Nutritionist Exposes Everything Fake About Velveeta

Velveeta has cemented itself as part of the American food landscapes. When you need to make quick queso dip, scalloped potatoes, and even grilled cheese sandwiches, this product can deliver (via The Takeout). While the product has graced kitchen pantries for over a century, the artificial nature of the product has drawn criticism, especially from nutritionists who have pinpointed all of the most artificial components of the ingredient.

No one knows more about the ins and outs of the product than Trista Best, Registered Dietitian at Balance One Supplements. "Velveeta has reached an almost endearing place in the hearts of many consumers of this cheese product," Best said. "I refer to it by this name because it is not real cheese, this is even according to the FDA. They can only use the term cheese in the name because it just barely meets the 51% cheese requirements set by the governing organization. This fact alone makes eating Velveeta a concerning practice, yet there are a few other aspects of Velveeta that can be added to the list."

A dairy product that can last forever

The fact that Velveeta can sit on unrefrigerated shelves should raise some red flags for consumers. "Cheese shouldn't be able to sit on a shelf outside of refrigeration without leading to bacterial overgrowth," Best said. "Velveeta's long list of preservatives and synthetic ingredients allow this product to sit on shelves for months and years after manufacturing without concern for foodborne illness."

These same preservatives and chemicals lend themself to Velveeta's signature texture. "This point isn't based on texture preferences, but on the fact that this cheese can go from soft to melted and back to soft so quickly and easily," Best continued. This characteristic, which makes Velveeta so popular, is due primarily to the fat and the long list of preservatives including Sodium Phosphate, Calcium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Alginate, Enzymes, Apocarotenal, Annatto, [and] Cheese Culture."

When it comes to delivering a unique texture, Velveeta delivers thanks to the fact that it includes so many additives you couldn't find in regular cheese. If this can't make you see the product in a different light, knowing how much sodium fits into a serving can easily raise some eyebrows.

A dairy product filled with salt

"The Dietary Guidelines for Americans state the recommendation for sodium intake be at 2,300mg or below to prevent chronic diseases, especially those involving the heart," Best said. "A 32 ounce package of Velveeta cheese contains 12,800 mg of sodium! While an individual may not eat an entire package of Velveeta on their own, a standard serving would be between 3 and 5 ounces, which would equate to their sodium intake to be between 1,200 and 2,000 mg. Nearly all of their daily recommendations."

Next time you need a healthy, natural cheese option, make sure to pass on Velveeta. "Simply put, we get our nutrition primarily from the food we eat," Best continued. "This includes a moderate amount of macronutrients and micronutrients to keep our bodies operating efficiently and on a healthy trajectory. Velveeta cheese offers little in the way of a balanced amount of nutrients and when added to a meal only helps to negate any potential nutrient benefits."