In the quest for swell and strength the meathead’s search for easy sources of quality protein is never-ending. This drive to shove down as much of the stuff as possible has sent many of us to consume sugary bars and artificial powders. We constantly strive to find that one perfect food. That one source of protein that we can go to, time and again, without getting sick of it and without it breaking the bank.
What if I told you there is such a food? One who’s overwhelmingly high protein content was masked by its seemingly mundane existence. A food thats incredibly cheap, universally available, and easily consumed. A food whose weight loss potential is skewed by sharing its name with a symptom of being a fat old lady.
So whats the miracle food? Cottage Cheese.
Some readers are face-desking right now because to them this isn’t news. Cottage cheese is well known in the niche groups of body building and weight lifting, as well as in dieting and weight loss circles, but I feel its highly under-repped amongst the general population.
What makes cottage cheese so good? Protein. 28 grams of it to be exact. Thats the amount of protein in one cup of low-fat cottage cheese. Read it again. Let it sink in. 28 grams. Thats more than a Muscle Milk. Thats more than the EAS protein powder sitting across the room from me. Thats more than most power bars. Thats ridiculous, and also incredible.
Cottage cheese is also special in that it’s composed primarily of casein protein. That is, the slower burning cousin of whey, which stays in your body longer. Body builders and musclebound gym rats love this stuff because you can eat it in the late evening before you go to bed and it will slowly digest, releasing protein into your system as you sleep.
Besides being incredibly high in protein cottage cheese is also low in carbs. The same 1 cup serving that delivers that whopping 28g of protein only delivers 4g of sugar and 8g of total carbs. Even if you’re balls deep into an extreme diet like Atkins you could fit this stuff in.
The one downside to cottage cheese is that it doesn’t have the most spectacular taste, in fact it doesn’t taste like much of anything. This is, in and of itself, a benefit of sorts. While cottage cheese does catch some flack for its high sodium content as well, for anyone who eats a clean diet free of most processed food, that impact shouldn’t be that significant (though if sodium is a concern, talk to a doctor).
So how do you take something with a mild, almost nonexistent flavor, tinged with a bit of salt, and make it something you not only tolerate, but enjoy? For me it was pineapple. Pineapple is both sweet and tangy, the sharpness of its acidity cuts the creamy salt flavor of the cheese and lets the sweet fruitiness come through. At only 12g of net carbs per 1/2 cup serving it’s not going to throw your blood sugar for a loop either.
If you properly balance the bites the pineapple completely overtakes the cheese and it tastes sweet and fruity, a perfect [meathead] dessert. It’s almost reminiscent of a pina colada.
So go get yourself some a four dollar tub of cheese, a squat rack, and get your swell on.