Diet Blog

Cottage cheese: A healthy, high-protein snack

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Cottage cheese is a great healthy snack when you need a rich flavour hit. It’s low in fat and high in protein, so it will keep you feeling full and energised, without loading on heaps of extra calories. And it can be eaten in lots of different ways, so you’ll get plenty of variety. Here’s why you should be including a little cottage cheese in your diet plan…

High protein, low fat

One half-cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese has 16 grams of protein, so it will keep you feeling full and energised. And compared to other dairy products and sources of protein, it is relatively low in calories. A 100-gram serving usually has around 91 calories, with only 2.3 grams of fat. It also has only 5 or 6 grams of carbohydrates, making it a great low-fat, low-sugar, high-protein food that can be added into a wide variety of meals, giving you delicious flavour without hurting your weight loss efforts.

Cottage cheese is also rich in riboflavin, or vitamin B2, which is vital for healthy skin and eyes, and phosphorous, which is good for the formation of strong teeth and bones. So when you’re looking for a healthy snack to fit into your diet plan, cottage cheese is a great option. 

Variety and balance 

There has been a lot of talk lately about ‘cottage cheese diet’- a fad diet that advocates only eating cottage cheese to lose weight. Like all fad diets, this is not a healthy way to lose weight- nor is it effective for long-term weight loss. And restricting your diet to only include one food would be pretty boring! Instead, try to incorporate cottage cheese into your daily diet as a healthy snack, or as part of your dinner or lunch plans.

For example, start by replacing higher-fat dairy products such as ice cream or whole milk with low-fat cottage cheese. Instead of snacking on a chocolate bar for your afternoon energy hit, try some cottage cheese spread on a piece of fruit. Keep your energy levels up before you work out by having a small snack of cottage cheese on some whole-wheat crackers. There are so many ways to include cottage cheese in your diet- so try to make smart, healthy choices without going overboard.

Preparation ideas

Cottage cheese is a highly adaptable source of protein, and can be used in many different snacks, salads, meals and baked goods. Even better, there are now plenty of flavoured cottage cheese products readily available, so you can enjoy a tasty sweet chilli or onion and chives twist along with the rich flavour of the cheese itself. These flavoured options are great for spreading on whole-wheat crackers or crispbread as a healthy, energising snack.

When you’re making a salad, adding some low-fat cottage cheese can be a good way to add flavour and protein. You can also spread cottage cheese on fresh vegetables as a snack, such as carrots, celery, even peppers and olives. Fruits are another good choice- scoop some cottage cheese onto an apple, or more exotic options like pineapple, peaces or berries.

Low-fat cottage cheese can also be used to replace higher-fat cheeses in desserts, such as cheesecakes or Danish pastries. Or, when baking a lasagne or other savoury baked dishes, you can use it to replace grated cheese or ricotta.

So there are plenty of ways to include cottage cheese into your diet, both as a healthy snack and as a replacement for higher-fat dairy products. Experiment with different uses and find some different ways to enjoy it. Remember, don’t go overboard. Balance is the key to all aspects of healthy eating. But for some extra protein, rich flavour, and low fat, cottage cheese is a great, versatile option to include within your healthy eating plan.

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