8 Surprising Effects of Ricotta

It’s cottage cheese’s time to take the spotlight down the dairy aisle, and now there are so many creative ways to enjoy this high-protein snack. In the past, people simply enjoyed it in its original form with their favorite fruit and some honey, but with its resurgence, cooks have developed recipes for cottage cheese to make bread, dip, dressing, pancakes, mac and cheese. , cookie dough and ice cream in the evening. But with all the viral recipes that have taken the internet by storm, we have to wonder if there are actual benefits of ricotta or if it’s just another fad that will sooner or later disappear.

Before we look at the potential benefits of cottage cheese, let’s take a look at what it really is. Made by adding acid to milk, cottage cheese is the result of separating milk solids from liquid whey. Rather than straining out all of the whey as you would with most cheeses, some of that liquid remains in the ricotta, creating its creamy texture.

Because it’s still a type of cheese, many people automatically assume it’s bad for you. However, cottage cheese offers many health benefits as it is high in protein, low in fat, and contains large doses of important vitamins and nutrients that are essential for your daily life.

Read on to learn more about the top 8 benefits of cottage cheese, and for healthier eating tips, check out the top 8 cottage cheese brands, according to dietitians.

cottage cheese in a bowl, healthy foods for faster weight loss
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Whether you’re enjoying it on its own or as a bowl of protein-packed ice cream, cottage cheese will provide you with a helpful dose of vitamin B12. In a one-cup serving of 2% cottage cheese, you’ll get about 0.9 micrograms of this B vitamin. That may not sound like a lot, but with the recommended daily value of about 2.4 micrograms for adults, this type of cheese serves up to 38% of your daily value, making a significant dent in your daily amount.

But why do you need B12? This vitamin is needed for healthy cognitive function, as well as blood and nerve health. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to things like muscle weakness, fatigue, depression and memory loss. To make sure you’re getting enough B12 into your daily routine, try incorporating a serving of cottage cheese however you like.

RELATED: 12 side effects of eating too much cheese, according to dietitians

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Another type of vitamin B that isn’t discussed as much as the others is B2, also known as riboflavin. This lesser-known vitamin is still critical to your health, and one cup of cottage cheese gets you closer to 50 percent of your recommended daily value.

Riboflavin is needed for certain enzymes to function throughout the body and can help provide energy, and some studies have found that supplementing with this vitamin can help relieve migraines. What’s even more important is that a B2 deficiency can lead to fatigue, depression and liver problems in severe cases.

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One of the most talked about benefits of consuming cottage cheese is the great protein boost you will get. For example, there are about 24 grams of protein in just one cup of standard 2% cottage cheese, which is comparable to plain 2% Greek yogurt like Fage.

Not only can you enjoy a protein boost, but you can do so with the peace of mind of consuming a low amount of sugar (about 9 grams, mostly from lactose) and zero added sugar. This gives you the freedom to add your own sweetness, with fruit or a drizzle of honey.

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The protein in this versatile cheese can help you in many ways, but one particular type of protein that accounts for the majority of the protein in cottage cheese can help you achieve your goals of building more muscle even while you’re at rest.

Protein in general is needed for muscle building, but cottage cheese is largely made up of a type of protein called casein, one of two types of animal protein along with whey. While both of these proteins are helpful in the process of building muscle mass and are both complete proteins (meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids), casein is considered a slower releasing protein because it is absorbed more slowly. . For this reason, many people have been known to take it before sleep or a rest period and still reap the benefits. It’s no more effective than whey at building muscle, but it can work overnight even while you sleep.

RELATED: Eating Habits to Speed ​​Up Muscle Growth

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There’s one nutrient that not many people talk about, but it’s one that more people should recognize due to its importance to health. Selenium, found in fish, poultry and dairy products, is a critical micronutrient in helping prevent cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, cognitive decline and even some cancers. And if you enjoy a cup of 2% cottage cheese, you’re indulging in about 58% of the recommended daily value.

While selenium is necessary for healthy functioning, just make sure you don’t overdo it. For example, have you ever heard someone tell you not to eat more than a couple of Brazil nuts? That’s because each nut contains between 60 and 90 micrograms, but there’s an upper limit of about 400 micrograms of selenium per day. With too much of this micronutrient, you may start to experience nausea, diarrhea and even problems with your nervous system.

Cottage cheese breakfast bowl with blueberries raspberries and walnuts
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Cottage cheese is also an excellent source of calcium. One cup of 2 percent cottage cheese contains 227 milligrams of calcium, which is about 18 percent of the recommended daily value. This compares to a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt, so if you’re getting tired of eating yogurt and need a change, cottage cheese is a great choice.

Calcium is excellent for bone health, hormone health, and may even help prevent or manage various diseases. So grab a cup of cottage cheese or mix some into your next snack to get one step closer to your soccer goals for the day.

High protein breakfast bento box with hard boiled eggs fruit nuts cottage cheese cucumber
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Cottage cheese is a low-fat, high-protein snack that can help you reach your weight loss goals. Studies show that eating healthy, high-protein foods is extremely effective for weight loss because it increases satiety and keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time.

Research also suggests that eating higher amounts of added sugar on a regular basis can contribute to weight gain and increased calorie intake. Swapping sugary desserts for ricotta topped with fruit or honey is a great way to satisfy a craving and cut some calories from added sugar.

RELATED: 10 Low-Fat Cheeses You Can Eat When You’re Losing Weight

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Another awesome benefit of cottage cheese is that you get a filling, nutritious snack with very few calories from fat. Many people may be tired of snacking on cottage cheese because it has cheese in the name, but the fat content of cottage cheese is different from most other types.

For comparison, let’s look at cheddar cheese. Cheddar provides a good supply of protein (24.5 grams per cup), but you’re also consuming nearly 35 grams of fat. You can get the same amount of protein in a cup of low-fat cottage cheese with just 5 grams of fat! While fat isn’t necessarily bad for you, gram for gram, it’s higher in calories than nutrients such as protein or carbohydrates with 9 calories per gram versus just 4 making cottage cheese a lower calorie snack. to other full-fat dairy products.

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