People either love or hate the creamy, lumpy texture of cottage cheese. If you're a fan, good news: Cottage cheese is bona fide health food as long as you opt for nonfat varieties. Top cottage cheese with peaches, berries or cherry tomatoes for a fresh, simple snack packed with nutrients.
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With only 104 calories per 1-cup serving, cottage cheese is a remarkable, low-calorie source of a substantial 15 grams of protein. Eat a cup for breakfast and you'll stay full until your lunch hour.
Vitamins and Minerals
Cottage cheese contains a long list of vitamins and minerals that includes phosphorous, potassium, folate, vitamin A and zinc. Perhaps the most important nutrient is calcium -- a mineral necessary for muscle function, nerve impulse transmission, cell-to-cell signaling, vascular function and hormonal secretion. Calcium also plays a critical role in bone and tooth function and structure. One cup of cottage cheese contains 125 milligrams of this important mineral.
Cottage cheese does have one unhealthy ingredient -- salt. A 1-cup serving packs a whopping 539 milligrams of sodium -- a significant percentage of the American Heart Association recommendation of 1,500 milligrams per day. Limit cottage cheese if you are on a low-sodium diet.