If you are on social media with any interest in nutrition or recipes, you may see cottage cheese became viral over summer 2023, resulting in a spike in sales that cleared grocery shelves across the country. The trend started from videos on Tik Tok of people whipping cottage cheese and adding it to crudité dips. It escalated when health-conscious creators started using cottage cheese in dessert recipes such as ice cream and cookie dough.
Cottage cheese became a staple in the 1950s but was most popular in the 1970s. For a younger generation of increasingly plant-based eaters who no longer consider drinking cow's milk “cool,” the revival of the dairy-based cottage cheese by Gen Z has many confused. One of the biggest reasons cottage cheese seems to be making a comeback is due to its highly nutritious profile.
In a half-cup serving of cottage cheese, there's approximately 14 grams of protein, making it an excellent choice for individuals looking to increase their protein intake. Adequate protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Due to its high protein content, cottage cheese also helps promote feelings of fullness and satiety.
Cottage cheese made with live cultures contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut. These probiotics contribute to the balance of gut flora, aiding digestion and promoting overall digestive health.
Cottage cheese is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. It also offers B vitamins, which are necessary for proper energy metabolism and brain function, as well as potassium, choline, and small amounts of zinc.
It is worth noting that cottage cheese contains quite a bit of sodium, approximately 355 mg per half-cup serving. It's important to monitor and potentially limit your sodium intake if you have hypertension or high blood pressure. Cottage cheese can also contain high amounts of saturated fat, depending on the product you choose. Excess saturated fat intake can raise the LDL “bad” cholesterol, contributing to the risk of cardiovascular disease. When it comes to cottage cheese, how healthy it is depends on several factors: whether it's low-fat or whole-fat, the level of sodium, and how much is being consumed.
So, does cottage cheese need to be incorporated to healthify your favorite recipes? Probably not! If adding cottage cheese to a veggie dip allows you to enjoy more veggies or trying cottage cheese with fruit provides you with a protein-rich breakfast option, go for it! However, if you find yourself adding cottage cheese to a recipe that really does not need extra protein and ultimately doesn't turn out the same, (I'm looking at you, cookie dough), it's OK to enjoy the original recipe the way it was intended to be made.