Cottage cheese is a dairy product that is considered a good source of calcium and probiotics. It provides high-quality proteins and has the potential to reduce postprandial blood glucose levels.
Based on a 2019 study by Victor Pozzobon published in the Nutrition & Food Science journal, cottage cheese is not linked to increased risks of cardiovascular diseases, and it has been recommended for various individuals, including women combating osteoporosis, individuals with calcium/vitamin D deficiency, athletes looking for high-quality protein sources, dieters seeking low-energy and high-satiety foods, and individuals with untreated type II diabetes aiming to reduce postprandial glucose levels.
Cottage cheese is an excellent way to add a lean protein boost to your Optavia 5 and 1 meal plan.
As a staple food in my weight loss journey, I have tested, experimented, and explored some really cool ways to fit cottage cheese into my 5 and 1 meal plan.
Let me show you how you can incorporate cottage cheese into your Lean and Green meal plan, as well as how much you can use for snacks and Fueling alternatives.
First, let’s talk about cottage cheese and weight loss
Cottage cheese has been on my menu for over two decades.
Compared to other cheeses, it is a great food option for weight loss because it has a lower calorie and saturated fat content, while still providing plenty of protein.
(I would dare to say it’s better for weight loss than other types of cheese.)
Speaking of which, a single serving of 4 oz comes with 110 calories and 12.5 proteins (1), making it suitable for any low-calorie diet.
Cottage cheese has so much more to offer than just low calories – it’s also packed with calcium and slow-digesting casein protein.
Compared to whey protein, casein protein makes your amino acids go up more slowly, but it lasts longer, according to a 2020 study by Jooyoung Kim from Konkuk University published in Physical Activity and Nutrition Journal.
This makes it an excellent candidate not only for my lean and green meals but also for late-night Fueling just before bed.
Plus, it’s easily accessible and budget-friendly.
You can buy 4-6 servings of cottage cheese at any Walmart or Costco for as little as $2.50. (This equals $0.40 per serving.)
What Does Cottage Cheese Count as On Optavia?
Unsurprisingly, cottage cheese is included in Optavia 5 and 1 plan as your LEAN option, especially for people who follow a vegetarian meal plan.
Naturally, you can build your lean and green meal by pairing cottage cheese with other diet foods, such as:
- bell peppers
Here’s the photo of my Lean and green meal based on cottage cheese, chicken wrap, and grapes.
It has 4 oz of cottage cheese, homemade chicken wrap, and 11 grapes.
Together around 300 calories, 20 grams of protein, and less than 10 grams of fat.
Here’s the photo of my cottage cheese salad.
Another low-calorie Lean and Green meal, made from orange bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and 150 grams of cottage cheese.
I only seasoned it with salt and pepper. I haven’t used any salad dressings.
According to MyFitnessPal, this salad has around 330 calories.
This photo shows the combination of cottage cheese and tomatoes.
What’s The Difference Between Cottage Cheese And Other Meatless Options on Optavia?
The table below shows you the comparisons between cottage cheese and other vegetarian lean options allowed on Optavia.
|Cottage cheese||110 kcal per 4 oz||12 g|
|Seitan||104 kcal per 1/4 cup||21 g|
|Tempeh||320 kcal per 1 cup||33 g|
|Whole eggs||71 kcal per 1 egg||6 g|
|Ricotta cheese||186 kcal per 1/2 cup||9 g|
Apart from the seitan, cottage cheese gives you the least calories and the most proteins.
How Much Cottage Cheese Can You Have On Optavia?
On the Optavia program, you can have 10-14 ounces of cottage cheese. While cottage cheese is a nutritious and low-calorie protein source, it is important to consume it in moderation and adhere to the recommended portion sizes.
The only limitations are in regard to the variety of cottage cheese you use.
Cottage cheese can be divided into three categories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Regular: 4% fat
- Low-fat: 1-2% fat
- Nonfat: less than 0.5% fat
The table below shows you how much cottage cheese you can have on Optavia based on the amount of milk fat.
|14 oz||12 oz||10 oz|
So if you choose to have regular cottage cheese, you can only have 10 oz in your meal.
On the contrary, if you use a 1-2% fat variety, you can have a 12 oz serving size.
If you want to shave off more calories, you can go as far as choosing fat free cottage cheese that gives you a 14 oz serving.
Although I don’t use nonfat options too often, if I do, I like to get one from the company Cabot Creamery.
(They are a little pricey though.)
What Happens When You Use Cottage Cheese as Optavia Fueling?
