How Many Calories Are In Ramen Noodles Without The Packet?

I used to regularly consume ramen noodles without seasoning. But eventually, I realized the issue with ramen noodles goes much deeper than the seasoning packet. I reasoned that it’s at least lower in sodium that way, and hey—it’s cheap and tasty!

Ramen noodles without the seasoning packet are still unhealthy. They frequently have extra salt and vegetable oil added, making them higher in calories, fat, and sodium than regular noodles. Additionally, they frequently contain TBHQ, a contentious preservative that has been linked to tumors and paralysis in animal studies.

I’ll break down a number of aspects of ramen nutrition (without the seasoning) below. We’ll look at ingredients, calories, sodium, TBHQ, and more. I’ll also provide useful advice for healthier noodle dishes.

According to My Food Data, one packet of ramen (without the seasoning packet) contains about 356 calories, half of which are from carbohydrates and 36 percent of which are from fat.

What Part of Ramen Is Bad for You?

Unfortunately, the seasoning packet and the noodles in instant ramen are unhealthy. Here is the overview before we delve into the details:

  • The noodles in ramen packets are not the same as regular noodles. Regular noodles are already empty calories—which is not great. But ramen noodles come with extra processed fat, salt, and controversial additives, too. I’ll share more below.
  • The seasoning packets typically have a lot of sodium. Plus they often have a little sugar, oil, and other junk, too… Let’s just say, it’s not the healthiest way to season your food! I’ll share some better options.
  • Now let’s take a closer look at those noodles.

    Are Ramen Noodles Worse Than Regular Noodles?

    Compared to regular noodles, instant ramen noodles have more vegetable oil, salt, and TBHQ. Even without the seasoning packet, this makes ramen noodles less healthy than regular noodles.

    Of course, the specific comparison will depend on the brands you select. But first, let’s contrast popular ramen brands with ordinary noodles:

    Ramen vs Regular Noodles: Ingredients.

    Noodles Ingredients
    Maruchan Ramen Enriched Wheat Flour (wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (contains One Or More Of The Following: Canola, Cottonseed, Palm) Preserved By TBHQ, Contains Less Than 1% Of: Salt, Soy Sauce (water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Potassium Carbonate, Sodium (mono, Hexameta, And/or Tripoly) Phosphate, Sodium Carbonate, Turmeric.
    Barilla Spaghetti Semolina (Wheat), Durum Wheat Flour. Vitamins/Minerals: Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Folic Acid.

    I see at least three problems with the ramen:

  • The ramen noodles contain vegetable oil. Vegetable oils are highly processed. Many of them add excess inflammatory omega-6 fat to your diet. Regular noodles are free of added oil, but Maruchan ramen is not.
  • The ramen noodles contain TBHQ. This is a controversial preservative paired with the vegetable oil in ramen noodles. It is FDA approved in small quantities, but some people have reported “vision disturbances” linked to TBHQ. Animal studies have also shown side effects like tumors, liver enlargement, convulsions, and paralysis. (source)
  • The ramen noodles contain added salt. Ramen actually has salt in the noodle itself—not just the seasoning packet. This means the plain noodles still add to your daily sodium intake. Actually, there are multiple sodium-rich ingredients, including soy sauce, in the noodles themselves.
  • Compared to instant ramen, regular noodles might taste a little bland. However, the additional flavor in ramen noodles comes at a nutritional price.

    Granted, regular noodles are not the healthiest food, either. Most noodles are made of processed wheat, which gives them a high glycemic index and few nutrients.

    The healthiest choice would be to add some nutritious seasonings or sauce to some of the below-mentioned healthy substitutes.

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    How Many Calories Are in the Ramen Seasoning Packet?

    How Many Calories Are In Ramen Noodles Without The Packet?

    The calorie content of instant ramen seasoning packets is extremely low—probably only 10 calories. The noodles in instant ramen contain almost all of the calories, not the seasoning.

