Cottage cheese has been a perennially popular diet food, and for good reason. Here's a closer look at how cottage cheese can help you lose weight.
What Is Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese is made from curdled milk and its whey. It can be made from skim, low fat and whole milk. Cottage cheese is an important source of dairy. The FDA recommends that you consume 3 cups of dairy a day. Dairy provides protein and calcium, both of which are important for a healthy body. While many varieties of cheese are high in fat and calories, cottage cheese is low in fat and calories and high in protein. A one-half cup serving of skim milk cottage cheese provides 15 grams of protein.
Cottage Cheese and Protein
Cottage cheese is one of the best non-meat sources of protein available to dieters. Protein is important when you diet because it helps you feel full for a longer period of time. Protein also helps to support and build muscle mass, which is your calorie burning furnace. The more muscle you have, the more calories you can eat while still losing weight. Muscle mass is more compact than fat, so people with more muscle mass look smaller and fit into smaller clothes than other people who weigh the same but have less muscle mass.
Ideas for Eating Cottage Cheese
When you think of dieting and cottage cheese, you may picture a scoop of cottage cheese on a lettuce leaf topped by half of a canned pear. But cottage cheese does not have to be boring. When you incorporate cottage cheese into your plan, consider it to be an important source of nutrition that will help you meet your goals.
- Top a baked potato with cottage cheese and salsa.
- Layer parboiled zucchini ribbons with cottage cheese and a meaty pasta sauce. Top with mozzarella and parmesan and bake for a pasta-free, protein-rich lasagna. You can substitute a meat free sauce to create a high protein vegetarian entree.
- Blend a half cup of oats, 2 eggs, a third cup of cottage cheese and a splash of water. Pour the batter onto a hot skillet and cook like pancakes. Add sliced banana or strawberries before flipping. Top your protein pancakes with warm apples or blueberries and enjoy a decadent, wheat-free pancake breakfast.
- Blend cottage cheese with pumpkin. Stir in cinnamon, ginger and cloves to taste for a healthy pumpkin pie substitute.
- Create a savory cottage cheese dip by mixing pepper and fresh herbs with cottage cheese. Serve with cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers and planks of yellow squash.
- Dress up the classic cottage cheese fruit salad by adding an assortment of luscious fresh berries, sliced apricots, pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of honey. Add walnuts or sliced almonds for healthy fats.