Cottage cheese may not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of eating for weight loss. In fact, many people consider cottage cheese a food that contributes to weight gain. However, research suggests that consuming high-protein, whole-fat dairy foods like cottage cheese can increase lean body mass and reduce body fat. But can eating cottage cheese help you lose weight? To answer this question, we turned to Destini Moody, RDN, CSSD, LD, a registered dietitian and sports dietitian with Garage Gym Reviews, who helps us get to the bottom of cottage cheese’s role in weight loss.
Often praised for its protein-rich profile, cottage cheese has gained attention in health-conscious circles for its nutritional profile, which contains calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. These minerals are essential for strong bones and good overall health. But do they hold the key to shedding those extra pounds? Read on to learn from a nutrition expert how cottage cheese can help you lose weight. When you’re done, don’t miss these 10 Common Nighttime Habits That Can Make You Gain Weight.
Can eating cottage cheese help you lose weight?
Cottage cheese’s high protein content promotes a sense of fullness that can help curb your appetite, prevent cravings, and support weight loss goals.
“Cottage cheese is a wonderful weight loss tool that far too many people forget about as a protein source,” says Masi. “It’s relatively low cost, and one cup can contain a whopping 24 grams of protein, which is as much as your average scoop of protein powder. Low-fat versions have fewer calories, making it better for weight loss and more protein per serving to fuel your muscle.”
These are the benefits of eating cottage cheese.
Beyond its weight loss potential, the benefits of incorporating cottage cheese into your diet extend to various aspects of health. Packed with essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins, cottage cheese supports bone health, metabolism, and overall well-being.
“Cottage cheese is a rich source of casein protein. While high-protein foods can already promote satiety and prevent you from overeating, casein protein does even more. Casein digests slowly compared to sources like whey, and this mechanism can keep you feeling full for quite some time, with some studies finding it’s as effective at controlling hunger as eggs. Furthermore, it’s relatively low calorie compared to other animal protein sources, making it great to include in a weight loss diet,” explains Moody.
Tips for eating cottage cheese for weight loss:
Now that we’ve shown cottage cheese can be a valuable weight loss tool, here are three tips for using cottage cheese to help you lose weight, according to Moody.
1. Use cottage cheese as a protein source.
“Of the three macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fats, protein is the most satiating. This macronutrient promotes the most profound feelings of fullness. Staying fuller than longer can lead to better weight loss success as it can prevent you from overeating or feeling like you’re starving while restricting calories,” says Moody.
Incorporating cottage cheese into your meals provides a high-quality protein source that supports muscle maintenance and promotes a feeling of fullness. A 100-gram serving of low-fat cottage cheese provides 11 grams of protein. According to a 2021 review, high-protein diets can enhance satiety and decrease fat mass. Whether added to salads, mixed with whole grains, or enjoyed on its own, cottage cheese offers a delicious way to boost your protein intake.
2. Make cottage cheese a breakfast staple.
Enjoy cottage cheese with fresh fruit, a drizzle of honey, or mixed into oatmeal for a satisfying and nutritious start to your day. The combination of protein and healthy fats in cottage cheese helps keep you satiated, reducing the temptation to snack on less nutritious options later in the day.
“Eat some cottage cheese for breakfast with fruit or blended in a smoothie for a high-protein breakfast on the go,” Moody recommends. “Eating breakfast when trying to lose weight is critical for keeping your hunger hormones under control for the rest of the day, and having a high-protein breakfast with fiber like cottage cheese and fruit is one of the best choices you can make.”
3. Choose cottage cheese when you want a snack.
“You can also enjoy cottage cheese between meals as a snack or as a post-workout treat,” states Moody. Again, cottage cheese’s rich protein content can help curb cravings and keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal. Add a sprinkle of nuts, seeds, or a dash of herbs for extra flavor and nutrients.