    You might be wondering how I know this. Unfortunately, the majority of instant ramen manufacturers fail to disclose the nutritional information for “just the noodles without seasoning.” ”.

    However, Maruchan does provide separate ingredient lists for its seasoning packets and its noodle products. And we can actually estimate the calories from that. I’ll explain how.

    Here are the ingredients for a typical Maruchan seasoning packet:

    Salt, sugar, monosodium glutamate, maltodextrin, less than 1% of the following ingredients: spices (celery seed), hydrolyzed corn, wheat, and soy protein, turmeric, lactose, natural flavors, dehydrated vegetables (chive, garlic, onion), disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, vegetable oil (palm), yeast extract, and powdered cooked chicken.

    As you can see, the primary ingredients are salt, sugar, MSG, and maltodextrin in that order (listed before “Less Than 1%”). The only seasonings that don’t add calories are salt and MSG. Actually, all we’re looking at is sugar and possibly some carbohydrates from the maltodextrin.

    However, if you look at the nutrition label for Maruchan ramen, you’ll typically see that the entire package only contains 2g of sugar (or less). There is not much sugar in ramen seasoning. Two grams of sugar is only around 8 calories.

    Of course, the maltodextrin and other seasoning ingredients could add a few extra calories. But given that they appear so low on the ingredients list (following “Less Than 1%”), it can’t be much.

    I therefore calculate that there are roughly 10 calories in a typical ramen seasoning packet. At the most, it would be around 20 calories. Some might only be 5 calories.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the calories are in the noodles. 370 calories are contained in a package of the majority of Maruchan ramen flavors.

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    Do Ramen Noodles Make You Fat?

    Whether it comes with the seasoning packet or not, instant ramen is typically fattening. This is due to the fact that ramen noodles are low in fiber and high in calories.

    However, remember that no single food causes you to gain weight. Instead, your overall diet and calorie balance determine whether you gain weight or lose weight.

    How Many Calories Are In Ramen Noodles Without The Packet?

    Therefore, it is possible to eat ramen (and other junk food) and still lose weight. In fact, there have been multiple famous stories of people who ate nothing but McDonalds and lost weight, just to prove this point.

    You will typically lose weight as long as you have an overall calorie deficit, or are expending more energy than you are consuming. Ramen noodles are still considered to be “fattening,” though. ” Here’s why.

    For every 100 calories consumed in highly processed foods like ramen noodles, you feel less satisfied. The noodles don’t fill you up as much as whole foods do for every 100 calories because they are high in calories and low in fiber.

    Compare it to something like beans, whole grains, or vegetables. These whole plant foods are low in calories and rich in fiber. It follows that you can consume larger portions for the same number of calories as a small bowl of ramen.

    One of the main components of calorie density, which is essential for healthy weight loss, You can eat a lot of large meals if you concentrate on eating high-fiber, low-calorie foods.

    Now, if you want to eat processed food like instant ramen on your diet, you can… But you will likely need to use more will-power to limit your serving sizes. Or you may need to use strategies like intermittent fasting or going to bed a little hungry.

    In any case, the instant ramen won’t be good for you. Even if you consume a small amount, it still contains empty calories. Eating whole foods will nourish your body more.

    What Can I Use Instead of the Ramen Packet?

    There are still ways to make your meal healthier even if you insist on using instant noodles as the foundation. Try some of the following seasonings in place of the provided packet instead:

    You may find a combination of these to work best. A few of these will taste better with dry noodles (drain the water), so keep that in mind as well:

