Digesting The Label is a series that takes a look at what exactly is in the food that we're buying and eating from a nutritional standpoint. Every two weeks, we'll examine a food and help determine whether or not it's all it's cut out to be .. or in some cases, even better for us than we thought. This week, we're looking at the total fat content in Alfredo sauces.
We all know the creamy, fatty and often garlic-y goodness that comes in a bottle of Alfredo sauce, but how many grams of fat are we actually consuming?
For the most part (except for a few brands in our list below), the amount of fat added to bottled Alfredo sauces is relativity low — but what you do need to watch out for are saturated and trans fats. According to Health Canada, saturated fats have been shown to increase bad cholesterol levels, while trans fat can increases one's risk for heart disease.
A majority of the brands' recipes have no trans fat in them, though surprisingly, those deemed "healthiest" by fat ranking do contain trans fats , albeit less than one gram per quarter cup. And while tomato-based sauces have entirely different nutrients, in either case, we suggest going with brands with less fat or making your own batch of pasta sauce at home.
Alfredo sauces can be made "healthier" by avoiding creams and whole milks, and using low-fat milk, skimmed milk and chicken or vegetable broth. You can also add more veggies and Greek yogurt to cut back on unhealthy fats. Check out this recipe from Minimalist Baker here.
Take a look below at some popular store-bought Alfredo sauces and their total fat, saturated fat and trans fat amounts. Which one do you cook with it? Let us know in the comments below: