IF THE SECRET Losing weight was as simple as stocking up on a specific food, everyone ditched the gym and headed to the supermarket.
This is obviously not the case. Yet, some foods are in the spotlight because they are game-changers on a scale. The latest seems to be cottage cheese. Open your social media feed recently and you may see this product mixed into pasta sauces, dips, ice creams and baked into cheesecakes.
“Cottage cheese has received a lot of attention in the media, from weight loss trends to exercise enthusiasts, due to its low-carb, high-protein, neutral-tasting characteristics that may help with satiety , weight loss and muscle growth. ” said Michelle Routhenstein, RD, preventive cardiology dietitian. Cottage cheese can be a healthy choice for individuals as long as it is not loaded with sugary toppings and they evaluate what else they eat .
Nicole Swingle, RD, says cottage cheese is a great food to add for weight loss because it’s high in protein and low in calories — about 90 calories in a half cup of low-fat cottage cheese. “I always recommend adding it as a snack to help curb appetite and to ensure you’re getting enough protein to support lean muscle mass while losing weight.”
What is cottage cheese?
“Cottage cheese is a curd cheese made primarily from casein protein,” says Swingle. “Throughout the cottage cheese making process, an acid is added to the milk to cause the casein and whey in the milk to separate. Then the whey is filtered, leaving the casein curds.
In addition to its high protein content, Routhenstein says cottage cheese is a good source of calcium, selenium and riboflavin, other important nutrients essential for overall health.
Another nice advantage? Relatively affordable cottage cheese.
Can cottage cheese help with weight loss?
As with most things in weight loss, the answer is nuanced and largely depends on the role cottage cheese plays in your overall diet. “Cottage cheese can be part of an overall healthy weight loss diet when combined with other healthy weight loss components,” says Routhenstein. Its high-protein, low-carbohydrate composition “may help some people lose weight,” if combined with a calorie deficit and exercise program.
Half a cup of cottage cheese contains about 13 grams of protein. Including protein-rich foods in your diet can help you feel more satisfied, even when in a calorie deficit. One of the hardest things about losing weight is staying full while eating less, says Routhenstein. Studies showed that protein-rich foods help achieve satiety in overweight and obese people.
This is a good start, “however, (you) need to evaluate your entire lifestyle – including your complete diet, energy intake, calorie deficit, exercise program, stress level, your sleep, etc. for long-term sustainable weight loss,” says Routhenstein. .
What are the health benefits of cottage cheese?
Cottage cheese can be a healthy choice that can help with weight loss. What are the other health benefits of this food?
For one, “cottage cheese contributes to bone health because it’s rich in calcium, which can help prevent osteoporosis and fractures,” Swingle said. Selenium found in foods also plays a role in our body’s immune system, DNA production and thyroid function. Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is an antioxidant found in cottage cheese that helps fight free radicals in the body and promotes the growth and production of red blood cells.
Its protein content may have other benefits beyond improving satiety. “Eat a diet richer in protein helps maintain lean muscle massespecially when combined with resistance training,” Swingle said.
If you are considering adding cottage cheese to your diet to increase your protein intake, just opt for the cheese without added sugar.