Cheese is an integral element to a healthy ketogenic dietary plan. Cottage cheese is one of the tastiest and most useful cheeses available. But there are also carbs in cottage cheese. So is cottage cheese keto-friendly?
The short answer is, it depends.
Not all cheeses are created equal. Certain cheeses, such as cream cheese, contain an immensely high proportion of saturated fat and negligible amounts of carbohydrates and protein. In contrast, cottage cheese is relatively low in fat, contains carbohydrates, and is an excellent source of protein.
It is necessary to monitor your macronutrient ratios if you are attempting to get your body into ketosis which is when metabolism switches from carbohydrates to fat for fuel.
Studies have indicated that adopting a keto diet could provide some advantages in the long term such as shedding pounds, encouraging healthier cholesterol levels, decreasing resistance to insulin and glucose, plus it could protect against dementia and Parkinson’s.
In this article, we will consider the good aspects of cottage cheese while on the ketogenic diet, some potential dangers to bear in mind, and several scrumptious recipes that include cottage cheese that are ideal for the keto lifestyle.
You recall this fondly from your childhood–the cloud-like white chunks and its delicate, dare we say, stimulating, taste. But what is cottage cheese anyway?
In essence, it is a cheese created by combining acidic milk and then reducing the level of acidity to give a less sharp taste. Then cream and salt are included to make the dish savory and have an enjoyable texture.
Its origins go back at least 5,000 years. Cottage cheese even makes a cameo in Homer’s Odyssey. Only recently has the role of this food in a keto diet been investigated.
Cottage Cheese and Keto
Throughout the past two million years of evolution, the human body has acquired the capability to transition quickly into a ketogenic state. For our primitive caveman family, alternating dependent upon ketosis while feasting on largely animal protein enhanced with various fruit which was dependent upon the season was commonplace.
For contemporary humans who regularly consume the Standard American Diet, consisting largely of refined grains and added sugar, entering ketosis entails significantly reducing the consumption of carbohydrates.
The standard keto macronutrient ratio for beginners is:
- 80% calories from fat
- 15% calories from protein
- 5% calories from fat
For the majority of individuals, this means that aiming for a daily intake of 25 grams or fewer of carbohydrates is ideal.
If you’re aiming to consume 2,000 calories per day, a standard keto macronutrient breakdown looks like:
- 178 grams of fat
- 75 grams of protein,
- 25 grams of carbs
Nevertheless, once your system is accustomed to the ketogenic diet after maintaining a state of ketosis for a period of several weeks to several months, it’s possible to raise the intake of carbohydrates moderately and still produce ketones.
A 2004 survey of 50 female participants who followed a ketogenic diet showed that after two weeks, the majority of them were able to raise their carb intake from 20 grams at the beginning to between 40 to 60 grams daily and yet still remain in a ketosis state.
How much carbohydrates you consume should depend on your body weight, activity level, and personal metabolism. It will require some trial and error to locate it.
Cottage Cheese Carbs
One cup of full-fat cottage cheese provides 6.8 grams of carbohydrates and an abundant 24.6 grams of protein to your diet.
It has become difficult to discover, but some small-scale cheese producers have started to supply “keto” cottage cheese with 8% milk fat. Keto cottage cheese has the same amount of protein and net carbs as other kinds, but it has twice the amount of fat.
It is imperative to keep in mind that the keto diet is one that is moderately high in protein. This is due to your body being able to turn extra protein into carbs through a process known as gluconeogenesis.
The human body produces its own carbohydrates, thereby eliminating the need for individuals to artificially include them in their diet. As such, carbohydrates are not a necessary component of human nutrition.
When thinking of cottage cheese, you will need to be conscious of the net carbs and protein levels, and make sure to not overdo it.
In varieties with additional fruit, the higher amount of carbohydrates is apparent. Less visible is the additional carbohydrates acquired from thickeners that derive from gum and are used in reduced-fat dairy to replicate the texture or consistency that has been lost after the fat is taken away.
