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Is Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt a Healthier High-Protein Snack?

By Lisa D'Agrosa, August 14, 2014 - 2:00pm

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Picking healthy snacks at the grocery store can feel pretty confusing. There are thousands of foods, many touted as beneficial or nutritional, to choose from. We put two popular high-protein snacks—cottage cheese and plain Greek yogurt—head-to-head in terms of nutrition to find out. Which is healthier: this or that?

Winner: Greek yogurt. But when it comes to high-protein snacks, it’s close to a draw!

Greek yogurt, with fewer calories and sodium, and more nutrition coming from calcium and probiotics, ultimately takes the win, as Joyce Hendley originally reported for EatingWell.

Protein-Rich Snacks: They’re both rich in lean protein, with cottage cheese having slightly more. Nonfat cottage cheese has 24 g of protein per cup, while Greek yogurt comes in just under at 20 grams. Both the yogurt and cottage cheese are available in low-fat and fat-free versions.

Calcium: But Greek yogurt has a slight edge in calcium—a mineral most people need more of. A cup has 150 mg, while a cup of cottage cheese only has 125 mg.

Lower in Calories: Greek yogurt contains fewer calories—120 per cup, vs. 160 for cottage cheese. It’s also more likely to contain probiotics (live active cultures of gut-friendly bacteria).

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But one clear distinction steers the choice: Cottage cheese can be loaded with sodium. Just 1 cup of cottage cheese can deliver more than 5 times the sodium found in Greek yogurt.

Some cottage cheese brands have 700 mg of sodium in 1 cup, which is almost one third of the recommended daily limit of 2,300 mg.

The same amount of Greek yogurt delivers just 85 mg. That’s a game-changer for us.

With fewer calories and sodium, more calcium and probiotics, Greek yogurt takes the win. Look for plain low-fat and nonfat varieties, though, as flavored Greek yogurt can contain a lot of added sugar.

Related: Watch More Grocery Store Face-Offs Between Popular Foods

What is your favorite way to eat Greek yogurt? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Lisa D'Agrosa, Health Blog, Diet, Health, Nutrition, This or That

Lisa D'Agrosa
Lisa D'Agrosa is EatingWell's associate nutrition editor. She earned her master's degree in nutrition communication from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and attended the dietetic internship program at Massachusetts General Hospital to become a registered dietitian.

Lisa asks: What is your favorite way to eat Greek yogurt?

Tell us what you think:

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