Greek Yogurt vs. Cottage Cheese: Which Is the Healthier High-Protein Snack?

Both Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy high-protein snacks. But which one is healthier? Here we look at the nutrition for both and decide the winner.

Cottage Cheese vs. Greek Yogurt

Picking healthy snacks at the grocery store can feel pretty daunting at times. There are thousands of foods to choose from, many touted as beneficial or nutritional.

We put two popular high-protein snacks—plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese—head-to-head in terms of nutrition to find out which is healthier.

Let's take a look at the nutritional information for one cup of plain low-fat Greek yogurt and compare it to the nutrition in one cup of low-fat cottage cheese. All numbers are per the USDA.


Both Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are rich in lean protein and are virtually tied with each having 24 grams of protein per cup. Both yogurt and cottage cheese are available in full-fat, reduced-fat and fat-free varieties.

Some companies also make lactose-free varieties of Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, so you don't have to shy away from these high-protein choices if you're lactose-free. Just look for the lactose-free label.


Greek yogurt has a slight edge in calcium—a mineral most people need more of. A cup of Greek yogurt has 282 mg, while a cup of cottage cheese has 227 mg.


One cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt contains about 179 calories and one cup of low-fat cottage cheese is about 180 calories. So again, a virtual tie.


So far, these two high-protein snacks are neck-in-neck when considering protein, calcium and calories. But one clear distinction steers the choice: Cottage cheese can be loaded with sodium. Just 1 cup of cottage cheese can deliver 8-9 times the sodium found in Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt has about 83 mg of sodium in one cup, whereas a cup of cottage cheese can have upwards of 700 mg of sodium. That's about one-third of the recommended daily limit of 2,300 mg. If you're watching your sodium intake and eat cottage cheese, opt for a reduced sodium or no sodium-added variety.


While Greek yogurt is more likely to contain probiotics—those microscopic gut-friendly bacteria—there are some brands of cottage cheese that also contain probiotics. Not all brands of cottage cheese contain probiotics, though, so be sure to read the label.

Bottom Line

And the winner is...plain Greek yogurt by a very thin margin. Greek yogurt's advantage is very slight due to a little more calcium, lower sodium and a higher chance of containing probiotics. With that said, if you opt for a flavored variety instead of plain Greek yogurt, it might add more sugar than you're looking for, so choose plain and sweeten it with fruit.

Ultimately, both Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy high-protein snacks. You really can't go wrong with either one. If you choose cottage cheese, though, try to opt for a low-sodium variety. Fruit can be added to it for added sweetness and nutrition, or if you prefer savory, try mixing in your favorite diced vegetables with a little bit of fresh dill and cracked black pepper.

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