What Is the Cottage Cheese Diet, and Is it Healthy?

Cottage cheese has been touted as a diet food since the 1950s. In recent years it has fallen out of fashion in favor of Greek yogurt as the hot dairy staple. Yet it’s still around, and the diet based off of the food is still popular.

The cottage cheese diet is a crash diet. There are no two ways about it. It’s not intended to be sustainable. It’s odd. Most diets at least claim to have health benefits or long-term viability. The cottage cheese diet is a three-day diet where you only eat cottage cheese. There are a few benefits to this diet. You don’t have to cook. It’s inexpensive. You don’t have to think about food choices. You can eat as much as you like. It’s high in protein and low in carbs. You will lose weight quickly.

You can season it with spices if you like. If you enjoy cottage cheese, this diet isn’t likely to harm you. While it lacks nutrients, you can’t do yourself much lasting harm in three days. But it is high in sodium, so if you are on a low-salt diet, it’s not a good choice. And it’s hard to stick to just one food for three days. Also, the weight you lose will most likely be water weight, not fat. It’s also fiber-free, so you may be constipated unless you take a fiber supplement.  

When you eat just one food, you will likely get bored and not eat much. Cottage cheese is a low-calorie food to begin with. Ultra-low-calorie diets can cause fatigue, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Staying on the diet for an extended period can cause damage to your immune system. Some claim you should follow the diet for seven days instead of three. That seems dangerous as opposed to just fruitless. The three-day version of the diet will give you only very short-term results. But the longer version may actually do you harm.

Having said that the diet isn’t healthy, cottage cheese is an excellent food! It’s a wonderful form of low-carb protein. It won’t spike your blood sugar and will keep you feeling full. “Low-fat cottage cheese is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making it a terrific addition to a snack or a meal,” says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, CDCES.

Half a cup of cottage cheese has 13 grams of protein and four grams of carbs. In a study, men who pained 25 grams of cottage cheese with 50 grams of sugar had 38 percent lower blood sugar than men who ate the sugar alone. Even though it lacks fiber, the protein appeared to combat the sugar. It has a GI of just 27. It’s filling and healthy without impacting your blood sugar. As part of a diet, it’s a wonderful food. As an entire diet, it’s not beneficial or healthy.

Banner image: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

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