  • Marinara sauce: Many tomato-based pasta sauces are quite healthy. Ideally, choose one made with olive oil and no added sugar. Here is my personal favorite (common in US grocery stores).
  • Nutritional yeast: This is a somewhat “cheesy” tasting health-food topping. It’s high in protein, often fortified with B vitamins, and it has yeast beta-glucans, which strengthen the immune system. Not everyone likes it, but many vegans and vegetarians are obsessed with it.
  • Mashed avocado: One of the great breakthroughs of my life was when I realized you can use mashed avocado as a pasta sauce. It’s so creamy and good. And who doesn’t like green pasta?
  • Curry Powder: Curry is quite good for you, as it harnesses all the health benefits of turmeric. You can also add some full-fat coconut milk, veggies, and beans to make a full-on ramen noodle curry!
  • Better Than Bouillon: This paste is super convenient to keep in your fridge and add to soups (including ramen) anytime. It’s definitely healthier than an instant ramen packet. Here’s my favorite flavor.
  • Italian seasoning: Here I’m talking about oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and the like. It makes your ramen taste kind of like pizza—especially if you add some red sauce. Buy this shaker of Italian Seasoning to make it quick and easy.
  • Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cumin, Paprika, and More: These simple spices and seasonings can be found in most kitchens—and many of them provide healthy antioxidants along with flavor.
  • Of course, you could think of a lot more than that. A much healthier meal can be made by steaming some vegetables or including a can of beans.

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    Can You Buy Ramen Noodles Without the Seasoning?

    You can buy ramen noodles without any seasoning here on Amazon. That said, you may want to compare the prices to common options in stores, like Maruchan and Top Ramen.

    Personally, I never use the seasoning packets with ramen. The least expensive brand I could find is Top Ramen, so I continue to purchase it. You might also discover that purchasing ramen without the seasoning and discarding the packets will be less expensive.

    4 Healthy Noodle Options to Replace Ramen

    How Many Calories Are In Ramen Noodles Without The Packet?

    How should you replace instant noodles if you’re willing to give them up?

    As was already mentioned, regular wheat noodles are preferable to instant ramen. But what if you want an extra nutritious choice?.

    Well, here are four healthy pasta options you can try:

  • (1) Shirataki Noodles: These low-carb Japanese “miracle noodles” are mainly just fiber. This means they are extremely low in calories. Basically, you’ll only get calories from your sauce and toppings. Way healthier than instant ramen!
  • (2) “Zoodles” (Zucchini Noodles): There are many vegetables you can make into noodles, but zucchini is most popular. Zoodles are very low in calories—and they add healthy fiber, water, and nutrients to your diet, too! Use a spiralizer like this one to make zoodles at home.
  • (3) Whole Wheat Pasta: As long as you don’t struggle with digesting wheat, whole wheat pasta is a great, affordable option. It’s not particularly low in calories, but the calories come packed with much more fiber than regular pasta or instant noodles.
  • (4) Bean or Lentil Pasta: There are many bean- and lentil-based pastas on the market now. These have more fiber and score much lower on the glycemic index compared to instant noodles. The soy-based ones are highest in protein. But other choices like red lentil pasta and Banza (made with chickpeas) are also good.
  • Remember that zoodles and shirataki noodles have very few calories. This means that if you want more energy, you should definitely add some sauces or toppings. I don’t advise shirataki noodles or zoodles if you’re an athlete or need a high calorie intake for another reason.

    See the section on what to use in place of the ramen seasoning packet above for suggestions for sauce and toppings. These healthier noodles would go well with all of those dishes as well.

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    How many calories are in instant ramen without the packet?

    One serving of Nissin Top Ramen Noodles without seasoning has 190 calories, 7g of fat, 25g of net carbs, 26g of total carbs, and 4g of protein.

    Are ramen noodles healthy without the packet?

    Ramen noodles without the seasoning packet are still unhealthy. They frequently have extra salt and vegetable oil added, making them higher in calories, fat, and sodium than regular noodles. Additionally, they frequently contain TBHQ, a contentious preservative that has been linked to tumors and paralysis in animal studies.

    How many calories is Top Ramen without the noodles?

    1810 Cal
    • Fat60 g. 7/67gleft.
    • Sodium2190 mg. 110/2300mgleft.
    • Cholesterol300 mg. –/300mgleft.

    How many calories are in raw ramen noodles?

    Region: US
    Serving Ingredient Calories
    81 g ramen package dry 356
    5.8 g ramen package dry 26