You have probably heard of the dietary fad known as the “Ramen diet.” Legend has it that the Japanese word for “energy” or “will” is derived from the phrase “ramen desu ne.” This translates to “I’ll eat what’s in front of me,” which could explain the sudden rise in popularity of the dish in the 2020s.
The concept behind the diet is really simple: eat as much ramen as you can. As the name might suggest, ramen is a nourishing Japanese noodle dish typically served in a rich broth. The idea behind the diet is to increase your body’s chances of metabolizing food efficiently and, as a result, losing weight. The diet can be rather dangerous, however, because eating too much ramen could potentially cause you to lose electrolytes and, as a result, become dehydrated.
Nutritional Value Of Ramen
Although there’s no exact figure, nutritional values concerning ramen vary from one-fourth to one-half of the daily recommended intake levels for most essential nutrients. This is mostly thanks to the fact that most ramen products are high in sodium and low in fiber. The dish also contains fairly high levels of cholesterol.
In terms of vitamins, much like meat products, ramen is low in vitamin A. However, the dish does contain some B vitamins, as well as vitamin C and E. The question is, how beneficial are these nutrients really when consumed in such large quantities? Many experts claim that all these nutrients are rather useless unless consumed in conjunction with one another.
Health Benefits Of Ramen
For years, the Japanese have revered ramen as a healthful option, due to its high nutritional content. Today, more and more people are turning to the food for its healthful properties. Many studies have shown that eating plenty of ramen can help keep your bones strong, as well as lower cholesterol. It also increases cognitive function, which is important for seniors who want to stay sharp.
Thanks to its high sodium content, ramen can also help combat hypertension, a condition in which the blood pressure is consistently high. Experts also claim that it could be an ideal food for those who suffer from diabetes, as it contains less carbohydrates than most standard Western diets. The fact that it’s high in protein and fats makes it an excellent option for those who want to gain strength, too.
Eating plenty of ramen can also help maintain a normal body temperature. Those who suffer from colder climates or just want to stay warm could greatly benefit from this fact. Eating hot and spicy foods, as well as foods that contain capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives them their heat, can raise your body temperature. The warm broth in which ramen is cooked can also enhance the health benefits of the food. This is mainly because the nutrients in the broth are more available for absorption when the food is served at a certain temperature.
Dehydration And Electrolyte Imbalance
As we’ve established, consuming large amounts of ramen can be rather dangerous. There’s also the threat of dehydration, especially if you consume alcohol while on the diet. For those who are already at a risk of dehydration or electrolyte imbalance, the diet could prove to be fatal. Those who are on special diets for medical reasons should also avoid ramen.
It’s important to recognize that dehydration can be rather difficult to diagnose. The main symptoms of dehydration are thirst, dry mouth, and fatigue. Other symptoms can include difficulty concentrating, headache, heart palpitations, and in severe cases, muscle weakness and seizures. It is also possible to become dehydrated without necessarily realizing it, especially if you’re not drinking enough fluids. This is why it’s important to pay close attention to your daily hydration level. If you feel thirsty or fatigued, then it could be a good idea to drink more fluids.
More Harm Than Good
As we’ve established, consuming large amounts of ramen can be rather dangerous to your health. The question is, is it worth it? The short answer is no, and here’s why:
From a health standpoint, it’s important to remember that the human body was not designed to consume large amounts of ramen, and it could therefore be considered an evolutionary mistake. The food can cause mineral loss and, in some cases, raise cholesterol levels. It also contains a high amount of sodium, which may contribute to hypertension. There are also grounds for believing that ramen could speed up the growth of certain cancers, depending on the type and amount consumed.
Despite these risks, the allure of the “Ramen diet” is strong. Even health-conscious people are tempted by the idea of losing weight, and many are turning to the diet to help them achieve their goals. It’s important to remember that every food has a place in your diet, and you shouldn’t deprive yourself of any food because it’s thought to be bad for your health. Instead, try to incorporate healthier foods in your diet, while avoiding those that are thought to be harmful. In this way, you’ll ensure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs and you don’t do any damage in the process.
If you’re looking to shed some pounds, then you might want to consider some of the less risky diet options available. These include the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension), and the Paleo diet. Instead of ramen, you could incorporate the chicken tenders, Mediterranean salad, and grilled chicken that are typically served on these diets into your menu. You should not, however, be fooled by marketing hype, as many so-called healthy foods are loaded with sugar.
In the end, you really don’t want to become a guinea pig in any kind of dietary experiment. This is why, before you start any diet plan, you should consult with your physician or health care provider. They can help you determine what food choices would be appropriate for you and your body, as well as which supplements and medications you might need to take in conjunction with the diet.