By Kenneth G. Haynes
Cottage cheese is a nutritious option that comes in a high-protein but low-fat package. The mild or creamy curded meal is a priority in the menus of athletes, nutritionists, weight watchers and vegetarians. Cottage cheese comes with vitamins and minerals, nutritional benefits and useful content.
The benefits that lie in this cheese sometimes go unnoticed. However, this is one of the meals that keep you healthy just by being integrated it into your everyday menu. The difference between food and superfood is that you eat the second also to stay healthy, not just full. Few such options are rich in essential nutrients, and even fewer come in cheap versions. Cottage cheese is one of them.
The Essentials of Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a white curded dairy product which doesn’t undergo an aging process, so experts consider it fresh. Pasteurized cow’s milk develops curds of different sizes and turns into a versatile product with various levels of milk fat – regular, low-content or fat-free. Although some prefer to make cottage cheese, this option is unhealthy as the process requires close monitoring and expertise. There are convenient and healthy packed cheeses available which you can read about by clicking here.
The most famous and healthiest product version is the 2% fat content. Such a product provides you with 180 calories per serving (4 oz./113 grams) and 1.5 grams of fat. Here’s an outline of other versions:
- Fat-free cottage cheese: 160 calories, 0 grams of fat.
- 1% fat content products: 90 calories, 1.5 grams of fat.
- 4% fat versions: 220 calories, 5 grams of fat.
Nutritional Breakdown of Cottage Cheese
Most of the calories from cottage cheese are made of protein. The cheese contains casein protein, which can slowly digest during sleeping. If you eat the dairy before bed, your body will feel satiety for longer, and you actually build up muscles. Moreover, casein makes the cottage cheese rich in the protein that is otherwise only available in meat.
A cup of cottage cheese (8 oz./226 grams) contains:
- 163 calories.
- 28 grams of protein.
- 1 grams of carbs.
- 3 grams of fat.
- 14% of the RDI (recommended daily intake) of calcium.
- 30% of the RDI of sodium and phosphorus.
- 22% of the RDI of riboflavin.
- 29% of the RDI of selenium.
- 24% of the RDI of vitamin B12.
- Vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and copper.
Cottage Cheese Has Plenty of Health Benefits
The curded cheese is exceptionally beneficial for vegetarians as it supplies them with the required amount of daily protein. It’s an easy-to-consume meal which most of the times requires no cooking.
The magnesium you’ve noticed in the above list works as a catalyst of biochemical reactions that maintain nerve and muscle functioning. Magnesium also supports a healthy immune system with balanced blood sugar levels.
Calcium is more abundant in cottage cheese than in other dairy products. The food promotes weight loss and bone strengthening. Healthcare specialists recommend the consumption of calcium-based products during pregnancy and in children’s early years. Such a diet prevents osteoporosis and aids the nervous system to send impulses to the body.
Zinc is a substance that works for the brain, bones, liver, muscles, kidneys, and eyes to metabolize DNA and RNA. Such an ingredient works as an antioxidant which prevents appetite loss and fights infections. Also, phosphorus is a helpful agent in the formation of DNA and RNA and forms and strengthens bones by using calcium.
Potassium is a substance that balances fluids from within the body which aid in neural activities of the muscles and brain. Potassium is helpful in relieving muscle cramps, and it lowers the contraction of blood levels. This also means that cottage cheese which contains potassium decreases levels of stress and anxiety.
Selenium in small quantities is a useful antioxidant which protects the cells from damage. However, it also reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Healthy Ways to Eat Cottage Cheese
According to a study, a diet which includes cottage cheese, fruit, vegetables and whole grains is helpful in losing and maintaining weight loss in a healthy manner.
Omelets are consistent ways to begin your day. A meal which contains eggs and cottage cheese has a high protein content which builds up enough energy for the day. Vegetables also work as delicious ingredients for a complete breakfast.
Smoothies already work as complete morning meals. You can compile a smoothie which contains cottage cheese and transforms them into healthy sources of energy supply until noon.
Quick toast sandwiches with parsley, honey, and cottage cheese are more consistent thanks to the high-protein dairy addition.
Salads increase their satiety levels if you add cottage cheese. Greens and tuna work as balanced ingredients which compensate for the protein available in the dairy product.
Curries or stews with meat and vegetables become even more delicious with cottage cheese. The dairy soothes their taste and turns them into spectacular dinners.
Ice creams and cakes get a lighter appearance thanks to the dairy content you add. Also, cottage cheese works as a suitable replacement for ricotta in lasagna.
Eating Healthy is More Important than Eating Well
However, there should be a balance between the two. Healthy food should be tasty. However, you should also ensure that you gain enough nutrients during the day while you ensure that you make no excesses. Cottage cheese contains plenty of sodium –, especially in fat-free versions. Make sure you only eat one cup of cottage cheese daily to avoid any residue that might harm your body.
Cottage cheese is widespread among Americans and Europeans and is due to remain so for the upcoming years. Vegetarians, meat enthusiasts and the health-conscious should include it in a diet, regardless of its form. The cheese is available in most online stores, supermarkets and even in corner shops. As we prefer healthy but convenient choices, you will soon notice that it also comes at a small price.