Cottage Cheese Nutrition
Cottage cheese is not only rich in fat, carbohydrates, and protein, but it also contains a variety of useful micronutrients such as B vitamins, selenium, and calcium.
Sodium on Keto
Approximately 54% of the recommended daily sodium allowance can be taken in just 1 cup of cottage cheese.
It is important to remember that when following the keto diet and first beginning it, enhancing salt intake is a paramount step for decreasing the keto symptomatic influences jointly labeled the “keto flu.”
When you switch to the ketogenic diet, your body will get rid of fluids as well as electrolytes.
It is suggested that you have 12 grams (2 tsps) of salt daily during the initial period of switching to the keto diet to restore your electrolyte levels. Once you’ve grown accustomed to this regime, consuming at least 5 grams of salt per day will keep headaches, tiredness, and irregularity at bay.
It is recommended to eat regular full-fat cottage cheese on the keto diet, even though there are sodium-free varieties available.
Cottage Cheese as Keto Friendly
When taking into account the nutrient information provided, it appears that the answer is affirmative. Cottage cheese can be a great keto diet food. Cottage cheese offers beneficial fats, protein, and is comparatively low in carbohydrates. Tips for beginning and sustaining a healthy ketogenic diet.
Opt for varieties of dairy with higher fat content (like 8%), and stay away from varieties with added fruit.
The amount of sodium in cottage cheese as well as its vitamins and minerals can restore several of the substances which are eliminated when switching to the keto diet plan, preventing you from getting the keto flu.
Ways to Make Cottage Cheese Keto-Friendlier
To reduce concerns about consuming too much protein and not enough fat, you can make cottage cheese a bonafide keto superfood by doing two things:
- Add heavy cream or creme fraiche for “sweeter” applications
- Add olive oil, sour cream, and chopped olives for more savory applications
Benefits of Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a great source of protein. One serving of the full-fat option contains 14 grams, making it a great snack.
The benefits of getting enough protein in your diet go well beyond hitting your ideal “macro ratios.” Research shows that when you eat a diet rich in protein, it can:
- Increase your overall satiety (meaning you eat less)
- Enhance your calorie burn (protein takes a lot of energy to break down)
- Positively affect your body composition (more muscle, less fat)
- Reduced energy efficiency (you won’t rapidly regain fat mass)
Rich Source Of Vitamin B-12
Cottage cheese is an outstanding provider of vitamin B-12. You can get 40% of your required daily amount of the nutrient by having just one cup, which amounts to 0.97 micrograms.
Vitamin B-12 is necessary for constructing healthy red blood cells and creating DNA. It is possibly even more important for its part in the breakdown of homocysteine.
High levels of homocysteine have been linked to causing blood to coagulate, reducing the elasticity of the blood vessels and harming cell walls with the production of radicals. These are all elements which may raise your heart disease susceptibility.
An oversupply of homocysteine has been connected with neurological conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Researchers suggest that homocysteine may have an unfavourable effect on how neurotransmitters operate, which may then cause thinking abilities to deteriorate.
Cottage cheese is overflowing with phosphorus as another nutrient. This mineral is extremely important when it comes to the health of your bones, and you can get 47% of your recommended daily amount by consuming just one cup of cottage cheese.
Alongside calcium, phosphorus plays a major role in forming the bone tissue known as hydroxyapatite. Around 70% of the composition of your bones is made up of a material called hydroxyapatite, giving the bone strength and stability.
Phosphorus is needed to maintain the pH level in your body. It acts as one of your most important buffers, keeping your acid-base balance stable.
For your body to perform optimally, it is essential for the pH of your cells and their extracellular matrix to be perfect. The balance of acid and base levels is essential for the wellbeing of each cell in your body.
Other than that, phospholipids, a kind of fatty acid with a phosphate group, are required for the composition and performance of the membranes in your cells.
