Ramen Noodles: The College Student’s Best Friend?

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Ramen Noodles: The College Student’s Best Friend?

Katie Stromme

If you must eat Ramen all the time, at least try to health it up a little bit.

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Think of college students and what comes to mind? Tight budgets, caffeine, late nights, and, of course, ramen noodles.

Students on the go can be limited with their food choice. Depending on what time they wake up or return to campus, dining may not be open.  Between classes, it’s easy to pop noodles in the microwave for a few minutes. After choosing a flavor at the store, the only planning needed is a clean bowl and spoon. And in the winter, the quick and filling meal can be just as good as a can of soup, at half the cost. Instead of spending five or six dollars at a fast food restaurant, ramen noodles are an attractive alternative. The inexpensive instant noodle packages are sold for 22 cents at Marshall’s Wal-Mart.

But just how nutritious are ramen noodles? The package states that there are two servings in a block of noodles. The packet of seasoning has 790 milligrams of sodium. Ryn Gargunlinski said in a March 28, 2011 Livestrong.com article, “The recommended daily dose of sodium, as per the Dietary Reference Intake, should be no more than 1,440 milligrams.” Having one package of noodles doesn’t leave a lot of room to eat much more sodium throughout the day. Students who eat two packages a day consume 1,580 milligrams. By the end of the month, that’s 47,400 milligrams of sodium. It grows exponentially in a year.

Eating the suggested portion amount of noodles and only using half of the seasoning would drastically cut the sodium content.

According to MayoClinic.com having too much sodium can cause the body to retain fluids. Fluid retention can lead to a higher blood pressure, which can lead to a reduction in kidney functions.

So what are some ways to make this high-sodium food healthy? Rassmussen.edu has numerous ramen noodle recipes such as pouring marinara sauce in the bowl to make spaghetti. Another easy and healthy alternative is heating up a can of chili to pour over hot ramen noodles. MyRecipes.com tells how to make a chicken noodle-like soup, using ramen noodles, cooked chicken, cabbage, and carrots.

Gabbie Holthe, a Southwest Minnesota State University sophomore, said, “My friends add in chicken and steak, and even some eggs to mix it up.”

The internet is beginning to explode with recipes and uses for these noodles. And they’re all just one click away for a busy time-strapped, beer-budgeted college student.

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