Is Mac and Cheese Healthy? 7 Healthier and Delicious Recipes

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Adenike Eketunde
Adenike Eketundehttps://www.wikidoc.org/index.php/Adenike_Eketunde
I am a health enthusiast with a degree in medicine and public health. I have over 5 years of experience working in the clinical and non-clinical setting. I have experience in medical writing and review with published articles on PubMed.

Do you know what is the number one grocery item purchased by Canadians? Well, it’s Mac n cheese!

Most of us can look at our childhood when we used to eat bowls full of mac and cheese. Not only in children, but it is also now becoming equally popular in adults. Macaroni and cheese have been around since 1937, and the cheese proved a game-changer during the era of the depression.

But, Is Mac and cheese healthy?

Well,  mac and cheese are not as healthy as fruits and vegetables and other low-calorie diet sources. As regular mac and cheese are very high in fats, calories, and sodium. However, there are a lot of different tips and tricks to make a healthier version of mac and cheese. Whether your mac and cheese are healthy or not depends upon its ingredients.

In this article, we will get to know about the nutritional value of different types of mac and cheese. Also, we are going to tell you some tricks to shuffle up the ingredients in your mac and cheese to make it a healthier version.

Is Mac and Cheese healthy?

Mac and cheese is a Canadian staple. In Canada, mac and cheese are so popular that they have made it their national dish. You can find mac n cheese in almost every home in Canada. And most people eat it without even bothering to know that, Is mac and cheese healthy for you?

Mac and Cheese Healthy

What’s really in your mac and cheese, decides whether it is healthy or not. But it is not at all healthy to eat regularly. It contains a group of chemicals and preservatives.

Although it is an instant source of energy with the benefits of cheese, it is not a healthy option to eat regularly.

If you are craving mac and cheese, that is probably because of cheese. While choosing a good quality mac and cheese for you, make sure it contains organic white cheddar cheese because that is better than many others in terms of health and nutrition.

Is Mac and Cheese Good for Weight Loss?

Mac and cheese can play havoc with your diet if you are struggling with weight loss. It is very creamy and rich in Carbohydrates.

A very high amount of cheese in mac and cheese makes it even worse for weight loss. However, the nutrition depends upon the brand, serving size, and the ingredients that we are using while cooking mac and cheese.

If you are struggling with weight loss, use reduced butter, organic cheddar cheese, and healthy green vegetables. You can also choose mac and cheese Greek yogurt. Yogurt is a better option to use instead of cream.

Cauliflower mac and cheese is a healthy option for weight loss. Mac and cheese with veggies distribute the number of calories in between vegetables and other ingredients making it a little more healthy.

Mac and Cheese Healthy

Is Mac and Cheese Healthy for Bodybuilding?

Mac and cheese add more mass to your body as it contains a lot of carbohydrates. But since bodybuilding is all about building muscles and a high quantity of proteins is necessary to build muscles. 

A lot of people ask, Is cauliflower mac and cheese healthy?

Mac and cheese are not high in protein so they are not as good for bodybuilding as the other protein-rich foods are. So, if you’re committed to building muscles and losing fat, mac and cheese are not good for you.

Is Mac and Cheese Healthy for Diabetics?

People with diabetes should avoid eating a lot of mac and cheese. As the high sodium and fat content can elevate the blood sugar levels.

 Also, mac and cheese are high in carbohydrates that directly influence diabetes when your body converts them into fat. So, diabetics should be careful when eating mac and cheese as they have to avoid high carbohydrates diets.

Is Mac and Cheese Healthy for Your Heart?

Heart patients should be highly careful regarding the intake of sodium and fats. As cheese contains high amounts of sodium, you should avoid it if you’re having any heart-related issues.
However, homemade mac and cheese with low fat and sodium and a lot of vegetables can be a healthier option for making heart-healthy mac and cheese. But, moderation is a key to avoiding any sort of adverse effects.

