They may be tasty and convenient, but a new study has shed some light on the high levels of salt found in instant noodles.
Researchers from The George Institute for Global Health surveyed 765 noodle products from 10 different countries, including New Zealand, Ausralia, Fiji, Samoa, India, Costa Rica, South Africa and the UK.
Interestingly, the survey also uncovered how sodium content in instant noodles varied widely between countries. It found noodles sold in Indonesia had the highest salt content per 100 grams, containing 7584 milligrams per 100 grams of product. The organisation said salt content was second highest in Australia.
This was almost 30 times the amount of soduim found in products with the lowest salt content sold in New Zealand, which contained 249 milligrams per 100 grams.
The results found that salt levels in an average packet of instant noodles was more than 80 per cent of the daily recommended maximum, which is 5 grams per day.
Public health nutritionist at The George Institute, Clare Farand, said on Twitter that some of the packets of instant noodles that were studied had more salt than two Big Macs.
The survey showed that Simplee 2 Minute Noodles (chicken flavour) from cut-price European supermarket chain, Aldi, was one of the worst offenders in the salt stakes. Based on the serving size on the pack, it contained more than half a day's worth of salt, 2.67 grams.
However, when experts compared levels based on salt per 100 grams, Maggi Mi Goreng Fusion Soy & Mild Spice was the most salty. This is despite it being ranked one of the lowest for salt content, when based on the label showing salt content per serve.
Another study, published in the Daily Mail, found some brands of noodles contain as much salt as 12 packets of ready salted chips.
A diet high in salt has been linked to high blood pressure, and an incresed risk of heart attack and stroke.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health says almost one in three Kiwi aduts were obese, while a further 35 per cent were overweight.
The organisation recommends choosing foods that are low in salt, sugar and saturated fats.