Using cottage cheese as Optavia Fuelings provides you with a high-quality snack option. It can be a convenient and cost-effective choice, allowing you to save time and money while still enjoying a nutritious and satisfying snack.
(Here is where the fun begins.)
Personally, I don’t use cottage cheese as a Lean and Green protein source too often.
(I prefer meat to be honest.)
Instead, I mainly use it as my homemade Fueling and snack alternative, often mixed with other foods, such as fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds.
Here’s the photo of my recent Optavia fueling alternative made from 4 oz cottage cheese.
It is served on tomato rings, seasoned with chopped basil leaves, spring onions, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
This meal has just above 110 calories.
What’s The Difference Between Cottage Cheese and Optavia Fuelings?
The table below shows you how cottage cheese’s nutritional value compares to Optavia Fuelings.
|Optavia Fueling||Cottage cheese|
|Serving size||32 grams||145 grams|
|Calories||110 kcal||104 kcal|
|Protein||11 grams||14.9 grams|
|Fat||3 grams||0.4 grams|
|Carbohydrate||14 grams||9 grams|
|Sugars||4 grams||2 grams|
One serving (145g) of low-fat cottage cheese has almost an identical amount of calories as most of the Fuelings.
However, one serving size of cottage cheese is four times higher than Optavia fueling, making it easier to stay full and satisfied.
And while cottage cheese is not fortified with 24 vitamins and minerals, it has more proteins per serving and fewer carbohydrates.
Plus, it’s free from soy, and gluten, which seems to upset my stomach.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Eating Cottage Cheese On Optavia?
Apart from the aforementioned benefits, eating cottage cheese while on an Optavia diet may come with certain drawbacks, such as high sodium content, weird texture, lactose, and sweeteners.
- High Sodium Content. A single serving of 145 grams of cottage cheese contains 539 mg of sodium (2), which can be problematic for some people. On the contrary, Optavia shakes, bars, cereals, snacks, and hearty options have 150-180 mg of sodium.
- Weird Texture. Although cottage cheese is a health-conscious snack option, its texture can be, well, polarizing. And while the taste of cottage cheese is subjective, some people may find the curdled or lumpy bits unappealing and off-putting.
- Lactose. One of the primary reasons my wife avoids eating cottage cheese is her lactose intolerance. As with other dairy products, cottage cheese contains lactose, which can cause discomfort for those who have difficulty digesting it.
- Sweeteners. Although I endorse plain cottage cheese, I do not recommend eating flavored cottage cheese products that include extra sugar or artificial sweeteners.
While I personally enjoy the taste and texture of plain cottage cheese, as a health-conscious individual, I do not consume these types of products.
Just make sure to read the label and ingredient list before you buy it.
What Cottage Cheese Is Approved By Optavia?
The cottage cheese approved by Optavia is listed below.
- Daisy Low Fat Cottage Cheese, 2% Milkfat
- Great Value Cottage Cheese, 2% Milkfat
- Nancy’s Low Fat Cottage Cheese, 2% Milkfat
- Crystal Creamery Cottage Cheese, 4% Milkfat
- Knudsen Lowfat Cottage Cheese, 2% Milkfat
What Other Cheeses Are Approved By Optavia?
There are 11 types of cheese allowed on Optavia, including ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. However, it’s important to note that the specific usage of cheese may vary depending on its nutritional content.
Cottage cheese, for example, is considered a lean option due to its low-calorie content and high protein content. On the other hand, cheeses like feta cheese, which have higher fat and calorie content, are typically allowed only as a condiment to add flavor rather than as a standalone option.
Can I Have Babybel Cheese On Optavia?
No, you cannot have Babybel cheese while on the Optavia diet. This is due to the fact that a single serving of Babybel cheese, which is about 20 grams, contains 60 calories. This is significantly higher than the calorie count of most healthy fats and condiments allowed on the Optavia plan. Therefore, consuming Babybel cheese could potentially disrupt your progress on the diet.
What Happens When You Eat Cottage Cheese Every Day On Optavia?
Eating cottage cheese every day on the Optavia diet may not be recommended for long-term sustainability and overall health. While cottage cheese can be a nutritious food choice, relying solely on cottage cheese for your daily meals may lead to nutrient deficiencies and potential health risks.
Cottage cheese is a good source of some vitamins and minerals, but it may lack others in sufficient amounts. Consuming only cottage cheese throughout the day may result in decreased energy levels, especially if you engage in regular exercise.