Is Mei Fun noodles healthy?

Mei Fun noodles are a type of rice noodle that is very popular in Chinese cooking. With their smooth, silky texture and mild flavor, they make a tasty addition to many dishes. However, some people wonder just how healthy these noodles really are. Here are some quick answers to common questions about the nutrition and health effects of Mei Fun noodles:

Are Mei Fun Noodles High in Calories?

Mei Fun noodles are lower in calories than many other types of noodles. A 100 gram serving contains about 130 calories. This is less than half the calories of an equal serving of spaghetti (around 300 calories). So in terms of calories, Mei Fun noodles are a healthier choice.

Do They Have Much Nutritional Value?

Like most noodles, Mei Fun noodles are mainly a source of carbohydrates. A 100 gram serving contains about 26 grams of carbohydrate, including 1 gram of fiber and less than 1 gram each of protein and fat. They provide small amounts of some vitamins and minerals like niacin, folate, iron and manganese.

Are Mei Fun Noodles Gluten Free?

No, authentic Mei Fun noodles contain wheat flour, so they are not gluten-free. Some gluten-free rice noodle alternatives are available, but these do not have the characteristic smooth, tender texture of true Mei Fun noodles.

Can They Fit Into a Healthy Diet?

Mei Fun noodles can be part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation as part of an overall balanced way of eating. Be mindful of portion sizes, and balance them with plenty of vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Do They Cause Blood Sugar Spikes?

Mei Fun noodles have a medium to high glycemic index of around 70. This means they can cause more rapid spikes in blood sugar levels compared to lower glycemic foods. This may be problematic for people with diabetes. However, pairing them with healthy fats, fiber and protein can help moderate their impact on blood sugar.

Are Mei Fun Noodles Fattening?

Mei Fun noodles are relatively low in calories, so they are unlikely to lead to weight gain when eaten in appropriate portions. However, the way they are prepared can affect how fattening they are. Noodles cooked in a lot of oil, served in high-calorie sauces or eaten in large portions are more likely to add extra pounds.

Do They Have Any Health Benefits?

Mei Fun noodles are not a significant source of vitamins, minerals or antioxidants. Their main health benefit is providing a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based noodles for people who need to avoid gluten.

Can They Be Part of a Low Carb or Keto Diet?

No, Mei Fun noodles are not compatible with a low carb or ketogenic diet, since they are relatively high in carbohydrates. A 2 ounce serving of cooked Mei Fun noodles contains around 25-30 grams of net carbs, accounting for nearly all the day’s carb allowance on a keto diet.

Are Rice Noodles in General Healthy?

Rice noodles can be a nutritious part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. They provide an alternative to traditional wheat-based noodles for people avoiding gluten. Different types of rice noodles vary in calories, carbs and nutrition profile, so check labels carefully if weight control or diabetes are concerns.


Overall, Mei Fun noodles can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet for most healthy people when portion sizes are controlled. They are lower in calories and carbs than many wheat noodles. However, they are not suitable for low carb or keto diets due to their high carb content. People with diabetes need to be mindful of their blood sugar response to Mei Fun noodles. Avoid excessive oil, salt and calories when preparing them to maximize their nutrition profile.

Nutrition Facts of Mei Fun Noodles

Here is a comparison of the basic nutrition facts in 100g cooked Mei Fun noodles versus 100g of cooked spaghetti, to see how they compare:

Nutrient Mei Fun Noodles (100g) Spaghetti (100g)
Calories 130 158
Carbohydrates 26g 33g
Fiber 1g 2.5g
Protein 0.8g 5.8g
Total Fat 0.5g 0.9g
Saturated Fat 0.1g 0.3g

As you can see, Mei Fun noodles are considerably lower in calories, carbs, protein and fat compared to an equivalent serving of spaghetti. The only nutrient spaghetti has more of is fiber.

Are Mei Fun Noodles Suitable for Diabetics?

Mei Fun noodles have a medium to high glycemic index, meaning they can cause a sharper spike in blood sugar after eating compared to low glycemic foods. This makes them less ideal for people with diabetes.

However, there are steps diabetics can take to help moderate the blood sugar impact of Mei Fun noodles:

  • Carefully measure portion sizes based on diet plan.
  • Avoid pairing with sugary sauces or condiments.
  • Combine with non-starchy veggies, healthy fats and protein.
  • Consume as part of a balanced meal, not on their own.
  • Select whole grain, high fiber varieties.
  • Opt for alternative lower glycemic noodles like shirataki or zucchini noodles if possible.

