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Maruchan Diet

By Milo Dakota

Maruchan ramen noodles, a staple in college dormitories, is also the mainstay of a weight-loss diet. The Maruchan diet lets you eat as much as you want of the brand’s noodles and soups. You can find testimonials on the Internet from people claiming to lose nearly 100 lbs. on such a diet, but it is also possible to gain weight from this diet.

Unbalanced Diet

A diet consisting of Maruchan noodles would leave you nutritionally challenged. You would need to eat 8 to 10 servings of Maruchan noodle soups to obtain your daily requirement for protein and 8 servings to get your recommended amount of carbohydrate. Ten servings of Maruchan noodles would contain 1,900 to 3,100 calories, depending on the flavor you choose. The noodles are high in fat and sodium and do not meet your dietary needs for fruits, vegetables or dairy products.

Nutrition Facts

The nutritional breakdown for three varieties of Maruchan ramen noodles are: Instant Lunch Ramen Noodles Cheddar Cheese Flavor, 310 calories, 15 g fat, 1,120 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate and 6 g protein; Instant Lunch Ramen Noodles Road Chicken Flavor, 290 calories, 12 g fat, 1,380 mg sodium, 37 mg carbohydrate and 6 g protein, and Ramen Noodle Soup Chicken Mushroom Flavor, 190 calories, 8 g fat, 820 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate and 4 g protein.

Sodium Debate

Although the sodium content of the Maruchan diet is unquestionably high -- a single serving contains up to 47 percent of your recommended daily need for salt -- experts disagree about the role of salt in putting you at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Dr. Frank Sacks, a Harvard professor who led a study published in the January 2001 edition of the “New England Journal of Medicine,” says everyone should cut back on salt, even people who do not suffer from high blood pressure. On the other hand, Dr. Michael Alderman, former president of the American Society of Hypertension, says scientific evidence fails to support establishing any particular sodium content for a person’s diet.

Cost and Convenience

The Maruchan diet may appeal to you because it is both convenient and inexpensive. With little additional trouble or cost, you could increase the nutritional value of the diet. If you were to add just ½ cup of chopped frozen broccoli to a serving of ramen noodles, you would gain fiber, vitamin C and vitamin E. The fiber in broccoli can assist in your weight-loss efforts by making you feel full longer, and the vitamin C will give your metabolism a slight boost, according to registered dietitian Leslie Beck. Vitamin E protects against macular degeneration and reduces the risk of heart attacks for people with diabetes, according to Angela Epstein, the "vitamin doctor" for London's "Daily Mail."


Adding 3 servings of yogurt to the Maruchan diet would help you meet your daily needs for dairy products as well as speed your weight-loss efforts, according to a study conducted at the University of Tennessee. In the stud,y led by Michael Zemel, women who consumed 3 servings of yogurt daily for 12 weeks lost 22 percent more weight and 61 percent more body fat than the women whose diets merely restricted calories, according to the study presented at an Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego in 2003.


Always consult with your doctor before beginning a new diet regimen.

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