Compared to instant noodles, shrimp roe noodles, udon, flat rice noodles, etc., rice vermicelli is a healthier noodle, with not only fewer calories, but also lower sodium and fat.
According to Hong Kong, the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) (Amendment: Requirements for Nutrition Labelling and Nutrition Claim) Regulation 2008 ("the Amendment Regulation"), the definition of low sodium and fat are as below
Per 100g/ml of food not more than 120mg of sodium.
Per 100g of solid food product not more than 3g of total fat, for a liquid product not more than 1.5g of total fat per 100mL of food.
Fats serve as an energy source. They prevent heat loss in cold weather and protect organs against shock. They are responsible for making up part of our body’s cells and transporting fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K. The Chinese Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) suggests an intake of 44-67g of fat per day based on a 2000-kcal diet. Excessive fat intake can cause obesity and increase risk of heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum sodium intake of 2 000 milligrams daily, as sodium is essential for body functions. It helps maintain the extra-cellular fluid balance and acid-base balance in the body. It is also essential for nerve transmission and muscle contraction. Excessive sodium intake can cause high blood pressure, stroke, or other heart and vascular conditions.
In addition, some people need to be aware of foods’ Glycemic Index (GI). GI scores range from 0-100, and are divided in to the three following categories:
- Low GI : 55 or below
- Medium GI : 56 – 69
- High GI : 70 or above
The score of Rice vermicelli around 60 below, which is medium GI food. Compare to white rice, it scores over 70. Eating Low GI foods can effectively control blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Nevertheless, GI is only one measure of reference for a healthy diet. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet and appropriate physical exercise are the most important.