper limit of salt for adults and 100 percent of that for young children.
Sodium levels hovered between 1,000-2,000 mg per serving, rivaling many fast foods for salt content, and beating most, researchers say.
The research confirms what most family doctors have been preaching for years -- that convenient foods are bad for children.
"In the case of instant noodles, we're not just talking about fat, we're also talking about bad fat," pediatrician Tim Trodd told CNN.com. "These noodles use cheap vegetable oil that breaks down as trans fatty acids."
Doctors have identified trans fatty acids as one of the triggers of heart disease.
"Aside from that, instant noodles have chemicals and preservatives -- a lot of them," Trodd said.
"What you're looking at is essentially a meal with no protein, a lot of fat, carbohydrates, chemicals and salt."
But researchers stress the figures for salt and fat intake are based on the assumption that all the liquid and noodles are eaten.
The Australian Consumers' Association recommends that if the noodles are to be consumed, that at least some of its broth is drained away.
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