Cottage cheese is rich in protein and each serving contributes to the 3-cup recommended intake of dairy products every day. Choose low-fat cottage cheese to retain the nutritional benefit without the added fat intake. Reducing dairy fats helps encourage heart health, particularly in a diabetic meal plan. Unlike many dairy products, cottage cheese is classified as a protein in the diabetic exchange.
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The standard serving size for cottage cheese is 1/2 cup. This 1/2-cup serving of cottage cheese is the equivalent to a 1/4 cup milk serving on the MyPyramid food and nutrition pyramid. With a recommended 3 cups of dairy per day for adults, a single serving of cottage cheese is one-twelfth of your daily allotment for dairy intake.
Each serving of cottage cheese contains 4 to 5 g of carbohydrates, all contributed from sugar. Although carbohydrates composed solely of sugar typically cause a rapid blood sugar spike, the 12 to 13 g of protein, or 25 percent of your daily recommended protein intake, helps to mitigate the carbohydrate load. Combining protein sources with carbohydrates helps to slow the carbohydrate absorption, creating a gradual blood sugar impact.
Calories, Fat and Nutrients
A standard serving of cottage cheese contains 100 to 110 calories with 40 percent of those calories from fat. Select low-fat cottage cheese to reduce the calories to 81 per serving with only 1 g of fat. Cottage cheese contains 4 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement and may contain up to 20 percent of the daily recommendation of vitamin D. Each 1/2-cup serving of cottage cheese provides 10 percent of your daily requirement of calcium.
Including it in Your Diet
Add low-fat cottage cheese as a side to a well-balanced meal, accounting for the added protein. Pair cottage cheese with whole-grain crackers and berries or slices of fresh fruit for breakfast or as a carbohydrate snack between meals to keep your blood sugar balanced.