Health Benefits of Cottage Cheese

Cheeses, such as cottage cheese, often get a bad rap due to the belief that they have a high fat content. And while some cheeses may be high in fat, this isn’t necessarily the case with cottage cheese. In fact, in most cases, cottage cheese is made with low fat or fat free milk'”and therefore, making it quite low in fat content. In addition to being low in dietary fat, cottage cheese can also aid in the development of strong bones and teeth, maximize muscle development, and even promote the growth of hair and nails.

Bones and Teeth

Since it is made from milk, it should be of no surprise to most individuals that cottage cheese is rich in calcium. In fact, an average size serving of cottage cheese contains approximately 120 milligrams of calcium'”about 15% of total daily requirements. While many people believe that dietary calcium is only important for children, whose teeth and bones are still developing, adults also can benefit by consuming adequate amounts of calcium. In fact, this is especially true for elderly women, who may be at an increased risk for osteoporosis. For best results when selecting cottage cheese, be sure to read the label. Depending on the type of milk used to make the cottage cheese, calcium contents may vary. In addition, if the cheese was made with goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk, nutritional content may also need investigation.

Muscle Development

Milk is not only rich in calcium, but also in dietary protein. Dietary protein is made of very small nutrients known as amino acids, which once in the body, combine to form new muscle. The muscles of our body are essential in helping us perform our activities of daily living with ease. In addition, without adequate muscle supply, our ability to thermo-regulate our bodies'”in essence, to heat ourselves when cold, and cool ourselves when hot'”would be severely compromised. Cottage cheese, therefore, is an ideal food for individuals who are interested in increasing their protein consumption, without adding more meat to their diet. Like calcium content, the amount of protein in cottage cheese may vary depending on the type of milk from which it was made.

Hair and Nails

While our muscles are composed of amino acids, this is not the only source of them in our bodies'”in fact, our hair and nails are composed almost primarily of amino acids. It is of no surprise, then, that adequate protein intake is essential not only for the growth of hair and nails, but also to maximize their appearance. Without adequate protein consumption, hair can become dry, brittle and damaged. Consuming an increased amount of cottage cheese can be an effective method of reversing the effects of low protein intake.