Pregnancy is a mix of emotions for women. You have the buzzing anticipation of meeting your baby after nine months, the constant anxiousness of messing things up, and the biggest of them all – Cravings. Pregnant women struggle exponentially with cravings, and Instant noodles are a big part of that.
Maggi, one of the staple instant noodles in India, stands out at the top of the list. But, should you eat Maggi during your pregnancy?
Maggi (or any Instant noodles) stand out because of the umami flavor profile, the addictive ingredients, and the hassle-free cooking experience. After all, you have to boil some water and throw in the ingredients. Nothing gets more accessible than that.
However, the ease of cooking doesn’t resonate well with the nutritional profile of this quick meal. Maggi does not have much nutritional value. So, eating this can suffice your hunger but doesn’t do much for the body.
This article will explore if eating Maggi during pregnancy is safe or a big NO!
In this Article
Nutritional Breakdown and Ingredient List of Maggi
Before anything, let us see what ingredients are there in Maggi.
According to the ingredient list on Maggi’s packaging, the following are the ingredients in the instant noodle pack:
- Wheat Flour
- Palm Oil
- Less Than 2% Of Sugar
- Hydrolyzed Peanut Protein
- Onion Powder
- Wheat Gluten
- Potassium Chloride
- Chili Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Tripolyphosphate
- Potassium Carbonate
- Sodium Carbonate
- Caramel Color
- Disodium Guanylate
- Disodium Inosinate
- Baking Soda
- Guar Gum
- Potassium Iodate
The list of ingredients is quite long; however, you need to realize that it is a bioengineered food product. That aside, the following are the Nutritional Facts about Maggi:
- Total Calories – 310
- Total fat – 13g
- Saturated fats – 7g
- Trans fats – 0g
- Cholesterol – 0 mg
- Sodium – 970 mg
- Total carbohydrate – 43g
- Dietary fiber – 2g
- Total sugars – 4g
- Protein – 6g
- Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron – 0mg
- Potassium – 90mg
Is it Safe to Eat Maggi During Pregnancy?
If we had to answer it simply, we’d say, “Moderation is key.” Eating 1-2 packets every month won’t do you much harm. However, if you give in to your cravings and eat three packets of Maggi every day, that can lead to complications.
Especially pregnant women with pre-existing conditions like obesity, hypertension, and other chronic ailments should avoid Maggi altogether during their pregnancy to prevent further complications.
Which Ingredients Make Maggi Unsafe for Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is quite a sensitive phase in a woman’s life. So, eating healthy is crucial when it comes to the ideal food choices. Binging on fast food and unhealthy foods are associated with higher risks of congenital disabilities in the fetus.
So, the risks are just as prevalent for instant noodles. Researching deeply about the ingredients, safety, and risks ensures a healthy pregnancy journey.
When it comes to Maggi, a handful of ingredients aren’t the best for a pregnant woman. Here’s what they are and why you should avoid them.
Refined Flour or Maida
The standard packet of Maggi that you buy from the store is made entirely out of refined flour. A few alternatives like “Atta Noodles,” etc., claim to be a healthier choice, but they are equally bad.
Digestive issues and gastrointestinal complications are prevalent during pregnancy. Since refined flour takes longer to digest, doctors, recommend avoiding instant noodles during pregnancy.
Also, if you are obese or overweight and are at risk of pregnancy complications during your term, refined flour can make you gain more weight. Altogether, the refined flour makes it unfit for pregnant women who are obese, overweight, experiencing heartburn, or other digestive issues.
High Sodium levels
According to the FDA, an adult should consume under 2300 mg of sodium per day. One packet of Maggi contains 970 mg sodium in it. So, you are eating around 40% of your daily dietary sodium with just one pack of Maggi.
Heightened sodium intake during pregnancy can increase blood pressure, leading to hypertension. Also, risks of higher blood pressure are correlated to risks of preeclampsia in pregnant women. This is a fatal condition that can affect the liver and kidney function in the mother and even lead to miscarriages if left undiagnosed for a longer period.
Since high blood pressure during pregnancy is, at times, fatal, the last thing you want to do is consume foods that are directly contributing to it – Maggi being one of them.
Maggi’s sodium levels are also fatal for pregnant women who already have pre-diagnosed hypertension and are taking medications for the same.
High levels of Preservatives
Given that Maggi is a food of convenience, it isn’t surprising that manufacturers want to extend its shelf life as much as possible. So, adding a high concentration of preservatives is normal.
One of the most potent preservatives added to Maggi is MSG or Monosodium glutamate. This has dual functions. It acts as a preservative and also enhances the noodles’ overall flavor. While MSG isn’t fatal or life-threatening, paired with the high sodium content, it further leads to complications during the pregnancy term.
What are some Healthy Alternatives to Maggi?
Since Maggi isn’t your healthiest meal option, nutritionists recommend switching to other whole grain and fiber-filled food items like oatmeal, sprouts, etc., as a replacement.
However, we understand that cravings are an integral part of the pregnancy journey. So, giving in to the desire once in a while is comparably safe. Just ensure that you don’t make Maggi a staple part of your meals because that’s when the complications start arising.
Maggi isn’t your best meal option, pregnant or not. The ingredients do not just lack nutrition; they do worse than good. So, when you are pregnant and in such a sensitive stage of life, it goes without saying that relying on Maggi to fill you up will get you nowhere. It has adverse effects on the body of the mother and the baby, too, sometimes even resulting in fatal outcomes.