Story by: Erin Wiedmar on July 18, 2017
Is your macaroni and cheese safe to eat? It depends on how you look at it. A recent study reported in the New York Times warns that the powdered cheese mixture has phthalates (pronounced thal-ATES), a group of chemicals that may be unsafe for pregnant women and children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration monitors phthalates in cosmetics and other nonfood products — but has not banned them. The new study recommends additional research to look at phthalates in food.
As a consumer, can you still enjoy that box of cheesy goodness? It’s up to you. But avoiding any packaged foods is always healthier. When you make your own macaroni and cheese, you can reduce fat and sodium and add fiber: All good things for your diet and health.
Make-it-yourself macaroni and cheese
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pasta
1 cup 1 percent milk
2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cups shredded low-fat Colby-Jack cheese
Cook pasta in water according to time on the package and drain. Do not rinse.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk and flour. Whisk over medium heat for about 2 minutes until thick. Whisk in cheese until smooth. Gently stir in pasta. If sauce is too thick, add a little more milk. Serve with a little cheese sprinkled on the top.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information (per serving)
206 calories, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 28 mg cholesterol, 305 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugars 13 g protein
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