What if instant noodles were made this way!
Known as the broke college students’ main source of food, instant noodles have been satisfying the hungry bellies of the economically-unstable or culinarily-challenged for decades. However, the instant noodle has never been viewed as a nourishing food item-that is, until some of us asked what if…?
The idea for the world’s first instant noodle, “chicken ramen,” (or more accurately ‘chikin ramen’) came to Momofuku Ando in 1940s post-war Japan. Still in recovery from WWII, Japan was facing nation-wide famine and its worst harvest season in decades. People were starving and dying, leaving them to rely heavily on wheat provided by the U.S during its occupation in Japan. Often made from this surplus of wheat were ramen and gyoza— a staple “stamina food,” both filling and high in calories. Despite this, the government pushed to produce bread instead, baffling Ando. As a means to maintain Japan’s heritage and possibly solve Japan’s hunger problem, he thought of making instant ramen that was not only more accessible, but also easier to prepare.
After a year of experimenting, Ando came up with an entire process of industrially manufacturing instant noodles— a process that is still implemented today. It starts with noodle-making, followed by steaming, seasoning and finally dehydrating the noodles in oil heat. Before long, people began calling the invention “Magic Ramen” for its convenience and ingenuity.
Sustenance vs subsistence
It has now been decades since the end of WWII. Japan’s economy is nowhere near where it used to be— but its instant noodle consumption has only increased. Japan consumes about 5630 million servings of instant noodles a year and consumption increases by 100 thousand servings annually. Our diets have, slowly but surely, evolved from eating to obtain energy to survive to eating for long-term health and prosperity. We are becoming more health-conscious by the day. Which begs the question— why is our instant noodle consumption increasing when we now value health over mere subsistence?
Plenty in empty calories
Nowadays, instant noodles are constantly associated with the term ‘empty calories.’ For those unfamiliar, empty calories are, fundamentally, foods that may be filling but have no nutritional value. It was a concept first explored by French physiologist François Magendie, who conducted an (ethically questionable) experiment in which he fed a 3 year-old dog only sugar and recorded his findings— it died in 32 days.
Although our diets are (hopefully) not as extreme as Magendie’s test animals’, we, especially children, still consume a notably high amount of empty calories— with the majority of it coming from added sugars, solid fats, processed oils and starch. Unfortunately, the introduction of instant noodles has done little to nothing to help ease its consumption.
The mighty Maida
To answer the previous question, let’s take a look at the ingredients list many of us often ignore. Most instant ramens are made with maida— a milled, refined and bleached version of wheat flour. During the refining process, the most nutritious parts of whole grains, like bran and germ, are removed— stripping the flour of most of its natural nutrients including: fibre, vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and more.
Nevertheless, there is one thing maida doesn’t lack in— carbohydrates. High intakes of carbohydrates, especially highly-processed carbs, are detrimental to our hormonal systems as it encourages the secretion of insulin. This consequently causes more energy to be converted into fat tissues instead of it being used to fuel other parts of the body. Which, in turn, causes hunger and overeating— leading to weight gain and obesity.
Busy office workers or students consume instant ramen to satiate their hunger and to feel energized but what they don’t realize is that it could leave them feeling even more hungry than they were before. What’s more surprising is that, being overweight and consuming junk food might not be as clear of a cause-and-effect situation as we once thought it to be. Feeling constant hunger and fatigue may even be symptoms of being overweight rather than its cause. It’s a simple but vicious cycle.
The ‘instant’ in instant noodles
Instant noodles get its ‘instant’-ness by being deep fried in palm oil prior to packing. Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil that is harvested from the fruit of oil palm trees. It’s relatively cheap and is usually available in huge amounts— but, like all things, it comes with a cost. The palm oil industry is one of the most destructive businesses in the world. Tropical forests and multitudes of ecosystems have been destroyed to make room for oil palm plantations. So much so that it has led to the imminent extinction of rhinos, elephants, Tigers, and more— whose habitats have been destroyed. Not only is it destructive to the environment, palm oil is high in saturated fats which boosts LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to higher risks of heart disease.
What doesn’t kill you makes you…keep eating it? Despite countless studies illustrating the harm of instant noodles, the world still slurps down 116.6 billion servings a year; which means almost 320 million servings daily. Consumption is most prominent in Asia—where almost 80% of the world’s instant noodles are eaten. It seems that the majority of us consume instant noodles despite the health risks.
Originally invented as a solution to mass hunger, the instant noodle is now considered to be a favourite ‘comfort food’ for many. It is a warm, nostalgia-filled bowl that’s easy to whip up in no time. Many of us are guilty of stuffing a few packets in our luggage for a taste of home when we travel. It’s clear that instant noodles aren’t going anywhere soon despite our society transitioning to more health-conscious diets and lifestyles. So, what can we do about it?
What if we could make instant noodles healthy?
This is the fundamental question that our founders targeted as they deep dived into a five-year R&D project.
