At first glance, Velveeta cheese nutrition doesn't seem alarming. It's reasonable in calories and fat for what it is and it even offers a little bit of calcium, too. But aside from the calories and carbs in Velveeta, it's important to pay attention to the fact that it's highly processed.
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Processed food isn't just lacking in natural nutrients, it's also been connected to health problems, like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke. In fact, eating too many processed foods can increase your risk of early death from all causes. While including Velveeta cheese in your diet occasionally might be OK, you should limit your intake of processed foods as much as possible.
Velveeta Nutritional Info
Although Velveeta cheese has expanded to offer things like shredded cheese, queso and macaroni and cheese cups, the original Velveeta cheese product comes in a "loaf," or a 5-pound block that you can slice and melt. One serving of this block is a 1/8-inch slice or 1 ounce. The nutrition facts for this serving size are:
- 80 calories
- 5 grams of total fat
- 3.5 grams of saturated fat
- 20 milligrams of cholesterol
- 85 milligrams of potassium
- 410 milligrams of sodium
- 3 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of sugar
- 5 grams of protein
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a serving of Velveeta also contains:
- 242 milligrams of phosphorus
- 130 milligrams of calcium
- 94 milligrams of potassium
Velveeta Cheese Ingredients
While Velveeta nutrition facts may seem harmless enough, you have to keep in mind that it's not just about the calories. According to the brand's website, the shelf life of the cheese is 210 days. That's because a lot of the ingredients are artificial and the cheese is highly processed. Velveeta cheese ingredients include:
- Cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes)
- Milk protein concentrate
- Whey protein concentrate
- Sodium phosphate
- Calcium phosphate
- Sodium alginate
- Lactic acid
- Sorbic acid
- Apocarotenal (Color)
- Annatto (Color)
Negative Effects of Processed Foods
Velveeta cheese is considered a highly or ultra-processed food because of the way its made and some of the additives that are in it. You might already know that processed foods aren't the best choices, but researchers took a deep dive into them to see what health issues they can cause.
One study that was published in The BMJ in May 2019 reported a connection between eating processed foods and increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Another study that was published in the same journal, The BMJ, in the same year, May 2019, found a connection between eating processed foods and an increased risk of death from all causes. According to researchers from the study, eating four or more servings of processed foods per day can increase your risk of death by 62 percent.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also points out that processed foods are one of the major contributors of sodium to the diet. A single serving of Velveeta has 410 milligrams, which is almost one-third of the ideal limit of 1,500 milligrams per day. Of course, a lot of people don't stick to one serving when indulging in something like Velveeta cheese, so it's easy to go overboard.
If you do decide to include Velveeta in your diet, make sure you're aware of the health risks and don't make it a staple. Eat it only in moderation and pay attention to your portion sizes.
- Kraft Heinz Foodservice: "Velveeta"
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: "Kraft Velveeta Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread"
- American Heart Association: "How Much Sodium Should I Eat Per Day?"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Processed Foods: What's OK and What to Avoid"
- The BMJ: "Ultra-Processed Food Intake and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Prospective Cohort Study (Nutrinet-Santé)"
- The BMJ: "Association Between Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods and All Cause Mortality: Sun Prospective Cohort Study"
- Kraft Foods: Velveeta History