Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cottage Cheese: The Healthy and Versatile Snack

I LOVE cottage cheese. It is incorporated as one of my "mini-feasts" every single day. My favorite brand is Breakstone's 30% Less Sodium 2% Cottage Cheese.

There's really no reason to buy fat-free cottage cheese. A little fat not only makes it taste better, but it's more filling as well. PLUS there's only a minimal calorie difference anyway!

Per 1/2 cup:

Breakstone's Fat-Free: 80 calories, 12 grams of protein
Breakstone's 30%  Reduced Sodium 2%: 90 calories, 11 grams protein
Breakstone's 2%: 100 calories, 11 grams protein

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of:
Phosphorus: Plays an important role in the formation of strong bones and teeth, needed for growth, maintenance, and repair of cells, reduces muscle pain after a work-out, and helps filter out waste from the kidneys
Calcium: Required for vascular contraction and dilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, and supports the structure of bones and teeth
Selenium: A mineral with antioxidant properties; prevents free radicals from damaging cells
Riboflavin: Helps the body convert food into fuel, which is "burned" to produce energy

The main source of protein in cottage cheese is casein. Casein is a protein found in milk. It is digested slowly in the body, which is helpful for preventing muscle catabolism (or breakdown). This makes cottage an especially great bedtime snack since you won't be eating for several hours.

My two favorite ways to eat cottage cheese:

1. Cottage Cheese + Chocolate Cake Batter Casein Protein Powder + Truvia + Strawberries
2. Cottage Cheese + 1 Tablespoon Pistachio Nuts + Truvia + Cinnamon + Blueberries

Get creative with different flavored protein powders, nuts, fruit, etc. Cottage cheese is a nutritious, easy, and satisfying "mini-feast" with endless possibilities!