Who doesn’t love a hot cup of noodles? It’s everyone's favourite, from children to adults. But is it ok to eat noodles while you are trying to lose weight? Let’s find out.
Who doesn’t love a hot steaming bowl of noodles? It’s an all-time favourite snack for all that satisfies your taste buds. Neither children nor adults can resist noodles. But how about those who are trying to lose weight? Are noodles good for weight loss? Let’s get to know the facts.
Are Noodles Healthy?
Noodles must be a favourite go-to snack for most of us and it is hard to say “No” to something as yummy as that. However, the general perception about noodles is that it is an unhealthy food item. It may be the use of refined flour, MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) or excessive oil, all contributing to its “unhealthy” tag. But are noodles really bad for you?
It depends upon what the noodles are made of, what ingredients you add to it, and even the type and amount of fat you use to cook it. Most types of instant noodles are made with refined flour (maida). Thus, they are high on carbohydrates, and low on fibre and protein.
Following a 50:50 rule for noodles and vegetables would help in making your noodles healthier. Keep the ratio of noodles and vegetables equal in your dish to make it fibre-rich. For example, if you take 50 g of cooked noodles, add 50 g of cooked vegetables of your choice to the dish. You can also add a cooked-up protein such as egg or lean meat to the noodles to up their nutrient quotient.
This way you can ensure that you maintain a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fibre in your dish. Read on to understand the nutritional information of noodles.
Nutrients and Calories in Noodles
There are various types of noodles, depending on the core ingredient used to make the noodles, the process of preparation, and their nutrient content.
Let’s take a look at the nutritional information in 100 g of cooked flour noodles.
Do Noodles Help You Lose Weight?
While adding noodles to your weight loss diet, you should be careful about the type of noodles you choose and what ingredients are going into your dish. It is also essential that you keep an eye on your portion size.
Let’s understand how you can make your noodles healthier and apt for inclusion in a diet for weight loss. Here are some ingredients that can increase the nutritional value of your noodles:
Load up With Healthy Vegetables
Vegetables are a good source of fibre, which can benefit your health and also accelerate weight loss. Fibre absorbs water and swells up in your stomach, thus keeping you full for longer. This can prevent frequent snacking and thus lower your calorie intake.
Further, foods that are high in fibre take a longer time to chew, giving you more time to realise when you are full. This helps prevent overeating. Vegetables that are high in fibre are also low in calories and therefore are good for those who are trying to shed weight. You can include vegetables such as broccoli, carrot, cabbage, and celery in your noodles.
Add Your Favourite Legumes
Legumes are a rich source of protein and fibre, which makes them apt for weight loss. While you know how fibre works for weight loss, protein also plays a crucial role in lowering your body weight. Proteins can keep you satiated and prevent you from choosing other fattening foods. This automatically reduces your calorie intake and promotes weight loss. Some of the common legumes that you can add to your noodles include beans, lentils, peas, soybeans, and peanuts.
Choose Lean Meat
For weight loss, it is important that you choose lean meats. Lean meats refer to meats that are relatively low in calories. They are low in fat and ideal for those who are trying to lose weight. For losing weight, it is essential that you be on a calorie deficit, meaning that you need to burn more calories than you consume. This makes it important that you choose foods that are low in calories. You can add skinless chicken, lean beef, and fish to your noodles.
Which Noodle is Best for Weight loss?
Whole-wheat noodles can give you a boost of nutrition along with loads of fibre. Fibre-rich foods can keep you satiated for a long time and prevent frequent hunger pangs. They also help improve digestion and promote healthy bowel movements.
Choosing whole-wheat noodles can prove to be beneficial for those who are trying to lose weight and is also favourable for your overall health.
Quinoa is a whole grain that has recently grown in popularity due to its multiple health benefits. It is a rich source of plant-based protein and also contains loads of fibre. It is gluten-free and nutritionally dense with amino acids, magnesium, vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and various beneficial antioxidants.
It is thus a perfect addition to your weight loss diet. Quinoa flour can be used to prepare noodles that are filled with all their goodness. Grind quinoa till it turns into a powder form. Knead it into the dough just like you knead maida to make noodles. You could also purchase commercially available quinoa noodles, but make sure you read the ingredient list carefully.
Bajra or pearl millet is a widely grown millet in India. It is considered a healthy replacement for rice and wheat in most dishes. Bajra flour, which is made by grinding the millet, can be used to make highly nutritious noodles. Bajra is gluten-free and has a high fibre content due to which it tends to fill you up quickly. These factors make it apt for weight loss.