While WhatIF Foods believes that instant noodles will continue to play a central role in bringing accessible calories to people, we believe that we and our consumers must try to reimagine the instant noodle category for the sake of our health and the Earth’s health. Years of R&D later, we have developed proprietary technologies to make instant noodles healthier for the you, all the while regenerating our environment and farming communities.
Not fried like the other guys
WhatIF Foods has our very own patented air-frying process that allows for noodles to be pre-cooked without having to be deep fried— making it palm oil-free and less fatty. Air-frying also helps our noodles retain nutrients and natural colours from the Regenerative Crops used in our unique formulations.
Speaking of Regenerative Crops...
Regenerative Crops are nutritionally dense crops that are climate-resilient, resource efficient, and economically viable for smallholder farmers. We feature the BamNut, traditionally known as Bambara groundnut or Kacang Poi (Bahasa), in all our noodles. As our noodles are not exposed to high temperature associated to the deep-frying process, we manage to retain all the natural goodness of the BamNut like its high protein and fibre contents. As a result, all our noodles are high in protein and contain a significantly higher amount of fibre compared to others on the market.
Fooling the brain
The food science team at WhatIF Foods searched high and low for the best way to bring out that fried flavour without the need for deep-frying. Much of the flavour of traditional instant noodles that we all love come from an abundance of artificial flavouring, MSG, and the deep-frying of the noodles. We took on the challenge to eliminate all these yuckies. Our team finally arrived at a ‘secret sprinkle’ of herbs, which is 100% natural to create noodles that fool your brain into thinking that you are eating something deep-fried even when it is not!
Where can I find WhatIF Foods noodles?
Starting on the 1st of July, our four colourful noodles - BamNut Noodles with Sweet Hot seasoning, BamNut Moringa Noodles with Sesame Garlic seasoning, the BamNut Pumpkin Noodles with Cheeky Curry seasoning, and the BamNut Charcoal Noodles with Shroom Pepper seasoning - will be available on our webpage and 28 locations of FairPrice Finest. Support us in our journey in reimagining instant noodles.
The Best Instant Noodles Feed People Around the World
WhatIF Foods brings you the best instant noodles for a nutritious and healthy life. You can find exciting flavors and great tastes right here in our store. So, pick the one you like and get ready for some yummy time!
Noodles that are quick and easy to prepare have become a daily part of our lives. Whenever we feel hungry, we grab a bowl of noodles and settle into their comforting taste. In 2019, we consumed more than 106 billion servings. That's over 290 million servings, eaten by people all around the world. They are cheap and available at every store and here at WhatIF Foods.
Ramen noodles are easy to make, but they often are full of unhealthy ingredients. Ingredients you don’t want to put in your body. Our noodles at WhatIF Foods are engineered to be healthier than anything else on the market. We use the most sustainable practices to make them.
Are Instant Noodles Bad For You?
We don't think twice before grabbing a bowl. For some of us, it has become like a staple in our diet. But are they good for you?
To answer that, let's first see what your traditional instant ramen is made of.
The main ingredient is wheat flour. However, you now get different types of noodles, like instant rice noodles. Apart from that, you will generally find palm or vegetable oil and some seasoning. They are also full of other unhealthy ingredients like MSG.
As you can see, this type of noodles are not very nutritious. Additionally, calories may be a cause of concern for people on a diet.
Most noodles are also deep fried in a way that strips the noodles color and what little nutrients were there in the first place.
In conclusion, eating instant ramen is not bad for you. It may not be nutritious but doesn't lead to any negative health effects. You can have them without any concerns unless it makes up your main diet.
Traditional instant noodles may contain a few micronutrients like iron, sodium, manganese, and some vitamins.
WhatIF Foods Instant Noodles Are healthy!
WhatIf Foods always tries to bring you the healthiest products. Our noodles are made of things like bambara groundnut and moringa which are not only nutritious, but also sustainable ingredients. We don’t have any MSG, palm oil, or other nasty ingredients.
We also use an air frying method to make them that doesn’t strip them of their color and nutrients. You can browse our range of healthy noodles for complete peace of mind.
What are Our Instant Noodles Made From?
They were traditionally made from wheat flour. Along with that, you need to add water and salt. Noodles may also contain oil, as they are fried before being dried and packed. They use very simple ingredients, and that's a major reason for their affordability.
In Asia, many regions use rice as the main ingredient, but you can also find the use of other whole grains that make them more healthy.
Additionally, you can also buy ones made from potatoes, peas, beans, and corn, or in our case, bambara groundnut and moringa.
WhatIF Foods Noodles are Made to be Healthier and Tastier.
Our What If BamNut Noodles pack lean-protein from plant sources. It also uses a yummy seasoning that contains herbs, spices, and soy sauce.
You can also order our Moringa Noodles packed with sesame garlic seasoning. Additionally, our noodles contain 60% less fat than any other ones you may buy.
You can refer to the label of your pack for a complete list of ingredients. You will also be able to know the nutritional values from the same place.
Which Instant Noodles are Best?
