Cottage cheese isn’t winning any popularity contests. Though it’s on par healthwise with other dairy darlings and has a long-standing reputation as a weight-loss food, this curdled milk product is divisive: People love it or hate it, thanks to its lumpy texture and slightly sour, slightly ripe taste.
There are plenty of reasons to be in the former camp. Compared with other cheeses, it’s much lower in calories and saturated fat — ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains just 81 calories and 1 gram (g) of fat, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But it still packs 14 g of protein, making it an excellent source of that filling, muscle-building nutrient.
And while it has less calcium than hard cheeses, it’s still a good source of the bone-building mineral, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Cottage cheese is also a good source of phosphorus, a nutrient also linked to bone and tooth health, per the NIH. Some kinds of cottage cheese contain probiotic organisms, which could be a boon to your microbiome and overall health. Check the label for the words “live active cultures” to see if there are probiotics in a given brand.
One thing to keep in mind is that cottage cheese does contain a fair amount of sodium per serving (459 milligrams [mg]), so if you’re watching your intake, opt for a low-sodium variety.
Can you learn to love cottage cheese? You’re probably not alone if you’re wondering. A recent tip on TikTok — blending the curds to a smoother texture — racked up more than 71 million views. That’s just one simple way to sneak more of this nutritious food into your diet — here are five recipes that will turn you into a fan!