Ramen noodles are hardened prior to packaging but soften and come to life when they're placed in boiling water. While they're cheap and tasty, ramen noodles are also high in sodium. Alarmingly high, in fact. A serving of ramen noodles can pack up to 875 milligrams of sodium, which is about 38 percent of your daily 2,300-milligram limit. With a few tweaks, you can reduce the amount of sodium you consume when you have a bowl of ramen noodles.
Cook the ramen noodles according to the package directions. When the noodles are one or two minutes from being fully cooked, drain them in a colander. Rinse the noodles with warm running water and return them to the pot. Add about half a cup of hot water to the noodles before shaking in the seasoning. Draining and rinsing the noodles will get rid of some of the sodium they contain.
Use only half the package of seasoning on the cooked noodles. Much of the sodium in a serving of ramen noodles is present in the seasoning packet, and cutting that in half will drastically reduce how much salt you consume.
Skip the broth when you eat the noodles. A great deal of the seasoning gets mixed into the water, and eating your ramen without the broth cuts down on how much salt you consume.
Add nutritious ingredients to the ramen noodles. Stir in cooked vegetables such as peas, green beans, corn or carrots. The vegetables are naturally low in sodium, and adding them to the noodles can help you consume more vegetables and fewer noodles.
- If the ramen noodles with broth are still too salty, try dropping a cube of raw potato into the pot. The potato will absorb some of the sodium and reduce the salty taste of the soup slightly.
- Look for reduced-sodium versions of ramen noodles. Many large supermarkets carry these more nutritious alternatives, and they taste similar to the original.
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.