Probiotics are all the buzz nowadays as these friendly bacteria can offer numerous health benefits, particularly for your gut health. You can consume them either through supplements or through fermented foods.
When you hear probiotic food, the first thing that comes to your mind is yogurt. While yogurt products are a great source of probiotics, probiotics also are abundant in other fermented products as well.
That being said, What about cottage cheese? If you are a fan of cottage cheese, keep reading to find out if cottage cheese can be your probiotic fix.
What Is Cottage Cheese and How Is It Made?
Cottage cheese is a type of fresh cheese known for its small curds and slightly savory and creamy taste.
It is made by acidifying milk, usually with the help of an acidic ingredient such as vinegar or by adding a bacterial culture that produces lactic acid.
This results in the curds separating from the whey, which gives cottage cheese its distinctive curd-like appearance.
Does Cottage Cheese Have Probiotics?
If you are a cheese lover, the good news is that cottage cheese does have probiotics.
But like yogurt, not all cottage cheese products have probiotics. Only products with bacteria intentionally added after the pasteurization process contain probiotics.
What Are Cottage Cheese Probiotic Strains?
These probiotic strains can provide numerous health benefits. According to clinical trials, the proven health benefits include diminishing IBS symptoms, helping with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diarrhea, and allergies, reducing the incidence of respiratory tract infections, and potentially lowering blood cholesterol levels.
How Do I Know If Cottage Cheese Has Probiotics?
To identify a cottage cheese product with probiotics, you have to read the label carefully for
- Live or active cultures
Live and active cultures refer to living microorganisms added to the milk in the production of fermented dairy products.
Therefore, cottage cheese that has probiotics will be labeled with a verbiage stating that it has live cultures.
- Type of cultured bacteria
Cottage cheese brands that contain probiotics often list the type of live cultures contained in the product like Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bifidus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
- Manufactured date and expiration date
If you want to ensure your product contains live probiotics, these dates are also important factors to consider when purchasing.
Probiotic supplements generally expire 1-2 years from the date of manufacture. After expiration, the CFU counts ( the number of live microorganisms) in your product tend to fall over time. Therefore, be careful to purchase the product with a fresh date.
Cottage Cheese Versus Yogurt: Which Is Healthier?
- Both are excellent options for healthy and nutritious snacks. They are both high in proteins, lower in calories, and contain a good source of calcium. Cottage cheese may have a little less sugar than yogurt, but you can find plain yogurt with no added sugars.
- As for probiotic benefits, not all yogurt and cottage cheese will have probiotics in them. So, it generally comes down to the amount of live and active cultures on the product label.
- The one thing to be aware of with cottage cheese is that it is loaded with sodium. A cup of cottage cheese can have about one-third of the recommended daily limit of sodium. Therefore, you should opt for a low-sodium or no-sodium-added variety.
The Bottom Line
Cottage cheese is a healthy nutritious addition to your diet, packed with proteins, calcium, and probiotics. But, not all cottage cheese has live probiotics, so make sure to read labels and ingredient lists carefully. Moreover, it is important to note that cottage cheese can be high in sodium. Therefore, if you want to incorporate cottage cheese into your routine as a probiotic snack, opt for low sodium or no added sodium variety and enjoy it in moderation.