Cottage Cheese Vs Greek Yogurt: Which Is The Healthy Choice?


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When looking at cottage cheese vs Greek yogurt, both of them are highly versatile. We typically think of each food as a standalone meal or snack: a bowl of Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts or a bowl of cottage cheese. However, there are actually numerous ways to incorporate either food into your diet.

For example, plain Greek yogurt can be added to dips and sauces to boost the protein content and creaminess instead of other less nutritious condiments such as mayonnaise or oil.

Although cottage cheese has a lumpy texture on its own, it blends up to a smooth consistency and can be added to smoothies and protein shakes. It can also be used in savory dips such as artichoke spinach dip, or you can choose no salt-added versions and make healthy desserts.

But which is healthier: cottage cheese vs Greek yogurt? How does cottage cheese protein stack up to Greek yogurt protein?

In this article, we will discuss cottage cheese vs Greek yogurt, comparing the nutritional content of each to determine which dairy product is better for your health goals.

We will discuss: 

  • Which Is Better for You, Cottage Cheese Vs Greek Yogurt?
  • Cottage Cheese Vs Greek Yogurt: Nutrition

Let’s get started!

A bowl of cottage cheese and berries and a bowl of Greek yogurt and berries.

Which Is Better for You: Cottage Cheese Vs Greek Yogurt?

One of the difficulties of comparing the health benefits and nutrition of cottage cheese vs Greek yogurt is that there are wide varieties of each product available, all of which have quite different nutritional profiles.

Sugar Content

For example, many Greek yogurts are flavored and contain tons of added sugar or artificial sweeteners in the case of “light“ Greek yogurt. 

Similarly, some cottage cheese products have pineapple or added fruits, which increases the number of grams of sugar, although the sugar is usually natural. 

Sodium Content

Regular cottage cheese is quite high in sodium, which is one of the reasons why it is often healthier to have Greek yogurt vs cottage cheese, particularly if you have high blood pressure, as diets high in sodium are associated with an increased risk of hypertension. 

However, there is also “no salt added“ cottage cheese, which contains the same or even less sodium than standard Greek yogurt. This can be a great option for anyone who prefers cottage cheese or prioritizes some of the other benefits of cottage cheese vs Greek yogurt but wants to offset the downside of the higher salt content.

Cottage cheese cut up with a fork.

Fat Content

Like other dairy products, both cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are available in different amounts of fat.

Fat-free Greek yogurt and fat-free cottage cheese have all of the milk fat removed. These are considered very lean proteins because there are no calories coming from fat, and the majority of the calories are from protein, with a small contribution from carbohydrates present in the natural sugar found in dairy, lactose.

Fat-free cottage cheese and fat-free Greek yogurt will have fewer total calories per serving but have a less creamy taste and texture since the milk fat is what provides the creaminess and smoothness to the products.

Furthermore, particularly in the case of Greek yogurt, some fat-free Greek yogurts have added sugar to offset the decrease in palatability of the product.

Make sure to look at the nutrition facts and ingredients label to assess not only the total number of calories but also the grams of sugar and source of sugar (natural sugar versus added sugar).

Cottage cheese with berries.

Reduced-fat cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are less common and provide about 2% milk fat.

The most common cottage cheese and Greek yogurt products are considered low-fat. Low-fat cottage cheese and Greek yogurt typically provide 1% milk fat, meaning there is around 1 to 2 grams of fat per serving. Most nutrition experts recommend consuming low-fat dairy products.

These dairy products are considered lean proteins because, like fat-free Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, the majority of the calories are coming from protein and very little from fat.

Full-fat Greek yogurt and full-fat cottage cheese typically contain about 4% milk fat. These products will have a higher number of calories since every gram of fat provides 9 calories.

Many people assume that it is always better to consume low-fat dairy products. It is true that low-fat dairy products are typically recommended for overall health.

