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Cutting Calories in
Macaroni & Cheese

Article by Diet Bites

Identifying the Areas With High Fat Content

Macaroni is basically a combination of pasta, cheese, cream or milk and butter - all of which are high in calories and/or fat.

Whenever a food source contains fat, the energy values increase - so the more fatty acids contained therein, the more energy values contained therein.

How to Cut Calories

Because fat is chiefly responsible for the bulk of energy values, we'll need to work to cut fat in order to cut calories.

There isn't much that we can do about the pasta values. It's prepared with flour which ranges in caloric content from 400 and upwards per non-sifted cup.

As to recipes, commercially prepared version can hold as little as 250 Kcal to over 500 per serving. An example is the Cracker Barrel Restaurant's entree - as found on the kid's menu.

Calories & Nutrition Facts for Cracker Barrel Macaroni & Cheese

Nutritional Elements

Units

100 g

1 serving

1 cup

Energy, Calories

kcal

194

340

289

Protein

g

6.49

11.36

9.67

Total lipid (fat)

g

11.75

20.56

17.51

Carbohydrates

g

15.61

27.32

23.26

Fiber, total dietary

g

1.1

1.9

1.6

Sugars, total

g

2.83

4.95

4.22

Minerals, VItamins

Calcium, Ca

mg

145

254

216

Iron, Fe

mg

0.57

1.00

0.85

Magnesium, Mg

mg

17

30

25

Phosphorus, P

mg

202

354

301

Potassium, K

mg

127

222

189

Sodium, Na

mg

375

656

559

Zinc, Zn

mg

0.83

1.45

1.24

Thiamin

mg

0.097

0.170

0.145

Riboflavin

mg

0.247

0.432

0.368

Niacin

mg

0.710

1.242

1.058

Vitamin B-6

mg

0.060

0.105

0.089

Vitamin B-12

g

0.19

0.33

0.28

Vitamin A, RAE

g

61

107

91

Vitamin A, IU

IU

230

402

343

Vitamin E

mg

0.73

1.28

1.09

Lipids, Fatty Acid Totals
Saturated Fats

g

4.178

7.312

6.225

Monounsaturated Fat

g

2.813

4.923

4.191

Polyunsaturated Fat

g

3.941

6.897

5.872

Trans Fats

g

0.222

0.388

0.331

Cholesterol

mg

18

32

27

Lower Calorie Recipe for Macaroni and Cheese

Keeping the above dieting tips in mind, let's see if we can trim off a few mac n' cheese calories using our recipe below.

Ingredients for Diet Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

1 cup of pasta such as elbow or shell
1/4 cup of reduced fat milk
1/3 cup of shredded low fat cheese OR cheese sauce

Add the milk to the heated cheese sauce or shredded cheese. Stir in the cooked macaroni and add salt and cracked black pepper if desired. Heat in a 350 degree preheated oven until bubbly. Add another Tablespoon or two to the entree if desired.

To ramp-up flavors in this recipe you can opt to add a few real bacon bits.

If you use bacon that you have on hand rather than the commercially prepared real bacon bits and pieces, then be sure to cook it in the microwave using paper towels to absorb the cooked-off oils.

This recipe makes enough to serve two for about 250 calories each.

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