Vegetable noodles and Dal noodles – are they healthy?
Now we have two new so-called healthy products in the market. Vegetable Atta Noodles and Dal Atta Noodles. Mostly targeted at children. Now, are they really healthy like the advertisements proclaim?
I thought I would check out how many vegetables the vegetable noodles contained. So I boiled some water and added the masala, and I found the following.
I wasn’t surprised and not at all impressed. I would have preferred to add the veggies myself. Then I checked the ingredients list:
This told me something. The first ingredient in the noodles was whole wheat or atta (the manufacturers are supposed to list the ingredients according to the quantity present. The ingredient which is maximum in quantity is listed first) and though this gives the impression that the noodles are mostly made of atta I knew they weren’t, from the taste and texture. The ingredient next in line is wheat flour, which means maida or refined white flour which as everyone knows is devoid of nutrition and fibre. The company has admitted that whole wheat flour and refined flour has been mixed. So even if we assume that they have used wholesome whole wheat flour, they have still mixed it with maida. Now, how much more of whole wheat flour have they used as compared to maida? We don’t know, because there is no legal requirement for the manufacturers to say so. The atta is probably marginally more than the maida. The other ingredients are vegetable oil, sal and guar gum. 😦
Now lets see what the tastemaker/garnishing or masala contains. Dehydrated vegetables (carrot, toasted onion, peas, coriander leaves). Dehydrated veggies are not as nutritious as fresh vegetables ofcourse. This report says that drying can cause some loss of some nutrients. While the calorie content of the vegetables does not change, and nor does the fibre content, Vitamin C is destroyed during the blanching and drying processes. B Vitamins like Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin also reduce during the blanching. However Vitamin A is retained if the processing is carried out under “controlled heat methods.” I am not sure what that means but I presume that the company manufacturing this product in India, being a multi-national, is using the technically superior method.
Minerals are usually not lost as long the vegetables get rehydrated in the same water and this does happen while cooking the noodles. In any case, even if the vegetables contain a few nutrients, they are negligible as the quantity of the veggies is abysmal. One expects more, specially because the noodles are being loudly advertised as vegetable noodles! The other ingredients listed are sugar, noodle powder, mixed spices, hydrolysed groundnut protein, salt, edible vegetable oil, garlic powder and onion powder.
But wait, this isn’t all. I haven’t yet mentioned that this masala also contains colour!! Colour, acidifying agent, a flavour enhancer and MORE colour! A natural colour this time. 😥
Now tell tell me how true their slogan is and how true the picture. The actual amount of vegetables you have seen for yourself.
The picture below shows the ingredients of the Dal Noodles:
Now why make a big song and dance about these noodles being HEALTHY? It is a false statement. 😡 It also misleads people. What bugs me is that this product is targeted at children and we know that kids today tend to demand the products they see on television. And in this case mothers might find it difficult to tell their children that this product is not good for health because the advertiser is saying it is.
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