Fat in Food: Beware of Alfredo Sauce

Artery-clogging saturated fat isn’t a problem with most tomato sauces. Few—even Barilla Bacon & Cheese and Prego Bacon and Provolone—top 1 gram of saturated fat per half cup. Not so for vodka sauces. Most are made with enough cream and/or cheese to supply 2 to 4 grams of saturated fat. Still, plenty stayed within a sensible 2 ½-gram limit. Top taste honors went to Victoria Low Sodium Vodka and Monte Bene Low Fat Vodka.


When it comes to saturated fat, the real troublemakers are alfredos. Their Nutrition Facts don’t look so bad because the use a small, quarter-cup serving. But when we called a half dozen locations of some of the largest Italian chains, most said that they use as much alfredo as tomato sauce. So we analyzed the alfredos based on a half-cup serving.

That gives even “light” alfredos at least 4 grams of saturated fat. Most regulars hit 5 to 9 grams. And alfredos from Buitoni and Mario Batali have more cream than any other ingredient, which means about 15 grams (three-quarters of a day’s supply) of saturated fat and 280 calories in every half cup. Add a 200-calorie cup of pasta, and you’re downing the equivalent of a 10 oz. ribeye from Outback Steakhouse.

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