Other than that, bajra is rich in amino acids and antioxidants, which help in regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Bajra flour can be used instead of maida (all-purpose flour) to knead the dough for your noodles. You could also purchase commercially available bajra noodles, but make sure you read the ingredient list carefully.
Zucchini is a dark or light green vegetable that resembles a cucumber. It has a mild flavour and is usually eaten with the skin on. Shredded zucchini can be directly used as a replacement for noodle stripes and cooked just like regular noodles. You can then add vegetables, protein, and sauce of your choice to the noodles.
This no-flour dish is low in calories and surprisingly yummy. You can enjoy this dish guilt-free while on a weight loss regime. Zucchini is also known to aid in digestion and lower your blood sugar levels. It can thus be a perfect companion in your weight-loss journey.
How Much Noodles Can You Consume in a Day?
Although it depends on the type of noodles, it is best not to consume noodles every day. You should derive nutrition from a varied, balanced diet. Eating the same food every day may be harmful to your gut health and limit the nutrients you consume.
You can limit your consumption of noodles to 2 to 3 times a week. Also, make sure that you choose homemade noodles and add your favourite veggies and protein sources to them to improve their nutritional value.
When is the Best Time to Have Noodles?
You can consume noodles at any time of the day. As most noodle types may be high in calories and carbohydrates, it is better to consume noodles for lunch or as an evening snack. It can keep you satiated and energised for the rest of the day.
Overconsumption of Noodles: Side Effects
Generally, noodles are made from maida (all-purpose flour or white refined flour). Consuming maida in large quantities can prove to be harmful to your health as almost all important nutrients are lost during the processing of maida.
Excess consumption of maida can increase your body weight, raise your blood pressure, and also spike your blood sugar levels. Eating maida also raises your bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL) levels.
However, you can still eat noodles by replacing the maida or refined flour noodles with healthier alternatives such as whole wheat, millet, or quinoa noodles. You can also load up your noodles with vegetables and protein. If you must eat noodles made of maida, make sure you watch your portion size.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- The health quotient of noodles depends on what they are made of, what ingredients you add to it, and the type and amount of oil you use to cook it. Most types of instant noodles are made with refined flour (maida). Thus, they are high on carbohydrates and low on fibre and protein.
- Keep the ratio of noodles and vegetables equal in your dish. Add vegetables and a source of protein to it. This way you can ensure that you maintain a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fibre in your food item.
- While adding noodles to your weight loss diet, you should be careful of the type of noodles you choose and what ingredients are going into your dish. It is also essential that you keep an eye on your portion size.
- Add vegetables, legumes, and lean meat to your noodles to make it healthier.
- You can limit your consumption of any type of noodles to 2 to 3 times a week. Also, make sure that you choose homemade noodles and add your favourite veggies and protein sources to them to improve their nutritional value.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading nutritionists and dieticians to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a Weight Management Program which provides 360º care. Start your weight management journey with Phable.
Friendly Asked Questions
If you are looking for healthier options in noodles, you can opt for whole-wheat, quinoa, millet, or zucchini noodles. Unlike noodles made of maida or refined flour, they are low in calories and carbohydrates, and a good source of proteins, fibre, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Though atta or whole-wheat noodles may not be as appealing to your taste buds as instant noodles are, they are a good choice for those who are trying to lose weight. Atta is a rich source of fibre, which keeps you satiated for long and prevents frequent hunger pangs. It helps prevent overeating and helps you keep a check on your calorie intake.
Both rice and noodles can be beneficial in your weight loss journey. Choose brown rice over white rice, and choose noodles made with healthy ingredients such as whole wheat, millet or quinoa, as these are higher in fibre and nutrients. Add vegetables for fibre and healthy protein sources to rice or noodles to up its nutrient content and make filling meals, which aid weight loss.
Choosing noodles that are made of maida or white refined flour can put you at a risk of weight gain. This flour is stripped of most nutrients while being processed and is just simple carbohydrates and calories that you would be adding to your diet. While on a weight loss diet, make sure you go for healthier options in noodles such as bajra or whole-wheat noodles. If you eat maida noodles, watch your portion size and add vegetables and protein sources to your noodles to increase their nutrition value.
Instant noodles are low in protein, fibre, and other essential nutrients and high in fat, carbohydrates, and sodium. They can cause weight gain and increase in belly fat and may not be the best choice for those who are trying to lose weight. Regular consumption of instant noodles has also been associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, which is characterised by excess belly fat.