Low-fat cottage cheese can support weight-loss efforts.
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No matter what type of diet you follow, whether you lose or gain weight depends on the calories you consume versus the calories you burn through activity. Some foods, including cottage cheese, have qualities that can support your weight-loss efforts. As long as you choose low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese, it supplies lean protein and helps prevent weight gain by keeping your blood sugar balanced.
Dairy Benefit and Calories
The potential role of dairy products in weight loss continues to be researched. However, two studies published in 2012 -- one in the вЂњAmerican Journal of Clinical NutritionвЂќ and the other in the вЂњInternational Journal of ObesityвЂќ -- concluded that eating dairy products won't help you lose weight unless you also limit total daily calories. You need to consume 3,500 calories less than you burn to lose 1 pound of weight, so if you eat 500 fewer calories every day, you can lose 1 pound a week. Low-fat cottage cheese has 163 calories and the non-fat varieties have 104 calories in a 1-cup serving. Cottage cheese and vegetables make a nutritious, low-calorie meal that can help you shave off calories and reach that goal.
Low Energy Density
Foods with low energy density have fewer calories per gram. The advantage is that you can eat a regular serving size and feel full, yet keep your calorie count down. Cottage cheese is a low-energy-dense food because it's about 82 percent water, which adds bulk without calories. You can calculate energy density for the foods you eat by dividing the calories per serving by the food's weight. Any score below 1.5 indicates a low-energy-dense food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Low-fat and non-fat cottage cheese have a score of 0.7.
Protein and Satiety
Cottage cheese is a rich source of protein. One cup of the low-fat variety supplies 28 grams of protein, or half of men's and 61 percent of women's recommended daily allowance. Protein supports weight loss because it makes you feel full and helps you retain the sense of satiety longer. Digesting protein also burns more calories than carbohydrates or fats because it temporarily raises your basal metabolism more than the other macronutrients.
Low Glycemic Impact
The glycemic index measures the impact carbohydrates have on your blood sugar shortly after you eat. This tool allows you to avoid foods that spike your levels of blood sugar, which helps you lose weight. When you have extra sugar in your blood, it's converted into triglycerides and stored as fat. High blood sugar can also lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Even though 1 cup of cottage cheese has 6 grams of sugar, low-fat dairy products are low-glycemic foods, according to Harvard Medical School.
The nutritional benefits you'll gain from cottage cheese include at least 10 percent of your recommended daily allowance of calcium and vitamin B-6, as well as half of your daily allowance of vitamin B-12, in a 1-cup serving. But there is a downside. One cup of cottage cheese contains 918 milligrams of sodium. The recommended intake for sodium is 1,500 milligrams daily, so that serving supplies 61 percent of an entire day's worth. Getting that much sodium from one serving increases the chances you'll consume more sodium than is healthy, which can lead to high blood pressure. Low-sodium brands reduce the sodium to about 29 milligrams in 1 cup.