A No-Cook Type of Protein? Cottage Cheese

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Dairy is commonly forgotten for its protein content.  All dairy has some form of protein, and some are higher than others.  Cottage cheese is the dairy option with the highest amount of protein.

A half cup serving contains between 100-120 calories, between 10-15 g of protein and a low amount of carbohydrates (3-6 grams). The only down side of the dairy product is that it is high in sodium, with most servings containing about 500 mg of sodium.  However, cottage cheese is also a great source of calcium and vitamin D. This low calorie treat is great for those trying to lose weight while sustaining a low carbohydrate diet approach.

Cottage cheese can be served with a meal, eaten as a protein snack, or substituted for dessert.  The different types of cottage cheese in the grocery aisle will vary by the fat content and curd size.  Read your labels here and note that to make up for the taste in the low fat version, the carbohydrate content is higher because more sugars are added.

There are several other different types of cottage cheeses other than the plain variety.  Flavored cottage cheeses on the refrigerator shelves are priced higher than regular cottage cheese.  These have a higher carbohydrate content, but are up to 70% lower in sugar than sweetened yogurt products, and still yield a higher protein content.  This may be the protein alternative for the kids that will eat nothing healthy without the sweet.  For an even cheaper alternative, serve regular cottage cheese with sliced fruit, such as peaches, pineapple, or pears.

Organic cottage cheese has also become more popular, and can be argued as the ‘natural’ route to cottage cheese.  The ingredients list should list all ingredients that the consumer can understand and pronounce, rather than questionable ingredients (whose use is for preservation).

Other ways to eat cottage cheese:

  • Substitute a dollop of cottage cheese instead of a dollop of sour cream.
  • Mix cottage cheese in with chicken or tuna salad instead of mayonnaise.
  • Try ranch dressing with cottage cheese for your veggie dip.
  • Spices such as salt, pepper, cinnamon, lemon juice, chives, onions, salsa, and other hot sauces such as Tobasco and Sriracha can add another taste.

Please feel free to leave any comments on your favorite recipes with cottage cheese or your favorite way to eat cottage cheese.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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