The public perception is that all nacho cheese is bad for you. Determined to uncover the truth in the matter, I felt inclined to investigate the nutritional data for three readily available nacho cheese products found at my local Safeway grocery store.
Specifically, I wanted to directly compare the sauce-type nacho cheese with grated cheese that comes from a bag (as seen in the picture).
Here’s the three products I compared:
- Frito Lay (sauce cheese in a jar)
- Tostitos (sauce cheese in a jar)
- Kraft Mexican Cheese (regular grated style cheese in a bag)
The results of my nutritional analysis may surprise you…
I wanted an "apples to apples" comparison, so I needed to take into account the serving size for each product. I chose to estimate serving size based on what I would personally eat during one nacho sitting.
For both the sauce type cheeses (Frito-Lay and Tostitos), I selected 3 servings or 6 tabelspoons of nacho cheese sauce. For the mexican style grated cheese from Kraft, I chose 4 servings (total of 1 cup) of unmelted grated cheese.
Fat and saturated Fat
Tostitos and Frito-Lay tallied between 12% and 18% of your daily recommended value for fat. Surprisingly, the grated Kraft cheese whoppingly totalled 48% of total recommended daily fat and a 100% of daily recommended allowance saturated fat. The nacho cheese sauce is a clear winner when it comes to fat intake.
The Frito-Lay nacho cheese has zero cholesterol and the Tostitos brand was a close second at 3% of daily allowance. But the Kraft cheese again proved to be the loser for a health concience indiviudual with 100mg of cholesterol (32% of daily allowance).
All three cheeses had similar sodium values hovering around the mid 30% range for daily allowance.
Calories and Calories from Fat
The Kraft brand grated cheese had nearly double the calories from fat and 3 times the total calories compared to the Frito-Lay and Tostitos brands.
Nacho cheese that comes in a jar (the sauce kind) is not nearly as bad for you as previously thought. I was shocked to learn how much fat and cholesterol was in the regular grated cheese from Kraft. While the Kraft cheese did have high amounts of calcium, it’s clear that when a health-concience person selects a nacho cheese, they should reach for the jar kind of cheese.
Kraft Mexican Cheese