While it might not be the most appetizing looking food out there, cottage cheese has become incredibly popular over the past 100 years or so. The origin of cottage cheese only dates back to the 19th century when it was made from leftover milk and butter. Now that we have the ability to refrigerate and ship cottage cheese, it’s now a staple in grocery stores. Some eat cottage cheese straight out of the container, while others place it on other foods.
Fruits and toast are some of the most popular foods to be topped with cottage cheese these days. Cottage cheese has a much sweeter taste than other cheeses as it doesn’t have the acidity. People have even gone on diets based around cottage cheese in hopes of losing weight, mainly because of the taste, cost and lower calorie content. While we don’t suggest eating just one food for a diet, cottage cheese certainly has its benefits. Let’s take a look at the nutritional breakdown of cottage cheese, and the great proven health benefits that come along with it.
Nutrition of Cottage Cheese
If you eat one cup of cottage cheese that is packed tightly, you’ll still only be eating around 160 calories. In that one cup, you’re getting a huge protein kick with more than half of your daily recommended value. Cottage cheese is also fairly low in carbohydrates with around six grams, and just 2.3 grams of fat. As for the vitamins, you’ll get about one quarter of your recommended value of both riboflavin and vitamin B12.
Other vitamins in smaller amounts (10 percent or less) include vitamin A, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid. Among the minerals; selenium and phosphorus are at 30 percent of recommended value. Cottage cheese is also a great source of calcium, potassium, zinc and copper. There is a high amount of sodium that you need to watch out for, and there is some cholesterol, but cottage cheese is healthy overall.
Cottage Cheese Diet
Earlier we touched on the Cottage Cheese Diet that was popular back in the 1970’s, but has since died down in the fad diet world. One of the reasons that the diet worked for some people is because of the low amount of calories in cottage cheese, and the fact that it’s surprisingly filling. While cottage cheese can help you lose weight, you shouldn’t be eating a diet that consists only of cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese is incredibly low in carbohydrates, and many people have been cutting carbs to lose weight, especially if they need to lose weight quickly. You want to make sure your body is still getting enough carbs to make it through the day, though. As long as you incorporate cottage cheese into a lower calorie diet, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to shed some pounds.
As most of you already know, the building blocks for your bones is calcium. Almost all of the calcium in your body is contained in the bones, so you need to add it to your diet to strengthen your bones for longer in your life. Cottage cheese is a solid source for calcium, which can reduce your chances of osteoporosis or arthritis down the road.
Calcium isn’t the only thing found in cottage cheese that can strengthen your bones, as there is also plenty of phosphorus. With about half of your daily recommendation of phosphorus, you will suffer less bone loss over time. For those worried about their muscles fading with time, don’t worry, as there is plenty of protein to tide you over.
Good For the Heart
As long as you’re eating a healthy amount of cottage cheese in your diet, you’re even going to see a benefit for your heart health. Though cottage cheese does have a fair amount of sodium, there is also magnesium that your heart needs to function more properly. Not only that, but it will help to regulate your blood sugar that can help in preventing heart attacks.
Cottage cheese also helps to reduce your chance of stroke, as the potassium promotes better activity in your brain. Even with the sodium content in cottage cheese, the amount of potassium alleviates problems that sodium could bring. Just make sure to watch your sodium intake outside of cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese has been shown to help with pretty much all of the functioning of your organs, which is why it’s highly suggested for pregnant women. From your heart and liver to your kidneys and brain, cottage cheese helps it all. Because of the zinc content in cottage cheese that you might not be able to get in other foods, you get this improved overall function. Outside of supplements, not many people are getting enough zinc.
This even stretches to improving your eye health and can relieve stress and boost your metabolism. Another aspect of the body that people are starting to focus more on is digestion. While some might have a problem with lactose, cottage cheese has been shown to improve your overall digestive health and function. There aren’t many parts of the body that cottage cheese can’t help with.
Whether you need to get more energy to get through a workout or trying to relax at night, cottage cheese helps in both departments. With the protein in cottage cheese, you’ll have fuel for your muscles that will not only give you more endurance, but also prevent a lot of the aches and pains afterward. Because of the higher brain function, cottage cheese will relieve stress and help you relax, making it easier to get more restful sleep.
Summing it Up
There are a few things that you need to watch out for when it comes to cottage cheese. Even though cottage cheese is low in lactose, there is still enough that might affect those with a severe intolerance. Another thing that you’ll want to be aware of in cottage cheese is the high protein count. While protein is very good for your body, you can have too much of it. Kidneys need to operate at a higher capacity when there is too much protein, which can lead to problems.
The sodium is also high in cottage cheese, so those watching their intake will want to monitor just how much they’re taking in. The final thing is intestinal distress that could occur in some people because of the dairy content. As long as you make sure that you’re not eating too much cottage cheese in your diet, you shouldn’t have to worry about seeing any of the problems above. Limiting yourself to about ⅓ to ½ of a cup per day should be just fine, and bring you the great health benefits!