Instant noodles are a popular and cheap source of carbohydrates and fat, but they also increase people's risk of metabolic changes, potentially leading to heart disease, diabetes and strokes. They contain high amounts of MSG and various additives and preservatives that impact nutrient absorption over time. Some chemicals found in instant noodles have been linked to cancer.
The health risks associated with consuming large amounts of instant noodles over time primarily stem from the high sodium and unsaturated fat content. A South Korean study found that these effects were not mitigated with exercise or an otherwise healthy diet.
Instant noodles are also coated in wax along with a chemical, propylene glycol, that accumulates in the heart, liver and kidneys, resulting in a weakening of the immune system as well as a host of other abnormalities and damage. The instant noodles do not digest easily, remaining in the stomach far longer than their homemade counterparts, and put a strain on the digestive system. The large quantities of MSG found in instant noodles have also been linked to brain dysfunction, learning disabilities, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and obesity.
In general, processed foods are designed to be addictive and encourage excessive food cravings, leading to insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.