Cottage cheese is made from cow’s milk after it has been curdled and drained. The cheese is not pressed leaving some of the whey and usually rinsed to remove some of the sour taste. These curds and whey are packaged and marketed as cottage cheese. Variations on the texture depend upon the producer. Some are creamier and may contain some added cream and low-fat and fat free versions are made by simply using low-fat or fat free milk when producing their product.
Cottage cheese has been considered a “diet” food for many years since it can be purchased in low fat versions and it is high in protein and calcium. Weight lifters have been known to utilize cottage cheese in their diet because the protein builds muscle. These athletes add cottage cheese to pancakes, shakes, and even replace mayonnaise with cottage cheese in tuna sandwiches. The lower the fat content, the more grams of sugar the brand may have to compensate for taste. Cottage cheese is low in cholesterol and a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Phosphorus and Selenium.
One cup of low fat (1%) cottage cheese contains:
163 calories, 20 calories are from fat 2 grams of fat 28 grams of protein 6 grams carbohydrates Percentage of daily vitamins: Vitamin A 2% Iron 2% Calcium 14%
One cup of low fat (2%) cottage cheese contains:
203 calories, 39 calories are from frat 4.4 grams of fat 31.1 grams of protein 8 grams carbohydrates Percentage of daily vitamins: Vitamin A 4% Iron 2% Calcium 16%
Four ounce serving of fat-free cottage cheese contains:
80 calories 0 grams of fat 14 grams of protein 6 grams carbohydrates
The protein alone (28 grams) contributes to over 50% of the recommended daily intake a persons’ daily need for protein. This equals to about the same as eating four ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish.
Cottage cheese usually gets a bad rap because many cannot handle the flavor and sometimes the smell. The upside to these drawbacks is that cottage cheese goes well when mixed with different fruits and can be used in place of ricotta cheese in a variety of dishes including lasagna and most other pasta dishes.
This versatile food can be utilized as part of a healthy diet by adding it to recipes for a balanced meal. The flavor mixes well with most fruits and vegetables and is an excellent replacement for foods and condiments that are higher in fat and contain little nutritional value. Try replacing other foods in recipes such as cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream with cottage cheese. You may be surprised that you won’t find much difference and may even prefer the flavor. It doesn’t always look attractive just spooned on a leaf of lettuce but used in combination with other high protein, low-fat dishes; cottage cheese can be an important food in any diet.