Ramen is a tradition food for two cultures: the Japanese and college students. However, most Asian countries have their own version of this staple noodle. The Chinese call them "lo-mein." In Singapore, you should ask for "maggi mee." Different preparations have different nutrition facts.
Serving Size and Calories
For the familiar packaged and dehydrated noodles available at most U.S. supermarkets, a package of ramen noodles delivers 385 calories, according to nutrition information distributed by the USDA. Of these calories, 131 come from fat, another 223 come from carbohydrates and 31.6 come from protein.
One 85 g package of ramen noodles has 14.5 g of fat. Unhealthy saturated fats make up 6.5 g, almost one-third of your daily allowance. The remainder of the fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. According to Walter Willett in "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy," unsaturated fats contribute to circulatory health by producing cleansing HDL cholesterol. Note that some varieties of ramen come with packets of flavor oil, which may change this fat profile.
Fifty-six grams of carbohydrates come with every package of ramen. The overwhelming majority of these are complex carbohydrates, a staple healthy energy source. Two grams are dietary fiber, a substance important to both digestive and circulatory health.
One package of ramen noodles brings 7.9 g of protein to the table. That's 16 percent of your daily requirement. Although some brands contain some animal proteins, most of the protein in ramen is incomplete plant protein. These contain only some of the amino acids your body needs, and should be eaten along with complementary protein sources.
Ramen is surprisingly nutritious for a noodle. One package delivers nearly a quarter of the USDA recommended daily riboflavin and niacin, and about one-third of your thiamine and folate. It also carries smaller, but significant, values of vitamins E, K and B6.
A package of ramen noodles contains 20 percent of your daily iron, 34 percent of your selenium and 9 percent of your iron. It contains smaller but significant levels of magnesium, zinc and copper. Ramen is high in sodium, delivering 41 percent of your daily allowance with each package. However, most of this sodium is in the flavoring packet. Using less flavoring, which is predominantly salt, will reduce the sodium content.