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A member of the British Dietetic Association, Juliette Kellow has worked in the NHS and for the food industry, and is the former editor of magazines Slimming and Top Santé. She's also the former editorial...

Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a curd cheese made from pasteurised milk (often skimmed). It’s drained rather than pressed like hard cheese, so some whey remains and the cheese has a soft, loose texture.

The nutritional lowdown
Cottage cheese contains only marginally more protein – important for satiety – than ricotta, but it has a lower calorie and fat content, making it the better choice for weight loss.

cottage-cheese-ricotta

Ricotta

Ricotta is made from whey, the bit that’s left over when hard cheese is pressed. The whey is reheated until it forms a curd. This is then passed through a fine cloth, giving the resulting cheese a firm, slightly grainy texture.

The nutritional lowdown
Ricotta contains half the salt of cottage cheese but twice as much calcium and zinc, and four times the vitamin A. This is key as many of us, especially teenagers, have very low intakes of these nutrients.

The verdict

It’s a close call. If you’re trying to lose weight or need to lower your cholesterol, cottage cheese is the better choice. But the lower salt content and higher levels of vitamins give ricotta the nutritional edge. Neither are diet demons, so it’s fine to enjoy both. Try ricotta on pizza and top a jacket potato with cottage cheese.

*Weight-loss results will vary and are down to your individual circumstances and the amount of weight you have to lose.