Cheese is not usually part of most weight-loss diets. That’s hardly surprising, given that cheese is high in fat and contains a lot of calories. Many people find cheese hard to resist, and what was meant to be a small, tasty snack can soon turn into a cheese binge!
Add some crackers or bread, and cheese can quickly become VERY fattening. That said, cheese is low in carbs, which is why it’s something of a staple on the ketogenic diet.
There are lots of different varieties of cheese, some of which are made from cow’s milk, and others are made from goat’s milk. Despite different manufacturing processes, which produce a range of textures and flavors, most cheeses provide a similar number of calories and contain the same nutrients.
However, that all changes with cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese looks and tastes very different from almost all other cheese, and that raises the question, is cottage cheese good for weight loss?
In this article, we reveal if cottage cheese will help you lose weight and the benefits of eating this cheese variety.
Is Cottage Cheese Good For Weight Loss?
What Is Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese is white, creamy, and soft, and, unlike many other kinds of cheese, it is not aged, which is what gives it a very mild flavor.
Cottage cheese is made from curdled cow’s milk. Curdling causes milk solids to rise to the surface, and these solids are called curds.
Once the curds rise and solidify, they are removed and heated to remove moisture. The curds are then washed to eliminate unwanted acidity and increase sweetness. After draining again, the cottage cheese is packaged and ready to eat.
Some types of cottage cheese contain added sodium, herbs, and spices, while others are natural and have very little else added.
There are several different varieties of cottage cheese to choose from, including whipped, creamed, low-fat, and lactose-free. Curd size can also vary, from small to large.
Cottage cheese is very nourishing. It contains a range of beneficial nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals.
One cup (220 grams/7.8 ounces) of cottage cheese provides:
- Calories: 163
- Protein: 28 grams
- Carbs: 6.2 grams
- Fat: 2.3 grams
In addition, cottage cheese contains useful amounts of the following minerals and vitamins:
- Vitamin B12
Cottage Cheese and Weight Loss
Weight loss diets often include cottage cheese, and eating it can help you lose weight in several ways:
Low In Calories
Cottage cheese contains roughly 25% of the calories of almost all other cheeses. Eating cottage cheese instead of regular cheese will save you a lot of calories, leading to a more significant energy deficit and faster weight loss.
High Protein Content
Roughly 70% of the calories in cottage cheese come from protein. Protein is filling and also has a high thermogenic effect, which means digesting it uses a lot of energy. Eating high protein foods like cottage cheese will increase your metabolism, enhancing calorie burning and weight loss.
Low In Carbs
Low-carb diets are very popular. That’s because they work! Cutting carbs from your diet forces your body to burn more fat for fuel. Cottage cheese is a low-carb food, which means it’s ideal for all types of weight-loss diets, including keto.
Cottage cheese is quite bland, which means it can be used in sweet and savory dishes. It’s also relatively cheap. Because of this, it’s an easy and cost-effective food to add to your weight loss diet.
Cottage cheese is high in calcium, and calcium is strongly linked to weight loss and fat burning. Because it’s low in fat, you can eat a lot of cottage cheese (and therefore get a lot of calcium) without consuming too many calories.
Additional Benefits of Eating Cottage Cheese
Eating cottage cheese can help you lose weight, and it’s good for your health too. These are a few of the benefits of adding cottage cheese to your diet:
Recovery After Exercise
High-protein cottage cheese is ideal for eating after a workout. Consuming protein after training will help speed up your recovery. The protein in cottage cheese is 80% casein, which is slowly digested and absorbed. This means cottage cheese is especially beneficial when consumed at night and before bed.
Preservation of Muscle Mass
Low-calorie diets result in fat burning but can also cause muscle loss. Lost muscle will make you weaker and will also slow your metabolism, leading to slower weight loss.
The slow-releasing proteins in cottage cheese can help keep your muscles supplied with amino acids for hours at a time, making muscle loss less dramatic.
Increased Insulin Sensitivity
The calcium in cottage cheese may increase insulin sensitivity, leading to lower blood glucose and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, low and stable blood glucose can help maintain your energy levels, ward off hunger, and promote fat burning.
The calcium, phosphorous, and protein in cottage cheese could help preserve bone mass. Bone mass declines with age, and if unchecked, can result in weakened, brittle bones and a condition called osteoporosis. Eating cottage cheese may help delay and prevent bone loss.
Cottage cheese is high in selenium, which is a potent antioxidant mineral.
Antioxidants provide protection against free radicals, which are unstable molecules linked to the aging process and a host of medical conditions, including macular degeneration, heart disease, and tumors. Selenium is especially useful for preventing prostate cancer.
Besides being a little on the bland side, cottage cheese is usually well-tolerated and safe to eat. However, consider these downsides before adding cottage cheese to your diet:
The older cheese is, the less lactose it usually contains. That’s why some people with lactose issues can often eat moderate amounts of cheese.
Cottage cheese is not aged at all, which means it’s much higher in lactose than many other kinds of cheese.
Signs of lactose intolerance include stomach pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Avoid cottage cheese if you suffer from lactose intolerance.
Some people are allergic to the proteins in dairy, namely whey, and casein. Allergies can be severe and are usually worse than being intolerant.
The symptoms of dairy allergy include swelling of the mouth and tongue, rashes, hives, vomiting, breathlessness, and anaphylaxis. Do not eat cottage cheese if you have a dairy allergy.
High Sodium Content
Many brands of cottage cheese contain added sodium for flavor. Eating a lot of sodium could contribute to higher blood pressure. If you have high BP, seek out low sodium varieties of cottage cheese.
Mild and creamy cottage cheese is a versatile food. You can use it to make sweet and savory dishes, and it can be eaten on its own or with other foods. Make a sweet dessert by adding sugar-free jam or syrup or use it as a topping for salads or baked potatoes.
Cottage cheese is beneficial for weight loss, which is why it features in so many diets. It’s low in fat, carbs, and calories but high in protein. This means it’s filling and will also increase your metabolism. It really is the perfect weight-loss food.
In addition, eating cottage cheese could be good for your health, too. Cottage cheese is very nutritious, contains lots of muscle-preserving protein, is good for your bones, and also has antioxidant benefits. Cottage cheese could also speed up recovery after exercise.
Cottage cheese has very few downsides. However, people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies should avoid it. Some people also find that cottage cheese is an acquired taste, and some people just dislike the texture.
Taste and texture problems can be avoided by blending cottage cheese with other ingredients, such as a banana, to make a high-protein smoothie.
While no food will automatically lead to weight loss, eating low-calorie, high-protein cottage cheese may enhance your weight loss efforts.