When trying to reach your muscle-building or weight-loss goals, you want to make sure that you’re eating sufficient levels of protein. Getting enough protein when you work out can support your body’s recovery while a sufficient amount of the macronutrient also promotes satiety, helping you feel fuller longer. While you may immediately think of meat or powder when you read the word “protein,” there are so many other sources of high-quality protein, such as dairy products.
Dairy products, like cheese, are great sources of protein that also provide other essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin B12. But if you’re looking to get the most protein bang for your buck when you’re shopping for cheese, according to Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, CEO of NY Nutrition Group, and member of our Medical Expert Board, the #1 best cheese for protein is cottage cheese.
“Cheese is not just incredibly satisfying and goes well with almost anything, it’s also quite nutritious,” says Moskovits. “While most types of cheeses provide a great source of protein, along with other valuable nutrients like calcium, B-vitamins, selenium, and iodine, some have more protein to offer than others. Cottage cheese is one of the best sources of protein per serving compared to its counterparts.”
Moskowitz continues to state that cottage cheese has about 12 grams of protein per half-cup serving. This means that enjoying about one cup of low-fat, 2% cottage cheese will deliver about 24 grams of protein.
The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein is 50 grams per day if you’re eating a 2,000-calorie diet. If you’re following this recommendation, then one cup of cottage cheese boasts nearly half of your DRI for protein!
Along with being a fantastic source of protein, cottage cheese has some other benefits, including promoting weight loss. Protein has been linked to helping people lose weight because it can help satisfy hunger, balance hormones, lose fat, and burn more protein calories.
Furthermore, in research published in the Nutrients journal, consuming more protein and dairy products helped overweight and obese premenopausal women with fat loss and lean muscle gain. Cottage cheese is the perfect dairy and protein combination.
When it comes to the texture of cottage cheese, it may be a little funky to some. The good news is that the cheese is so versatile that you can add it to anything of your liking. Along with these clever ways to eat cottage cheese, Moskovitz has a few more ideas.
“The best part is how easy and convenient cottage cheese is to prepare and consume,” says Moskovitz. “It can be enjoyed at breakfast with fresh fruit or spread on sliced bread with some sweet or savory toppings. Cottage cheese can also be incorporated into baked goods and layered in sandwiches.”