What Happens Inside Your Stomach When You Eat Instant Noodles.

Instant Noodles are loved by all age groups, be it kids or adults and moreover is a staple diet in many cultures. People looking for an easy meal that is tasty as well as quick to eat just can’t seem to hate the thought of instant noodles.


Given that over 3.4 million packages of instant noodles were sold in one year in South Korea (2010) and following the fact that the recent years in terms of health have been very bad for the country, researchers had decided to carry out experiments relating to effects of instant noodles on people. Here is what the study from Journal of Nutrition revealed:

  • The data covered through records relating to the health of persons aged 19 to 65 were analysed and surveys conducted showed that people who specifically consumed instant noodles more than twice a week suffered from a severe condition called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is set of conditions – including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess abdominal fat and abnormal cholesterol — which combined increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
  • The scientific reason behind the connection with the health issues is due to the common chemicals used in these instant noodles. A petroleum by product which is used as a preservative in instant noodles, Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone or (TBHQ) is extremely harmful. They contain high levels of saturated fat and sodium as well.

Instant Noodles Don’t Break Down After Hours of Digestion

Video published by TEDxManhattan shows what happens in your stomach when you eat instant noodles vs. homemade noodles. Participants in a small trial ate processed instant noodles and homemade noodles. They then swallowed the tiny cameras that can be ingested. This camera transmitted video footage from inside their gastrointestinal tract.


In the video above, even after two hours, instant noodles aren’t broken down and remarkably intact, much more so than the homemade noodles, which were used as a comparison. The shape and colour of instant noodles are still largely recognizable.

The digestive tracts are seen contracting and convulsing to break down the noodles. It could be putting a strain on your digestive system, which is forced to work for hours to break down the highly processed food like instant noodles.

This also affects the nutrient absorption and could allow preservatives like tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) along with the seemingly invincible noodles to remain in your stomach cavity for a long time before being transported to the intestines and subsequently eliminated. Small amounts of TBHQ may not cause any problem but it can have a long term effect on health.