However, if you are following a high-fat diet such as the keto diet, another high-fat, high-protein diet, or trying to gain weight, it can actually be better to eat full-fat Greek yogurt and full-fat cottage cheese rather than low-fat options. 

Spinach dip.

Additionally, some studies have found that consuming full-fat dairy products has a much greater impact on satiety levels than low-fat dairy alternatives.

This means that having full-fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese may help keep you full for longer than if you have low-fat options. 

This, in terms, may reduce your total caloric intake because it reduces appetite and subsequent food intake. 

Deciding which fat level in your dairy products is best for you will depend on your dietary goals and needs, along with your taste preferences.

Some people much prefer the creamy taste of dairy products that retain the natural fat rather than the waterier low-fat, or fat-free Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

Cottage Cheese Vs Greek Yogurt: Nutrition

The following table compares the nutrition facts of 100 grams of low-fat cottage cheese and 100 grams of low-fat Greek yogurt per the USDA:

Peaches, bread and cottage cheese.
Nutrient100 g of Low-Fat Cottage Cheese100 g of Low-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
Fat1 gram1.9 grams
Protein12.4 grams10 grams
Carbohydrates2.7 grams4 grams
Sugar2.7 grams3.6 grams
Calcium5% of the DV9% of the DV
Selenium19% of the DV23% of the DV
Riboflavin15% of the DV17% of the DV
Vitamin B1229% of the DV21% of the DV
Phosphorus13% of the DV11% of the DV
Folate4% of the DV2% of the DV
Zinc 3% of the DV5% of the DV
Greek yogurt with blueberries.

Both cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are high in protein.

Cottage cheese protein content is slightly higher than Greek yogurt protein content when comparing equal weights, as shown in the 100-gram serving nutrition facts above. 

For example, comparing a 7-ounce container of low-fat Greek yogurt protein vs 7 ounces of low-fat cottage cheese protein, you find that Greek yogurt has 20 grams of protein in 146 calories and cottage cheese has 24.5 grams of protein and 141 calories for the same size serving.

Greek yogurt is also slightly higher in sugar than cottage cheese, so if you’re following the keto diet or watching your carbs, it may be better to have cottage cheese vs Greek yogurt.

You should be particularly careful when choosing flavored Greek yogurts because they tend to be really high in sugar.

For example, a single-serving cup of peach-flavored low-fat Greek yogurt has 16 grams of sugar in just 5.3 ounces. This can make sweetened yogurt a high-glycemic food.

High-glycemic foods cause a rapid increase in blood glucose because they are digested quickly, allowing the release of glucose in the bloodstream to occur rapidly after consumption.

The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly carbohydrate-based foods increase your blood glucose (blood sugar) after consuming the food.

Greek yogurt with granola and strawberries.

For optimal health, the goal should be to consume most of your carbohydrates from low-glycemic foods. This will help prevent a rapid spike in blood sugar and a resultant increase in insulin.

This is particularly important for people with insulin resistance or diabetes but is also helpful for the general public looking to support optimal health and reduce the risk of developing metabolic issues such as diabetes.

Therefore, particularly if you are choosing Greek yogurt, choose plain Greek yogurt and add berries or other low-sugar fruits if you need a bit of sweetness.

Greek yogurt has a slight edge in calcium vs cottage cheese calcium. A cup of Greek yogurt has 282 mg of calcium, while a cup of cottage cheese has 227 mg of calcium.

Ultimately, both cottage cheese and Greek yogurt can be part of a healthy diet, and there isn’t a clear winner overall.

As long as you are making smart choices in the particular product you choose, mainly staying away from Greek yogurt with lots of added sugar or artificial sweeteners, you can get a great, high-protein snack or meal starter with either Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

Adding both to your diet will give you the nutritional benefits of each and more variety and versatility in your meals and snacks.

For more of our nutrition guides, check out our database here.

A bowl of Greek yogurt with granola and blueberries.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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