When it comes to convenient meal prep, nothing beats instant noodles: Just add hot water and wait three minutes. While Maruchan Instant Lunch noodle soups make a quick meal or snack, they can have long-lasting effects on your health if you eat too much.
These instant noodles, no matter which flavor you eat, are high in calories, saturated fat and sodium. Knowing the Maruchan nutrition facts for these soups can help you decide if convenience outweighs nutrition.
Read more: Is Ramen a Good Diet Food?
Maruchan Instant Lunch Nutrition
One 64-gram container of Maruchan Instant Lunch, whether it's a chicken, beef or shrimp flavor, contains 290 calories, according to the USDA. That's 4.5 calories per gram, making it a high-energy-dense soup.
Energy density refers to the amount of calories a food item contains compared to its weight. High-energy-dense foods are not as filling as low-energy-dense foods, as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and might cause you to consume more calories than you intended.
Mind the Macros
Most of the calories in Maruchan Instant Lunch — 53 percent — come from its carb content at 39 grams per serving. The noodle soup also contains 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of sugar. The soup is not very high in protein, with 7 grams per cup, which provide just 10 percent of the total calories. According to the National Academies of Sciences, men should aim to consume at least 56 grams of protein per day, while women need 46 grams.
Maruchan Instant Lunch soups are not only high in fat, but they are also high in unhealthy saturated fat. One container of the noodle soup contains 12 grams of total fat, which include 6 grams of saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends you limit your intake of saturated fat to less than 6 percent of your daily intake, or no more than 13 grams a day based on a 2,000-calorie diet.
One serving of Maruchan Instant Lunch noodles represents more than one-third of your daily limit for saturated fats — the "bad" fat. High intakes of saturated fat can raise your blood cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease, according to Mayo Clinic.
Watch the Salt
In addition to being high in fat, Maruchan Instant Lunch noodle soups are also high in sodium. One container of soup has 1,190 to 1,280 milligrams of sodium. Getting too much sodium in your diet increases your risk high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your daily intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day. You should limit your intake further — to less than 1,500 milligrams a day — if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, if you are African American, or if you are over age 51. Whatever your daily limit, one serving of Maruchan Instant Lunch has a significant amount of sodium.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Low-Energy-Dense Foods and Weight Management: Cutting Calories While Controlling Hunger"
- American Heart Association: "How Much Sodium Should I Eat Per Day?"
- American Heart Association: "Saturated Fat"
- National Academies of Sciences: "Macronutrients"
- Mayo Clinic: "Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Maruchan, Instant Lunch, Ramen Noodles With Vegetables"