Cottage cheese—you either love it or hate it. For some people, cottage cheese is a nostalgic snack that brings us back to our lunchbox days, while others can’t stand the look or smell of this slightly salty dairy product.
Made by adding acid to milk, cottage cheese is the result of the milk solids separating from the liquid whey. Rather than straining away all of the whey as you would with most cheeses, some of that liquid remains in cottage cheese, creating its creamy consistency.
Whatever your opinion of cottage cheese may be, there’s no denying that this low-fat, high-protein food comes packed with health benefits. Read on to learn about the surprising effects of snacking on cottage cheese, and for more healthy eating tips check out Surprising Side Effects of Eating White Rice.
One of the most notable benefits of eating cottage cheese is the large protein boost you’ll get. For example, there are about 24 grams of protein in just one cup of standard 2% cottage cheese, which is comparable to a plain 2% Greek yogurt like Fage.
Not only do you get to enjoy a boost of protein, but you can do so with the peace of mind that you’re consuming a low amount of sugar (about 9 grams, mostly from the lactose) and zero added sugar. This gives you the freedom to add your own sweetness, either with fruit or a drizzle of honey.
Cottage cheese is a low-fat, high-protein snack that can help aid in your weight loss goals. Studies show that eating healthy foods that are high in protein is extremely effective for weight loss because it increases satiety and leaves you feeling full for longer periods of time.
Research also suggests that eating larger amounts of added sugar on a regular basis can contribute to weight gain and increased calorie intake. Switching out super sugary desserts for some cottage cheese topped with fruit or honey is a great way to satisfy a craving and eliminate some calories from added sugar.
Cottage cheese is also an excellent source of calcium. One cup of 2% cottage cheese comes with 227 milligrams of calcium which is about 18% of your recommended daily value. This is comparable to a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt, so if you’re getting tired of eating yogurt and need to switch it up, cottage cheese is a great choice.
Calcium is excellent for your bone health, hormone health, and can even aid in preventing or managing various diseases. So grab yourself a cup of cottage cheese and enjoy its many benefits!
Another amazing benefit of eating cottage cheese is that you get a nutritious, filling snack with very few calories from fat. Many people may be weary of snacking on cottage cheese because it has cheese in the name, but the fat content of cottage cheese is different than most other types.
As a comparison, let’s look at cheddar cheese. Cheddar does provide a nice boost of protein (24.5 grams per cup), but you’re also consuming almost 35 grams of fat. You can get the same amount of protein in a cup of low-fat cottage cheese with only 5 grams of fat! While fat is not necessarily bad for you, gram for gram, it is higher in calories than nutrients like protein or carbs—with 9 calories per gram as opposed to just 4—making cottage cheese a lower-calorie snack than other fatty dairy products.