With careful carbohydrate counting and smart meal planning, diabetics may be able to occasionally incorporate moderate portions of Mei Fun noodles into their diets.

Do Mei Fun Noodles Have an Expiration Date?

Like most dried packaged foods, Mei Fun noodles can last a quite a while past their “best before” date, if stored properly in a cool, dry pantry. Unopened packages typically stay fresh for 6-12 months at room temperature.

Once opened, they should be used within 3-6 months and transferred to an airtight container. Check for signs of spoilage like changes in texture, smell or appearance before eating expired noodles. Discard immediately if mold is detected.

Cooked Mei Fun noodles have a much shorter shelf life of only a few days when refrigerated in an airtight container. They also freeze reasonably well for 2-3 months if flash frozen immediately after cooking.

Do Mei Fun Noodles Contain Egg?

Traditionally, Mei Fun noodles are made from a combination of rice flour and wheat flour without egg. However, some modern versions also incorporate egg whites or whole egg into their recipes. Be sure to carefully read ingredient lists if avoiding egg due to allergies or dietary restrictions.

Fresh Mei Fun noodles sold refrigerated rather than dried often contain egg as well. Homemade fresh Mei Fun noodles also frequently include egg in the dough recipe.

If you need to strictly avoid egg, look for dried Mei Fun noodle brands that specifically list egg-free or vegan on the packaging.

Are Mei Fun Noodles Whole Grain?

No, most Mei Fun noodles are made from refined white rice flour, not whole grain rice flour. Some brands may incorporate a small amount of whole wheat flour along with refined wheat flour. But in general, they cannot be considered a whole grain food.

There are some whole grain Mei Fun noodle alternatives available made from brown rice flour or blends of whole grain wheat/rice flours. These provide more fiber, nutrients and health benefits than traditional white rice Mei Fun noodles.

Do Mei Fun Noodles Have MSG?

Some brands of Mei Fun noodles may contain added MSG (monosodium glutamate) as a flavor enhancer. MSG is controversial, with conflicting research on whether high intakes may cause adverse effects in sensitive individuals.

To avoid MSG, choose Mei Fun noodle varieties explicitly labeled “No MSG Added.” Organic brands or noodles made without additional flavorings or preservatives are less likely to contain MSG.

When cooking, be sure to avoid seasoning Mei Fun noodles with packaged flavor powders that commonly contain MSG.

Healthier Ways to Prepare Mei Fun Noodles

Here are some tips for making Mei Fun noodles more nutritious:

  • Rinse cooked noodles well to remove excess starch.
  • Saute on medium with minimal oil to avoid deep frying.
  • Flavor with reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari.
  • Add plenty of vegetables like bok choy, carrots, broccoli.
  • Top with lean proteins like shrimp, chicken or tofu.
  • Use citrus, herbs and spices to add flavor instead of salt.
  • Avoid heavy, creamy sauces which add calories and fat.
  • Serve modest portions as part of a balanced meal.

Tasty Mei Fun Noodle Recipe Ideas

Here are some healthy ways to enjoy Mei Fun noodles:

  • Stir Fry – Toss cooked Mei Fun noodles with stir-fried veggies and protein.
  • Pad Thai – For an Asian fusion dish, prepare Mei Fun noodles like Pad Thai.
  • Chilled Salad – Toss cold Mei Fun noodles with shredded chicken and veggies for a salad.
  • Spring Rolls – Wrap Mei Fun noodles and veggies in rice paper rolls for an appetizer.
  • Buddha Bowl – Layer Mei Fun noodles over greens, tofu, edamame and carrots.
  • Sesame Noodles – Dress Mei Fun noodles in a sauce of tahini, soy, vinegar and ginger.

The tender texture of Mei Fun noodles allows them to work well in both hot dishes and chilled noodle salads. Don’t be afraid to experiment with healthy ingredients and global flavors!

The Bottom Line on Mei Fun Noodles and Health

Moderation and balance are key when enjoying Mei Fun Noodles as part of a healthy lifestyle. When prepared with minimal oil and salt and accompanied by lean protein and non-starchy vegetables, they can fit into most dietary patterns.

However, those monitoring carbs or blood sugar should practice portion control and pair them wisely. Avoid overloading Mei Fun noodles with high fat sauces or sugary condiments as well.

While not the most nutrient dense choice, Mei Fun noodles can add satisfying texture and variety to a nutritious meal plan centered on whole foods. Select whole grain or alternative noodle varieties when possible for extra nutritional benefits.

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