Are macaroni and cheese healthy?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Are macaroni and cheese healthy? We will speak about the dangers of consuming instant pots of macaroni and cheese and come back with a healthy recipe for this famous fish. 

Are macaroni and cheese healthy?

Its consumption is not recommended due to its high contribution of sodium, calories, and additives, in addition to its low nutritional contribution.

The famous macaroni and cheese are usually among the favorite dishes of the little ones, and the big ones are not spared. The bad? The instant version is one of the most processed foods out there, so we are forced to limit our intake of this delicious poison to only special occasions.

It contains 26 ingredients, of which the first ingredient is refined flour, which does not provide fiber or practically any other essential nutrient.

In addition, corn syrup and maltodextrin solids are used, which are simple sugars, as well as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, associated with cardiovascular risk.

It also contains salt in addition to monosodium glutamate that enhances its flavor.

Finally, we find that colorants and additives are used that modify consistency.

Processed ‘mac and cheese’ contain chemicals that can be toxic if consumed in excess

A study was released indicating that phthalates, a variety of chemicals that were banned years ago in the manufacture of children’s toys, could be present in one of the quintessential family meals: macaroni and cheese. But don’t be alarmed. These results must be interpreted in their proper measure.

First of all, what are phthalates? It is a type of plasticizer used to soften products such as toys, bottles, or packaging, which explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

In addition, they are added to lotions so that they penetrate the skin more easily and that their fragrance lasts longer. They are also present in almost all dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables. Bottom line: they are found almost everywhere and not because they are deliberately added, but because they “leak” from packaging during manufacturing processes.

Some studies have suggested that these chemicals can trigger hormonal problems and affect the development of the fetus. It also investigates its relationship with asthma, obesity, or autism. But the evidence is not overwhelming. 

Yes, they are potentially toxic but a direct causality has not been proven … yet,” clarifies Bill Lasley, a researcher at the University of California who worked on a study on the subject commissioned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A 2008 law prohibits them from being used in toys. That label that usually appears on many ‘BPA Free’ containers indicates that the product is phthalate-free. Several environmental groups asked the FDA last year to remove these components from food, packaging, and manufacturing equipment, but the request has not been processed due to technical problems, according to the NYT newspaper.

The study in question, which has not been published in an accredited scientific journal, was commissioned from an independent laboratory at the request of the Coalition for Safe Processing and Packaging in the United States that joined the campaign of a mother who leads a movement called # KleanUpKraft. 

My son was born with a congenital defect. No one can say for sure what caused it or that the foods I ate during pregnancy had an impact, but this same defect has been associated with phthalates, ”reads an online application that asks the food company to eliminate this chemical from its packaging.

A healthy recipe for Macaroni and cheese

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ almond milk
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable or chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup of grated cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the garlic. Add the quinoa and brown for about 5 minutes.
  1. Add the broth, salt, and pepper. Stir. Let them boil and reduce the heat to the minimum possible. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  1. While the quinoa is cooking, preheat the oven to 180ºC. Prepare individual containers, or a tray, with cooking oil.
  1. Once the quinoa is ready, let it rest for 5 minutes. While beating the eggs and milk in a bowl. Quickly add the hot quinoa and cheese. Stir very well and let the cheese melt a little.
  1. Place on the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

The dish serves 4-5 people and you can double it if you want. It’s not identical to the real thing but it’s pretty close and a LOT healthier so it’s worth a try. Enjoy your meal.

Conclusions

We remind you that the instant version of macaroni and cheese is one of the most processed foods out there, so we are forced to limit our intake of this delicious poison to only special occasions. It contains 26 ingredients, of which the first ingredient is refined flour, which does not provide fiber or practically any other essential nutrient.

We recommend you to try our healthy version of mac and cheese and to let us know in the comments if you like it!

References

Kleanupkraft.org

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Avatar

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *