When it comes to comfort food, mac & cheese is one of the most popular dishes out there. It’s so easy to make, and when you want a quick fix it’s there for you. However, is it really the best thing you can be eating when you need a quick meal? Here’s the truth about this popular dish.
The History Of Mac & Cheese
No one’s quite sure when the mac & cheese as we know it was invented. The most popular theory is that it came from Southern Italy in the 13th century, when sheets of lasagna were cut into small squares and served with grated cheese.
The dish was popularized by Kraft, who marketed mac & cheese to housewives towards the end of the Great Depression. It was popular thanks to its low cost, and the fact that it was so easy to make. It regained popularity once again after World War II, and has been a pantry staple ever since.
Chemicals In Your Mac & Cheese
The answer to this question very much depends on the type of mac & cheese that you’re making. ‘The classic boxed mac & cheese, such as the version made by Kraft, has come under fire’ says health writer Dewi Hunter, from Simple Grad and Essayroo. ‘Because of this, many people feel that this food is actually harmful to them.’
This is thanks to articles that report all kinds of things about mac & cheese, such as one that reported that it contains high levels of phthalates. These are a chemical that used to be found in things like children’s toys, before it was banned. However, testing has shown that it is still present in processed foods such as mac & cheese.
Should you be concerned about this? There’s no denying that any level of this chemical in your food is a problem, and shouldn’t be there. However, it is thought that boxed mac & cheese contains tiny amounts of phthalates. These come from leaching tanks to plastic tubes used in production, and so isn’t added in purposely.
Of course, you should take care with any food you buy to avoid exposure to such chemicals. A good rule here is to check the fat content of your mac & cheese. The more fat is in the packet, the more likely you are to be exposed.
Is Mac & Cheese Bad For You?
While you don’t have to worry as much about harmful chemicals in your boxed mac & cheese, you do still need to consider the health implications of eating it. There’s no denying that it’s packed full of things that don’t offer a lot of nutritional value.
‘In a typical box of mac & cheese, you’re going to find artificial colors, preservatives, artificial cheese mix, and so on’ says blogger Dustin Olson, from UK Services Reviews and Assignment Writing Service. ‘Obviously, none of these are good for you.’
It’s something most people don’t want to think about. There’s a lot of nostalgia attached to mac & cheese, and who hasn’t made a box for dinner when they want a taste of home? The problem is, the boxed stuff isn’t giving you what you need from a meal.
Can Mac & Cheese Be Healthy?
Mac & cheese is never going to be the healthiest dish, as, well, it’s macaroni and cheese. However, it is possible to make your own very easily, and avoid all the processed ingredients that make the boxed version so unhealthy. This allows you to add other ingredients too, such as toasted breadcrumbs, or bacon. This adds more flavor and texture, while still giving you your fix.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can never eat boxed mac and cheese. The key is to eat it sparingly. It’s a great once in a while treat, but you shouldn’t be using it for meals regularly. If you stick to this rule, then you’ll be able to stay healthy and happy.
There you have it. While mac & cheese is never going to be the most nutritious meal, you can make your own with little fuss, and make it better for you. It’s always a good idea to read nutrition labels, and see what’s really in that box.
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