If you have ever been in college or have ever been really broke it is more than likely that you have eaten Ramen Noodles. They are a staple food in college dorms everywhere because they are cheap and very easy to make. You can throw them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes or you can microwave them. You can add things like veggies and chicken to them if you like. There are even recipe books that have hundreds of different ways that you can use these processed noodles. But just because there are recipes it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be eating them.
One of the ingredients that you will find in Ramen is Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ). This is a very toxic ingredient that should not be consumed in large (or really any) amounts. It is a petroleum based preservative that helps to keep processed foods “fresh” and give them a longer shelf life. Unfortunately the more you eat the more you reduce your body’s shelf life.
An interesting experiment was conducted by gastrointestinal specialist Dr. Braden Kuo of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He produced time lapse videos of the inside of the stomach and watched the food’s progression through the digestive system. He had two subjects. One ate processed Ramen and the other ate fresh noodles. This was possible thanks to a tiny camera that is the size of a large pill. The subject swallows the camera and it allowed Dr. Kuo to watch what happened inside of their body as their stomach tried to digest the heavy noodles. What he found with this was that even after a few hours the processed noodles were barely broken down in the stomach as compared to the homemade noodles.
What this means is that the TBHQ is staying in your stomach longer than it should which will cause health problems (sometimes even death) down the road. The FDA guidelines state that the level of TBHQ must not exceed 0.02% of the oil and fat content in the food. In studies conducted in labs the researchers have found that 5 grams of TBHQ is enough to cause death. Just 1 gram will cause anaphylactic shock, delirium, vomiting, and nausea. It has also been linked to stomach cancer.
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