Nutritional Information for Different Types Of Mac and Cheese

There are different types of Mac and Cheese brands in the market. All of those are different according to their nutritional value. The number of nutrients present in different brands of mac and cheese is as follows :

BrandsCaloriesProteinsSodiumCarbsFiberFats
Panera Bread47017 grams1040 mg33 grams1 gram31 grams
Kraft37610 grams699 mg47 grams2 grams16 grams
Velveeta31013 grams869 mg44 grams2 grams9 grams
Chick-fil-A44019 grams1200 mg29 grams8 grams27 grams
Annie’sHomegrown3608 grams720 mg51 grams2 grams4 grams
Homemade regular or gluten-free50620 grams837 mg53 grams3 grams24 grams

Is Annie’s Mac and Cheese Healthy?

A lot of people around prefer more organic food to artificial flavors. That is the right choice. Annie’s products are more on the organic side than most of the products packed with chemicals and artificial flavors so people ask, Are Annie’s organic mac and cheese healthy? Our Annie’s vegan mac and cheese healthy?

Well, Annie’s mac and cheese is healthier than Kraft’s because it is lower in calories as compared to Kraft’s mac and cheese. It is also low in sugar and chemical-free.

Recently, they have announced that they are eliminating the toxic chemical phthalate from their products. If it happens, Annie’s mac and cheese will be the healthiest option to eat.

Is Kraft’s Mac and Cheese Healthy?

Kraft’s mac and cheese is equally popular in Canada and America. In Canada, they call it Kraft Dinner or KD. Now, the question is, Is Kraft mac and cheese good for you?

Kraft’s mac and cheese is not good for you. This is because it contains a very high amount of preservatives, especially a very toxic chemical that is phthalates.

This chemical disrupts the hormonal balance in the body and causes reproductive and thyroid issues. So, Instead of Kraft Heinz macaroni and cheese, you should prefer a homemade mac n cheese.

Is Banza Mac and Cheese Healthy?

Banza mac and cheese can be a healthy and delicious option if you are choosing mac and cheese for your craving. It is high in protein and also not a bad option for your diet if you eat it moderately.

It is made from roasted sweet potatoes. Potatoes are high in nutrition, especially the carbohydrates that can provide you with instant energy.

Is Velveeta Mac and Cheese Healthy?

Velveeta shell mac n cheese is not at all a healthy option. It is full of chemicals and preservatives that can badly affect your health. The cheese they use is not an organic white cheddar cheese, so it is unhealthy and causes more weight gain.

Is Baked Mac and Cheese Healthy?

What is the healthiest mac and cheese? Well, the people who only know that baking is a healthy option to cook food, think that baked mac and cheese is probably the healthiest, but it’s not true.

Baked mac and cheese is not unhealthy but it depends upon the ingredients you are adding while cooking. Use some baby spinach in baked mac and cheese to make it healthier. The more veggies you will add, the healthier version of mac and cheese you will get.

Are Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese Healthy?

Stouffer’s mac and cheese is a delicious mac and cheese option but it contains a large amount of sugar and sodium. It is also high in calories. But if we talk about taste and flavor, it is even better than the homemade mac and cheese.

Should You Choose Homemade Over Boxed Mac and Cheese?

If you’re suffering from any issues like heart disease and diabetes, it is good to prefer homemade mac and cheese. Also, if you want to follow a healthy diet plan, you must go for a homemade mac and cheese version. 

Is Homemade Mac and Cheese Healthy?

Do you think there are any healthy mac and cheese boxes? Well, all the boxed mac and cheese contain some artificial ingredients and preservatives, but homemade mac and cheese is gluten-free and contains no preservatives.

Mac and Cheese Healthy

We can make it more healthy by adding vegetables to it. So, homemade mac and cheese are healthier than boxed mac and cheese.

How Many Calories Are in Homemade Mac and Cheese?

Homemade regular and gluten-free mac and cheese contain 506 calories. It has 24 grams of fat, 20 grams of proteins, and 53 grams of carbohydrates.

Is Microwave Mac and Cheese Healthy?

Microwave mac and cheese is not bad for you but it is not a good option either. It contains a very high amount of saturated fats that are trans fat. They raise the level of bad fats LDL in our body causing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Mac and Cheese Healthy

Moreover, the mac n cheese which is microwaved in a container can transfer phthalates out of the container into the food. Those are of course harmful chemicals. So it is better to avoid microwave mac and cheese.

