Noodles are one of the most common foods eaten worldwide. Although adults and children consume noodles everywhere, their effect on human health remains controversial and especially when a fatty liver is involved, you need to be extra careful.
In this article, we will specifically talk about noodles and their effect on fatty liver. So, do you think one can eat noodles with Fatty Liver Disease?
The answer is generally no. When it comes to regular noodles, these are highly refined and processed, which is a big no for your liver. They also are extremely rich in carbohydrates and offer little in terms of nutrition. So generally speaking, it’s best to stay away from noodles altogether.
Even breakfast cereals are generally better choice than your regular instant ramen or favorite noodles.
Luckily, there are other types of noodles available which allow you to get your noodle fix every now and then. This means that if you really want to eat them, you can have if you make the correct choices.
We’ll learn about those too in this article. But until then, let’s get in depth on this matter!
Can You Eat Noodles with Fatty Liver?
Most noodles are bad for your health and especially bad for your liver. This includes most instant / cup noodles which come packed with chemicals, lots of fats and carbs that are unhealthy. So if you suffer from a fatty liver, it’s best to cut noodles out of your diet.
You should do this because instant noodles are processed and refined. As a result, they
lack nutrients, but are full of refined carbohydrates that also lead to weight gain which is not
good in case one suffers from a fatty liver.
One study proved that refined carbohydrates, especially instant noodles, are one of the causes of the dominance of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) among young adults in Japan (source).
Therefore, if you suffer from fatty liver disease, it is a good idea to eliminate instant noodles from your diet.
However, you are not done with noodles forever if you really like them. You just have to eat healthier forms of noodles – keep reading to find out what I’m talking about!
Why Are Noodles Bad for Fatty Liver?
I’ve already mentioned this already, but I believe it deserves its own place in this article to make it very clear.
Noodles are refined and especially instant noodles are filled with chemicals, flavorings, are high in fat and carbs – all of which shouldn’t be part of a healthy fatty liver diet.
Also, according to a study from 2015, when you consume the refined carbohydrates from instant noodles, tiny biochemical particles are produced inside your body which are called acetyl-CoA.
These particles, together with glucose, and other amino acids are the source of making fatty
acids in a process known as De Novo Lipogenesis. Fatty acids synthesized from refined
carbohydrates contribute to NAFLD more than normal fat from your diet.
This is one of the reasons why you should generally limit sugar consumption when you have a fatty liver. I eliminated them completely and it was an important, deciding factor in reversing my own condition.
Processed noodles also contain high amounts of sodium and saturated fats. High sodium levels may lead to metabolic syndrome.
In one study, scientists proved if you have liver steatosis, then you are at a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome and vice versa.
Instant noodles not only lack healthy nutrients, like fiber and protein, but they also do not add any nutritional value to your body. Moreover it leads to weight gain, and this may worsen your condition in the long run.
It is also worth mentioning that the additives in instant noodles exhaust the liver more during the digestion process. When the liver fails to break down the harmful compounds, it stores them inside it. This puts an extra burden on a fatty liver.
So… plenty of reasons to stay away from this otherwise delicious and cheap meal!
Healthier alternatives for noodles if you have a fatty liver
Instant/processed (also known as ramen) noodles are never safe with fatty liver in any quantity, no matter how small. But as I kept mentioning, there are some alternatives to noodles that are healthier and safer to eat if you simply can’t stay away from them.
For example, whole grain noodles are a good candidate. Although more studies are needed to fully support this, there are strong arguments why a patient with NAFLD should eat whole-grain carbohydrates, including noodles or whole-grain bread and keto breads in general.
First, whole grain noodles, like other whole-grain carbohydrates, contain biochemical compounds which decrease liver fat (source). This lowers the stress on your liver.
Secondly, a fatty liver patient who consumes suitable amounts of whole grains is at a much lower risk of FLD progression (source). Also, whole-grain noodles help in weight loss which is essential to avoid complications of the disease.
I personally went this route when dealing with my condition and, as you probably know if you are a regular reader of the blog, I reversed mine. However, even with whole wheats, I didn’t eat then in large quantities: just every now and then, in small quantities. Still better than nothing, right?
Soba (buckwheat) noodles have the least amount of calories and carbohydrates. There is a
study suggesting that buckwheat can potentially slow down the progression of the condition.
Quinoa noodles are another type of healthy noodles because they have all the protein one
needs, and more importantly, they are low in fat and carbs. Whole wheat pasta is also a good option if you can’t go for the others recommended above.
Healthy Noodle alternatives: examples
Based on the nutritional facts of different types of noodles that we discussed, you are now able to make the healthiest choice for you and definitely consider your favorite taste!
But if you want my input on the matter, here is what I would recommend:
(Please note: I get commissions if you make a purchases through the links below, at no extra cost for you.)
Eden Selected Whole Buckwheat Soba
Made of whole buckwheat, this brand is a healthier choice because it has no refined
carbohydrates – basically, it’s made exclusively of whole buckwheat. That’s good, but still high in carbs so eat it every now and then only!
Trader Joe’s Brown Rice & Quinoa Spaghetti Pasta
Gluten-free and made of quinoa and brown rice, which means high protein and low-fat content, plus carbs that are absorbed at a slower rate (which is better than the refined ones that are quickly absorbed).
Although most of us are addicted to instant noodles, we can not neglect their health hazards, which is even worse for those who suffer from a fatty liver.
After going through the studies mentioned in this article, it’s clear that it will be wiser if you decide to cut out refined noodles from your diet.
If you really can’t stay away from them, then you have some alternatives below. They will still taste good but also provide a safer, healthier alternative.
Those foods are still not recommended as a regular meal, so only have them every now and then in smaller quantities than you normally would.
I was diagnosed with a fatty liver back in 2014 and managed to reverse it by mid-2015. Since then, I’ve been studying it, continuously updating my knowledge with the latest scientific findings and practical approaches to give others the help they need to reverse their condition.
My approach to managing fatty liver is holistic, balancing scientifically-backed information with real-life, practical advice based on personal, direct experience.
I am also the admin of the Fatty Liver Support Group on Facebook and the Fatty Liver Subreddit.