It’s hard to argue with the perfection of macaroni and cheese — whether you make it from a box or opt for a homemade version, the creamy combo of soft elbow pasta and gooey cheese is the ultimate comfort food. It’s so perfect as it is, there’s no need to alter this classic pasta dish.
Unless you’re Burger King.
The fast food giant has taken their own spin on macaroni and cheese by offering up a new stunt food in the form of Mac n’ Cheetos. They’re similar to mozzarella sticks, except instead of mozzarella cheese they’re filled with mac n’ cheese, and instead of breadcrumbs, they’re covered in crushed up Cheetos.
Burger King had so much success with the Mac n’ Cheetos when they were available for a limited time in June 2016, they decided to bring them back for a limited time starting May 18. A serving comes in containers of five and costs $2.50 — a pretty small price to pay for an Instagram photo that’s guaranteed to get tons of likes and make your followers’ mouths water.
Mac ‘n Cheetos: Just How Unhealthy Are They?
Even for people who love all things cheesy (pasta and snack food especially), you’ll have to make room in your daily caloric budget to indulge in this side dish.
One 5-piece serving of Mac N’ Cheetos has 310 calories, 13 grams of fat (4.5 grams saturated), 37 grams of carbs, 9 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein. Although the full ingredients list is not available on Burger King’s website, it does list milk as an allergen, plus a contamination with wheat and soy from the fryer.
For comparison, that’s more calories than a Burger King cheeseburger (270 calories) and more fat than a four-piece order of Burger King chicken nuggets (11 grams). Even though the specific ingredients aren’t listed, the Mac n’ Cheetos are cooked in the deep fryer, and Burger King fries their food in “corn, canola, soy and/or cottonseed oils,” according to its website. These inflammatory vegetable oils could be worse for you than sugar.
At 310 calories per serving, the Mac N’ Cheetos are enough to be a complete meal on its own. Since this cheesy side dish lacks any nutritional value, you might want to add some fibrous veggies to your order with the Garden Side Salad (no cheese — you’re getting plenty with the Mac n’ Cheetos!) and topped with Ken’s Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette. That will only set you back an extra 75 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs and 5 grams of sugar.
But if you’re curious about trying them, and can allocate an extra 310 calories and 13 grams of fat in your diet, go for it. Better yet, split an order with a friend to see what all the excitement is about without going overboard on calories and fat. At least the Mac n’ Cheetos aren’t one of our 50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.
Main image courtesy of Facebook, Burger King