7 Ways to Make Healthier and Delicious Mac and Cheese

A lot of people ask for low-calorie mac and cheese recipes. There are so many options to make healthy mac and cheese with veggies. Following are the 7 best ways to make your mac and cheese deliciously healthier.

1. Replace Cheese with Yogurt

Cheese contains a lot of sodium which is harmful to health. It can cause hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Greek yogurt can be a great alternative to cheese. Yogurt is low in calories and sodium, so it is good for health.

2. Milk Alternatives Can Make a Difference

Dairy products are high in fats and calories. Coconut milk can be the best vegan alternative to milk. It tastes good with mac and cheese. If you’re following a weight loss diet, coconut milk can be best to include in it.

3. Color Mac and Cheese with Veggies

Vegetables are the best source of vitamins and minerals. If you add a greater Portion of vegetables to your mac and cheese, it can make a big difference. As the number of calories from fats will be reduced and you will be consuming healthy calories from veggies.

Mac and Cheese Healthy

4. Switch to Whole Wheat options

Whole wheat macaroni can be more healthy as compared to any other version. As wheat is more nutritious as compared to plain flour and other alternatives, it is good to use macaroni made from whole wheat. It is also good for heart health.

5. Add more Lean Protein

Proteins are essential nutrients to include in a healthy diet plan. These are necessary to build muscles and lose fat. So, adding lean proteins to your mac and cheese can not only make it healthier, but it is also good for weight loss and bodybuilders.

6. Spice up Your Mac n Cheese

Adding spices to your mac and cheese can not only improve flavor but also make the food healthy. For example, turmeric, oregano, ginger, and garlic powder are antibacterial and can help you get rid of a lot of harmful bacteria in your body. So, spicing up your mac and cheese can make it more healthy and delicious.

7. Prefer Homemade Over Boxed

Homemade versions are always healthier as compared to the boxed ones. The reason is that you can adjust the number of ingredients according to your own choice and health benefits. The same is the case with mac and cheese. So, it is best if you make your own healthier version of mac and cheese.

mac and cheese

FAQs

Is Mac and Cheese Healthy for lunch?

Yes, mac and cheese can be a healthy lunch if you add a lot of vegetables to it. Also, replacing cheese with other Healthy options such as greek yogurt and coconut milk can help you make a healthy mac and cheese for lunch.

Are Pasta and cheese good for you?

Pasta and cheese can be good for you if you use whole wheat pasta. Whole wheat pasta is more nutritious and healthy, so it can be good for you. Also, the cheese should be low in sodium if you want to keep it healthy.

Are mac and cheese fattening?

Mac and cheese can play havoc with your diet if you are struggling with weight loss. It is very creamy and rich in Carbohydrates. A very high amount of cheese in mac and cheese makes it even worse for weight loss. However, the nutrition depends upon the brand, serving size, and the ingredients that we are using while cooking mac and cheese.

Are mac and cheese healthy for toddlers?

For toddlers, you must prefer the mac and cheese having low sodium in it. Also, add some extra veggies to make it more healthy and nutritious. Mac and cheese can be healthy for toddlers in a moderate amount.

Why should you not eat mac and cheese?

It is okay to eat mac and cheese once a week in a moderate amount but you should not eat it regularly as it contains many preservatives, saturated fats, and artificial flavors that are not good for health. What is the healthiest mac and cheese?

Homemade mac and cheese are the healthiest mac and cheese as it does not contain any chemicals and preservatives. Moreover, we can add vegetables of our choice to make it more healthy and to keep it less in sugar and sodium.

Final Thoughts

Mac and cheese is a delicious meal option for lunch and dinner but the craving is not good for your health. All of the brands contain high amounts of calories, sodium, sugar, and fats. They also contain artificial flavors and preservatives.

Kraft’s mac and cheese is highly processed. It contains complex carbs and small amounts of proteins. The saturated fats in mac and cheese can destroy your cardiovascular system if you consume them regularly.

So it is important to prefer homemade versions and consume them in moderation.

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