Why Cottage Cheese Is A Popular Choice For Nutrient-Rich Diets

When you think of cottage cheese, perhaps you envision the fad diet staple straight out of the 1970s — an unappealing bowl of the lumpy stuff topped with syrupy canned fruit cocktails. There's no doubt about it, cottage cheese can sometimes get a bad rap, but that doesn't seem quite fair. With a mild taste and soft texture, cottage cheese is a great addition to many meals. 

For instance, try a scoop of creamy cottage cheese topped with sliced apple, chopped walnuts, and a dash of cinnamon to kickstart your day. It's also easy to incorporate into a number of tasty recipes like these cheesy sous vide egg bites. Healthwise, it's a great gluten-free snack and brands like Daisy offer single-serve cottage cheese snacks with fruit compote — like strawberry, blueberry, peach, and pineapple — that make cottage cheese much more appealing and easy to enjoy on the go. But how healthy is cottage cheese and what exactly makes it such a nutrient-rich food?

It's packed with protein and vitamins

Cottage cheese is an excellent low-calorie source of protein, as one cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains 28 grams of protein and only 163 calories, per Healthline. With such high-protein content, a serving of cottage cheese will also help you feel fuller for longer. In fact, a study found that eggs and cottage cheese have similar satiating effects (via National Library of Medicine).

For comparison's sake, one cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt contains 13 grams of protein (via Food Network). So while you may frequently reach for Greek yogurt as a post-workout snack or go-to breakfast, consider trying cottage cheese instead to more than double your protein intake.

And while cottage cheese does typically contain more calories than Greek yogurt, protein makes up nearly 70% of the calories in cottage cheese, according to Taste of Home. Cottage cheese is also packed with a number of good-for-you nutrients, including vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, and selenium, as reported by Healthline.

Keep in mind that some cottage cheese brands can be higher in sodium than others, so be sure to read nutrition labels while you're grocery shopping. And if you find the texture of cottage cheese off-putting, consider folding it into pancake mix, blending it into smoothies, or whipping it into a sour cream substitute to incorporate it into your meals and reap the health benefits.