We offer a range of recipes and flavors. Plus, different tastes appeal to different people.
The noodles you get at What If Foods are all the best in terms of flavor, nutrition, and sustainability. Each product is really popular and sells like hotcakes. We have handpicked our instant ramens recipes to give your taste buds the best experience. You can choose any noodles you want and be on your way to a delicious trip.
You will stop your search for the best noodles once you have tried WhatIf Foods. Taste, quality, flavors, nutrition- we made sure we check off all the boxes to become your favorite noodles brand!
What's the Healthiest Instant Noodle?
There is no single verdict on what's the healthiest. So, we are going to teach you to choose the healthiest ones:
You want to find brands that don’t deep fry their noodles. It is challenging to do so, but worth it. When frying noodles the nutrients are stripped out, so this is a BIG NO! Air frying prevents this from happening (we air fry our noodles).
Low in Sodium
Sodium is a big issue with instant noodles. They are often packed with sodium, which isn’t very healthy. Look for brands that reduce sodium without increasing fat.
Whole Grain Ramen
Look for noodles that use whole grains. Refined flour may not always be the healthiest option. Noodles made from whole grains provide you a good dose of fiber. Plus, you can stay satiated for a longer time to avoid cravings.
Many brands load up their offerings with nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Research has shown taking noodles fortified with iron is beneficial to prevent anemia. Choose instant ramen brands that add valuable nutrients to make up for a poor diet.
Add Your Nutrition
You don't have any shortage of recipes that are delicious and healthy at the same time. Add veggies and sources of protein to have a filling meal full of nutrients.
You can also choose from our range of healthy noodles and stop worrying about nutritional deficits.
Additionally, you can make your noodles nutritious very easily. Just add some stir-fried veggies to your cup of noodles to enjoy a healthy meal. You can also slice up or cut meat into small pieces and add them to your ramen.
Why are Most Instant Noodles So Cheap?
Ramen is still a food you can buy for under a dollar. That's also a cause for its popularity and huge scale of consumption. But how can the prices of ramen be so low?
Here are the top reasons:
The ingredients are typically very inexpensive and poor in quality. Flour is cheap, and the other ingredients like palm oil are also priced very low. The flavoring also uses very affordable ingredients like sugar and seasoning.
WhatIF Foods Ingredients are Better
We only use the best ingredients. We skip the preservatives and we don’t use things like palm oil or MSG. We also use nutrient dense ingredients that other noodle brands don’t.
They are made in the factory in large batches. Manufacturers enjoy a significant economy of scale that helps them keep prices down.
Low Shipping Costs
They are very lightweight. As a result, they don't need high shipping costs. Plus, the packaging also costs very less.
Another cause for the low price of ramen is the huge scale of sales. The little profits from each pack add up to a considerable amount in the end. So, it's a win-win situation for both the ramen manufacturers and the customers!
Choose yummy instant noodles from our catalog and start having a great time right now!
Why are Noodles from WhatIF Foods more Expensive?
Noodles are one of the most affordable food items in the world. You can get a pack for less than a dollar no matter where you live. But what makes our noodles more expensive?
There are a number of reasons that make instant ramen so affordable-
WhatIF Foods created our own air frying process that makes sure the noodles keep all of their nutrients and color. See the green in our moringa noodles? That is real.
Most companies deep fry their noodles which strip them of color and nutrients. If you see color, know that that is artificial coloring.
Sustainable & Nutrient Dense Ingredients
We skipped the cheap, unhealthy, and unsustainable ingredients. That means we don’t use palm oil or MSG. Our noodles are made from highly sustainable crops like bambara groundnut and moringa.
Our products are packed with plant based protein and our moringa variety has iron in it.
No Cheap Tricks
With us, you don’t have to worry about:
- artificial coloring
- artificial flavors
- artificial sweeteners
- Palm oil
How to Cook Instant Noodles?
Cooking is quick and easy. With instant ramen or cup noodles, all you need is some boiling water to cook the noodles in while mixing in the flavoring.
With WhatIF Foods noodles, follow these steps how to prepare them perfectly.
Add noodles to 500ml of boiling water and cook for 3 - 5 minutes.
Strain noodles and place in a bowl or on a plate.
Add seasoning sauce and powder and mix well.
You can even add other ingredients to your snack if you want. Things like nuts and pumpkin seeds will be a great addition and offer a bit more nutrition. Check out all of our recipes here.
Get Your Instant Noodles from What If Foods
Our store has the best instant noodle selection from the corners of the world. We have taken care to add the healthiest products to keep you fit and fine. Create your own recipes or simply download popular ones from the internet for a great taste makeover.
Serve your friends and family, and enjoy some quality time together. Plus, keep some ramen packs handy for quickly serving your kids when they come back hungry from school.
WhatIf Foods is your one-stop-shop for all your noodles needs. We use the best ingredients to woo your taste buds and make for some great dishes. What if noodles are the choice of health-conscious individuals who care about what they put in their bodies!