Food & Nutrition

Are Pot Noodles healthy? We take an honest look at the popular instant noodles product

Pot Noodles

Published by Finn Hayden

Pot Noodle is one of the most iconic food brands in the UK - love 'em or hate 'em, there is no denying the popularity of these flavoured instant noodles. But one thing which has been a subject of debate for a long time is how healthy Pot Noodles are. Considering they're just noodles, flavour, and boiling water, surely they can't be too bad for you? We wanted to take a close look at Pot Noodles to see how healthy they actually are, let's get into it:

What type of Pot Noodles did we look at?

There are currently 11 different flavours of Pot Noodle to choose from, but despite tasting different, they're all quite similar in terms of ingredients and nutritional properties. Instead of looking at all 11, we thought it would more useful to look at the 2 most of the most popular flavours - Chicken and Mushroom, and Beef and Tomato.

What are the nutritional statistics of these Pot Noodles?

We mentioned that all of the Pot Noodle flavours are pretty similar in terms of nutritional statistics, and in comparing the Chicken and Mushroom and Beef and Tomato flavours, we really noticed this. For example, both contain almost exactly the same amount of calories per 100g prepared - 143 kcal for the Beef and Tomato flavour, and 141 kcal for the Chicken and Mushroom flavour. Compare that to some of the other instant noodles that we've tried, and it's actually quite a high calorie count - for example, the Chicken Ramen flavour Kabuto Noodles contain just 71 calories per 100g prepared, half as much as a Pot Noodle. The same goes for many of the other instant noodles products we reviewed previously such as the Itsu Katus rice noodles, which contain just 61 calories per 100g prepared. We expected these Pot Noodles to be higher in calories than most other instant noodles products, but we didn't expect them to contain more than twice as many calories.

Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodle

The same goes for the fat content of a Pot Noodle - you'll find 5.7g in both a Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodle and the Beef and Tomato variety. This is almost 7 times as much as you'll find in the same amount of Kabuto Chicken Ramen noodles (0.8g) and 19 times as much as you'll find in the Itsu Katsu Noodles. We found this really quite shocking!

Beef and Tomato pot noodle

In terms of positives, we were surprised to see that both varieties of Pot Noodle were actually lower in salt than the other 2 instant noodle products we looked at. You'll find 0.63g of salt in 100g of the Chicken and Mushroom and 0.55g in the same amount of the Beef and Tomato variety, whereas the Itsu Katsu noodles contain 0.73g of salt in the same amount, and the Kabuto Chicken Ramen Noodles contain 1g of salt - almost twice as much as the Beef and Tomato Pot Noodle.

We were also pleased to see that the protein content of a Pot Noodle was quite high at over 3g per pot. Compare this to other instant noodle brands such as the Kabuto Chicken Ramen noodles, and it's about 0.5g more protein per pot. Protein helps to keep you full, so there is perhaps an argument to be had that eating a Pot Noodle will keep you fuller than eating some of the other instant noodles we've looked at.

So, can we describe Pot Noodles as healthy?

Overall, Pot Noodles contain less salt than most of the other instant noodles that we looked at which really surprised us. However, they also contained a lot more calories and in some cases more than 10 times as much fat, so we'd be hard-pressed to describe Pot Noodles as healthy.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you to decide how healthy Pot Noodles are. Let us know what you think of our guide and what you think of this popular instant noodles brand!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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