Instant ramen noodles are a go-to food option for college students and other individuals living on a strict budget. Most people wouldn’t expect that these super-cheap noodles are the healthiest option in the world, but they may actually be worse for your body than you think.

That’s because they contain a controversial food additive known as TBHQ. Food manufacturers use it to extend the shelf life of the noodles, but this pernicious chemical is more commonly used in wood varnish…

They’re very appealing to college students and other people on a tight budget, but instant ramen noodles pose a number of health risks that many people don’t know about. They contain a number of additives and preservatives, the most dangerous of which may be tertiary butylhydroquinone or TBHQ.

ramen-1Flickr / Ksionic

This fatty food additive extends the shelf life of various products, but it’s also found in cosmetics, pesticides, and varnishes. The FDA warns against making TBHQ any more than 0.02% of one’s daily fat consumption, and the Codex Commission states that consuming more than 400 mg of the compound can be dangerous.

ramen-2Flickr / Bridget Palmer

One side of effect of TBHQ in instant ramen may be that it keeps the processed noodles from breaking down normally in the digestive system. See how instant ramen noodles in the stomach look compared real ramen in the video below:

That’s incredibly gross… Ramen noodles always seem like a good option when money is tight, but after seeing this video, I don’t know if I can ever go back to them!

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