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5 Cottage Cheese Benefits You Should Know + Tasty Ways To Eat It

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Disdained by many as an old-school diet food, cottage cheese doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. But don’t judge just yet—cottage cheese is actually a good addition to any dairy-centric diet. Compared with other cheeses, it offers healthy protein levels, and is relatively low in calories.

What is cottage cheese?

Though it’s often marketed as something kids would love, cottage cheese is super yum. It is a soft, white cheese with a mildly salty taste that generally comes in unsweetened varieties.

It also comes in plain and flavored forms, which means you could have it for breakfast, or throw it into your next batch of mac and cheese.

However, be careful because cheeses manufactured with the “added flavorings” often alter the nutrition content found within its plain form (including added sugars). The texture might take some getting used to too, but there’s no denying that this creamy concoction has tasty appeal.

What are the benefits of cottage cheese?

Cottage cheese is a legitimately healthy food and has a number of potential health benefits that make it worth incorporating into your diet.

It’s rich in nutrients.

Here’s an example of what you’re getting in one cup of cottage cheese, according to the USDA: Cottage cheese has a unique nutrient profile that can help support your overall health.

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It may help build muscle.

If your strength goals are an important part of your regimen, protein-packed cottage cheese may help. “Protein keeps us full and helps us recover from hard training,” said Shana Spence, M.S., RDN, CDN. On average, you’ll find between 15 and 25 grams of protein per cup of cottage cheese2! That’s about the same amount as 3 ounces of boneless skinless chicken breast has to offer. Protein found in cottage cheese like caseinate or casein is thought to be especially useful for muscle growth because it supports muscle protein synthesis after exercise. One study found it had a superior effect on muscle from protein synthesis than soy protein did4.

It helps convert food into energy.

Experts say that “B vitamins are essential for the body to convert food into energy, help maintain healthy skin and brain cells” and “folic acid is crucial in improving mental function.” As a result, people who eat dairy products like cottage cheese may have more energy. Meaning it could be one way to help fight your midafternoon slump.

It can help manage weight.

A real benefit of cottage cheese is that it’s a high-protein, low-calorie food choice. If the idea of cottage cheese as a “weight-loss food” may be dated, we should look at the studies that support it as an option for managing healthy weight and nutrition. And since it is hard to digest, it can help you feel full for longer periods of time.

It can help support gut health.

A number of brands of cottage cheese include live and active cultures- giving you a truly healthy snack or meal. Beyond gut health, probiotics can help keep your heart healthy and improve your immune system.

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Cottage cheese versus yogurt.

When comparing different types of dairy, “I wouldn’t say cottage cheese is necessarily better,” says Spence. “It is higher in protein than yogurt but as far as calcium, B vitamins and other minerals, they are about the same.” It really comes down to your personal preference and overall taste.

How to eat more cottage cheese.

When it comes to cottage cheese, there are many different ways to incorporate it into your dishes. You can dip pieces of fruit in a bowl of cottage cheese, or blend it into a dip for fresh fruit. If you don’t like the texture, try blending it first or dipping pieces of bread in cottage cheese and granola.

Bottom line.

While cottage cheese is often associated with restrictive diets, it makes for a healthy and nutritious food choice. It might make it easier for you to meet your daily nutritional goals and find balance within your diet.