Are instant noodles unhealthy?

Instant noodles are quick and easy to make and a hit with children. They are advertised as being ‘wholesome’ and ‘delicious’. Some common claims are that they are ‘made of whole wheat atta’, contain ‘added vegetables’ and are ‘fortified with vitamins and minerals’. But, our tests found out that their high salt and fat content make them an unhealthy option. Dieticians also say they have little nutritional value.

What we did

We lab tested nine popular brands of instant noodles, namely Knorr Soupy Noodles Mast Masala, Maggi Vegetable Atta Noodles Masala, Maggi 2-Minute Noodles Meri Masala, Top Ramen Super Noodles More Masala, Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles Classic Masala, Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles Magic Masala, Reliance Select Instant Noodles Masala, Prima Stella Instant Noodles Fun Masala and Foodles from Horlicks Ala Masala, for fat and sodium. We also conducted a taste test based on five criteria – appearance, smell, texture, flavour and aftertaste.

What we found

  • The tastiest instant noodle brands – Knorr and Reliance – contained the highest levels of sodium.
  • Maggi 2-Minute Noodles Meri Masala scored a respectable 72% on taste and had the least sodium and fat.
  • Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles Magic Masala might be among the top-tasting brands – but it was the highest in fat.
  • Foodles had the second lowest sodium content, did well in our taste test (scoring 74%) and also had relatively low fat content.

Did you know?

  • A serving of Maggi Meri Masala has about the same amount of fat as a bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk chocolate Knorr Soupy Noodles has as much fat as three packets of Lays Baked Original Salted chips
  • McDonald’s McAloo Tikki has 840mg of sodium – around the same as Maggi Vegetable Atta Noodles and Top Ramen


  • Instant noodles are considered to be junk food. They contain too much fat, sodium and at times, MSG.
  • To make them healthier, you should add lots of vegetables. Avoid having them as main meals and eat them only once in 10-15 days. They should not be given to children below four years of age.

Courtesy: Right Choice, January 2014 (
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