One cup of cottage cheese provides 19% of the recommended daily allowance for calcium. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body. It is so multi-faceted that a full article could be dedicated to it. But here are just a few:
- Contraction and dilation of your blood vessels
- Hormone secretion
- Signaling within your cells
- Muscle function
- Nerve transmission
- Bone structure
The consumption of calcium has been linked to a lower body weight and avoiding obesity. A research on animals revealed that if you do not take enough calcium, it will be more difficult to lose weight whereas if calcium intake is high it will help to reduce fat quickly.
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
One of dairies best-kept secrets is its CLA content.
If you get the opportunity to purchase cottage cheese from cows that have grazed on grass, then you will be taking advantage of the presence of a beneficial nutrient, CLA. Cows that wander and consume grass boast up to 500% more CLA than cows that don’t eat grass.
What is CLA and how can it benefit you? CLA is a type of fatty acid.
A variety of physiological functions have been linked to the health advantages of CLA. Studies have indicated that it has the capability to deter the formation of cancer, aid those with diabetes in managing blood sugar levels, and contribute to weight loss.
In addition, it may also help lower blood pressure. Not bad for a fatty acid.
Potential Pitfalls of Cottage Cheese
As it is evident, consuming cottage cheese possesses an abundance of beneficial effects to one’s health. However, these health benefits come with a few caveats.
Not everybody has enough of the lactase enzyme, which is found in the small intestine. Lactase is what splits up lactose, the sugar that is in dairy products.
When there is a lack of lactase, lactose that hasn’t been broken down can travel from the small intestine to the colon. The microorganisms living in your large intestine will break down the lactose and cause gas and liquid to be produced. This excess fluid and gas create symptoms associated with lactose intolerance like:
- Abdominal pain
- Stomach growling
An individual’s genetic makeup, an early birth, age, or damage to the small intestine could give rise to lactose intolerance. If you have lactose intolerance or any type of dairy sensitivity, it is best to stay away from cottage cheese, since it contains lactose.
An allergy to casein involves the body’s immune system, whereas lactose intolerance occurs when digestive enzymes are not able to break down the milk sugar. Casein sensitivities are most common among younger children and infants and typically disappears by age 5.
An allergy to casein develops when the immune system considers it to be an intruder, and thus aims to get rid of it.
Symptoms of casein allergy include:
- Breathing problems
When it comes to allergies, usually proteins, not carbohydrates, are the cause. Carbohydrates like lactose can cause a great deal of discomfort if one is sensitive to them, however, allergies can be extremely dangerous, even fatal.
It is probable that you are aware if you are allergic to casein, but if that is the case it is essential to keep away from cottage cheese.
When it comes to consuming products from animals, the quality is of utmost importance. A number of dairy farmers utilize hormones and antibiotics to encourage the growth of cows and ward off infection.
Studies have demonstrated that milk from cows which contain additional hormones, such as estrogen, can be linked to the development of various forms of cancer. However, dairy farmers are still allowed to add them.
In addition to all their other misdeeds, they also give the creatures antibiotics in large doses. This may reduce the risk of infection in animals, although giving them cleaner living conditions could be more beneficial. However, it can cause harm to your intestinal health.
Studies demonstrate that an augmented admission of antibiotics through animal products can confer antimicrobial resistance in people. In the event of a severe bacterial contamination, your physician might be unable to cure it using antibiotics.
Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
Not all cottage cheese is created equally. You previously noticed that there is a big difference in the macronutrient makeup between low-fat and full-fat cottage cheese.
Be vigilant when searching for the fat-free or skimmed products of cottage cheese when purchasing. Many types of cottage cheese still retain the same low-fat nutritional profile as it did in the 1990s. Always go for full fat when possible.
Incorporating cottage cheese into your keto plan of eating can be advantageous. It is possible to use this item as an alternative for other dairy products like sour cream, cream cheese, and natural Greek yogurt.
However, there are two major warnings: Firstly, you have to make sure you buy dairy that is high in fat. Second, make sure that it’s a high-quality product. This signifies that it is originated from organic milk that does not contain any hormones or antibiotics.
Cottage cheese is a useful addition to your keto diet, but you shouldn’t depend solely on it for nutrition. Variety is always key.