3 tricks for healthier macaroni cheese

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Carb-loading doesn't get tastier than mac 'n' cheese - or healthier, if you follow these tips for a more nutritious dish!

1. Runners have long relied on pasta’s carbs to replenish glycogen stores – but, made from refined white wheat flour, white pasta has had its fibre and much of the nutrient-packed original grain removed. So use wholewheat pasta, which is loaded with fibre, B vitamins for energy metabolism, and disease-fighting phytochemicals.

2. ‘Slash the fat and saturated fat content of the sauce by using 1% fat milk and reduced fat cheddar,’ says nutritionist Sian Porter. Adding fat-free Greek yoghurt – which has twice the muscle-building protein of ordinary yoghurt – will replicate that rich, creamy texture and deliver a calcium boost for your bones. Heat on the hob until it thickens, adding a tablespoon and a half of flour plus a spoonful of dijon mustard for flavour.

3. Combine the cooked pasta and sauce, and toss in a few handfuls of cooked broccoli and red peppers for a hefty dose of antioxidants, including Vitamin C which assists in the creation of collagen to fortify bones, tendons and ligaments. Pour the lot into a heatproof dish. ‘Cut fat and add extra flavour and texture by topping with a mix of breadcrumbs and Parmesan instead of more cheddar,’ says Porter. Place under a grill until browned, plump up the sofa, tee up Sky Plus and tuck in.