Cottage Cheese: Super Health Benefits & Nutritional Facts
Cottage cheese is a kind of low-calorie cheese with a mild flavor.
Its popularity has increased over the past few decades. Nutritionists recommend cheese as an essential component of a healthy diet.
Cottage cheese contains a lot of proteins. It also contains other essential nutrients.
This explains why it is widely used by athletes. People seeking to lose weight also include it in their weight loss plans.
This article explains in detail the super health benefits of cottage cheese, its nutritional facts, and how you can incorporate it into your diet.
What exactly is cottage cheese?
Cottage cheese is creamy, white, and soft. It is more or less a fresh cheese as it does not undergo ripening or aging to develop flavor.
This explains why its flavor is milder compared with aged cheeses.
Cottage cheese is produced from curds of pasteurized milk (from a cow). This includes reduced fat, non-fat, or regular milk.
Cheese is offered in varying sizes, usually large, medium, or small.
It is also available in whipped, creamed, lactose-free, sodium-free, or reduced-sodium varieties.
It is versatile so you can enjoy it alone or as an ingredient in your favorite recipe.
The nutritional content of cottage cheese
Its nutrient content varies depending on the milk fat used, and the quantity of sodium in it.
A cup of low-fat cottage cheese will give you the following (1):
- 163 calories
- 28g of proteins
- 6.2g of carbs
- 2.3g of fat
- 24% of the RDI of phosphorus
- 30% RDI of sodium
- 37% RDI of selenium
- 59% RDI of vitamin B12
- 29% of the RDI of riboflavin
- 11% of the RDI of calcium
- 7% of the RDI of folate
It is also rich in vitamin B6, copper, zinc, and choline.
Cheese contains up to 3% carb. It has lactose in it, and many people are intolerant to it.
If you want to eat large amounts of cheese, do well to buy the sodium-free or low-sodium varieties. A high amount of sodium triggers high blood pressure in some people, thus putting them at risk of heart disease (2).
It is worth noting that over 70% of the calories in cheese are made of protein.
How is cottage cheese prepared?
It is quite easy to prepare cottage cheese. You can make it from the comfort of your home.
You will first start by curdling the milk. To curdle the milk, just add an acid substance, like vinegar or lime juice to warm milk.
When the acid level of the milk rises, casein the protein in milk will separate from the whey. The whey is the liquid portion of the milk.
After the curd becomes solid, you cut it into pieces and cook it until the moisture comes up. Then you wash away the acid and drain the moisture.
What you have as a result is a sweetened, easily-crumbled curd. You can flavor it with your preferred ingredients like herbs, spices, salt, and cream.
Cottage cheese enhances weight loss
Cottage cheese is included in most weight-loss diets.
This is due to its low-calorie, but high protein content.
A particular study observed people who maintained a protein-rich diet like cottage cheese for 12 months.
The study showed that the protein diet enhanced weight loss by over 2.8kg (6.2 pounds) in women, and 1.4kg (3.1 pounds) in men (3).
Cottage cheese makes you feel as full as you’d be if you ate eggs.
Cottage cheese is also rich in calcium.
It is also worth noting that dietary calcium stimulates the metabolic processes that accelerate fat burning (10).
Does cottage cheese help with muscle gain?
Cottage cheese is widely used by athletes and people who exercise regularly.
It is a rich source of protein, and so is a great food to add to your diet if you want to build muscle mass.
A high-protein diet combined with resistance training will help you to build great muscles (8).
Cottage cheese proteins are very effective at building muscles.
80% of the protein content of cheese is casein. Your body absorbs casein slowly. It is very effective at building muscle – just like whey protein. It is also perfect at inhibiting the breakdown of muscle due to its slow rate of absorption (12, 13).
Bodybuilders usually eat cottage cheese before going to bed. This enhances the sustained release of amino acids into the muscles and the blood at night. This action reduces the breakdown of muscles.
Other super health benefits
Cottage cheese is associated with many other health benefits.
Prevents insulin resistance
Resistance to insulin triggers the development of type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease.
A study suggested that consumption of dairy products may reduce the risk of insulin resistance by over 21 percent (18).
Strengthens your bones
It contains a lot of selenium
Adding cottage cheese to your diet
The soft texture and mild flavor of cottage cheese make it a unique ingredient for many meals and recipes.
Some fun ways to enjoy your cheese include:
- Scrambled eggs
- Baked goods
- Waffles or pancakes
- Dipping sauces
- Sour cream substitute
- Mayo substitute
Is cottage cheese harmful to health?
Well, it is a dairy product, so it may cause some adverse effects in some people.
The lactose in cheese decreases as the cheese ages.
However, the same cannot be said for cottage cheese. It is fresh cheese. So, it has a high lactose content.
The lactose content may increase if more milk is added to the curd.
So, this product may not be healthy for people who are lactose intolerant.
Apart from lactose, cheese contains whey and casein. Both are proteins in cow’s milk that causes allergic reactions in some people.
If you are allergic to any dairy product, you may not be comfortable with this product.
Cheese is a dairy product with a smooth texture and a mild flavor.
It is enriched with many nutrients, like B vitamins, protein, and minerals such as phosphorus, selenium, and calcium. If you want to build muscle or lose weight, then consider cottage cheese. You’ll be glad you did.
Tonika Bruce, MSN, RN, MBA. is an accomplished nurse leader, published author, and personal development expert passionate about advancing healthcare management and quality patient outcomes.
She taps into the years of experience in healthcare management to produce credible and easy-to-understand health and leadership content. Her exceptional work has been featured in reputable publications, including Forbes, Recruiter, Inc, and the Color of Wellness magazine.