Cottage Cheese Benefits: Nutrition Facts And Risks

6 min read
Feb 9, 2024
Cottage Cheese Benefits: Nutrition Facts And Risks

A nutrient-dense component to most diet s is cottage cheese. Though it is low in calories, it is high in protein, B vitamins, and other healthful components. Cottage cheese may be especially helpful for people who want to gain muscle and lose weight.

This article has all the information you require about cottage cheese, including its composition, advantages, dangers, and diet ary applications.

What is Cottage Cheese?

The soft, creamy white cheese known as cottage cheese is produced from pasteurized cow's milk curds. Since it's fresh, it hasn't been ripened or matured. Because of this, its flavor is far softer than that of many other cheeses.

While non-fat and reduced-fat milk can also be used to make cottage cheese, traditional cottage cheese is produced with whole milk. In addition, cottage cheese is available in low-sodium, lactose-free, and curd quantities.

A common snack is cottage cheese, either by itself or combined with fresh produce. But it can also be used in casseroles, dips, and other recipes in place of ricotta or cream cheese.

Nutrition Facts

The type of milk used to create cottage cheese affects its nutritional composition.

The following nutrients are included in a half-cup serving of low-fat (1–2% milkfat) cottage cheese (1):

  • Calories: 93
  • Protein: 12.4 grams (g)
  • Fat: 2.6 g
  • Carbs: 4.9 g
  • Selenium: 30% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Riboflavin: 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 20% of the DV
  • Sodium: 16% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 13% of the DV
  • Calcium: 9% of the DV

Cottage cheese is regarded as a complete protein source because it is a dairy product. It does so because it has all nine of the essential amino acids, which the body is unable to produce on its own.(2)

Selenium, a mineral that aids in the production of special proteins termed antioxidant enzymes by your body, may be found in abundance in cottage cheese. These enzymes aid in defending cells against harm from unstable chemicals known as free radicals. Additionally, some research indicates that selenium may shield the body from the harmful effects of heavy metals and help prevent some forms of cancer.(3)

Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B12 and riboflavin, which support the body's ability to convert food into energy.(4)

Specifically, vitamin B12 is necessary for maintaining the integrity of your nerve and blood cells as well as guarding against vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, which can result in weakness and exhaustion.(5)

Because cottage cheese has a lot of sodium, you may want to choose low-sodium options, especially if you have been told by your doctor to cut back on sodium in your diet .

Cottage Cheese benefits

There are numerous possible advantages to cottage cheese, such as aiding in weight loss , bone health, and muscular growth and recuperation.

May Help Support Muscle Growth

Because it's affordable, simple to use, and high in protein, cottage cheese has long been a favorite among athletes and gym patrons.

Protein has been shown to aid in the growth of muscles when combined with strength training. It offers the amino acids required to regenerate and mend muscle tissue.(6)

Casein, a protein that digests slowly, makes up the majority of the protein in cottage cheese.

Research indicates that ingesting casein prior to bedtime, particularly following an evening strength training session, may facilitate the repair of muscles. This, according to researchers, is because it can decrease exercise-induced muscle damage, stop muscle protein breakdown, and improve amino acid availability during sleep.(7)

Additionally, research suggests eating dairy products can help older persons retain the condition of their muscles and stop them from breaking down.(8)

May Aid in Weight Loss

A high-protein, low-calorie item that can boost your weight loss efforts is cottage cheese.

Diets high in protein have been associated with weight loss, the prevention of obesity and disorders associated with it.(9)

This is partly because the body expends more calories digesting protein than it does carbohydrates or fats due to its stronger thermic impact.(10, 11)

According to a 2016 research, consuming more dairy products in conjunction with a lower-calorie diet can significantly reduce body weight and fat without causing muscle loss. Its high protein and calcium content are thought to be the cause of these effects.(12)

Numerous studies have connected calcium to weight loss, possibly through lowering fat synthesis and speeding up the body's breakdown of stored fat. Moreover, calcium may promote the excretion of fat in the stool.(12)

Promotes Bone Health

A fair amount of calcium, which the body requires to build strong bones, is included in cottage cheese. Osteoporosis, which results in weak, fragile bones and an elevated risk of fractures, can be brought on by an inadequate dietary calcium intake.(13)

Another excellent source of phosphorus, which is essential for healthy bones, is cottage cheese. Inadequate phosphorus intake can cause bone discomfort, muscle weakness, and osteomalacia, a disorder where bones weaken and become mushy, however it is incredibly uncommon in the United States.(14)

Furthermore, the protein in cottage cheese may assist older persons avoid bone loss and lower their risk of fractures.(15)

Energy source

Consider including cottage cheese in your child's diet if you're worried about their lack of energy. A 2005 study found that young children who consume more dairy products, like milk and cottage cheese, have higher levels of energy.


While most healthy people can safely consume cottage cheese, some people may experience negative side effects.

Lactose Intolerance

Since cottage cheese is fresher than hard, aged cheese, it has a higher lactose content. For those who are lactose intolerant, this may result in symptoms including gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain.(16)

With 0.7 to 4 g of lactose per half-cup serving, cottage cheese has less lactose than milk.(17)

According to some study, those who are lactose intolerant can safely consume up to 12 g of lactose at once or 18 g over the course of the day.(18)

As a result, some affected people might still be able to handle little amounts of cottage cheese.

Dairy Allergy

Since cottage cheese is made of milk, you should avoid it if you have a cow's milk allergy.

A person who has a milk allergy and eats cottage cheese may have rashes, upset stomach, vomiting, or even anaphylaxis, which is a potentially fatal condition that impairs breathing.(19)

How to Add Cottage Cheese Into Your Diet

With its mild, creamy texture, cottage cheese works well in both savory and sweet recipes.

You can include cottage cheese in your diet in the following ways:

  • Serve it with fruit: Try cottage cheese with bits of pineapple, berries, apples, peaches, or mandarin oranges.
  • Add it to salads: Toss with crisp greens, tomatoes, and dried fruit; top with cottage cheese.
  • Savory dishes: Use cottage cheese in meatloaf, quiche, lasagna, and stuffed shells dishes.
  • Baked goods: Add cottage cheese to bread, pies, muffins, or biscuits.
  • Toast: Toast can be topped with cottage cheese, avocado, and a tomato slice for a high-protein breakfast or snack.
  • Scrambled eggs: To increase the amount of protein and fluff in scrambled eggs, add cottage cheese.
  • Dips: For sour cream or milk to use in a variety of dipping sauces and vegetable dips, use cottage cheese instead.

A Quick Review

A nutrient -dense food, cottage cheese is low in calories but abundant in protein, phosphorus, selenium, and several B vitamins.

The minerals in cottage cheese may promote bone health, muscle growth, and weight loss . However, those who are managing their salt consumption should stick to the low-sodium variants due to their high sodium concentration.