Why Cottage Cheese Won't Align With Your Keto Lifestyle

When switching to the keto diet — a low-carb, high-fat meal plan — protein becomes a larger part of your meals. Fattier foods like dairy and red meat often become a priority, with cheese being a prominent way to increase your fat intake. While opting for high-protein cheeses like cottage cheese may seem like a good idea, the cheese doesn't actually fall under the keto umbrella.

At the center of the keto diet is an emphasis on fat rather than carbs. With your body running on a small amount of carbs, it'll start to rely on protein and fat for energy, allowing you to lose weight via a process called ketosis. Since one of the benefits of the keto diet is weight loss, it's important to be picky about the dairy you consume if you want to see results. Thanks to its high amount of protein and low calorie count, cottage cheese is a popular choice for nutrient-rich diets.

However, it contains more carbs than the keto diet permits. On the diet, your carb intake should be around 20-50 grams per day. One cup of cottage cheese alone contains around eight grams of carbohydrates, which adds up at the end of the day. Additionally, it doesn't have the highest fat levels; one cup has around nine grams of fat, which is low compared to higher-fat cheeses.

Which cheeses can you eat for the keto diet?

Although packed with nutrients, cottage cheese isn't the best option if you want to stick with the keto diet. Thankfully, there are other options that can help you adhere to the meal plan. While cottage cheese is often regarded as a healthy alternative to cream cheese, the sweet, creamy dairy is actually great for the keto diet. With only one gram of carbs in a single ounce, cream cheese is perfect for spreading onto low-carb Better Bagels with smoked salmon and avocado.

If you like to add cottage cheese to your salads, consider goat cheese instead. Creamy and tangy, just like cottage cheese, it boasts high levels of protein and virtually zero carbs. Sprinkle it onto a broccoli salad complete with strips of bacon and pecans or use it to top off spaghetti squash with sage and walnuts. For pasta dishes like bakes or lasagna, opt for parmesan instead of cottage cheese. Not only does it add a nutty, savory flair to pasta, but it melts into it beautifully without adding extra carbs. While it doesn't have the highest amount of protein, it's low in carbs, making it a great option. Use it to make recipes with low-carb alternatives to pasta and noodles, like eggplant, cauliflower, or mushrooms.