Dairy. Adjective. 1. Containing or made from milk.
In my opinion that definition should read “most controversial class of foods EVER.” While some people live by the motto “cheese on everything,” others wince at the very sound of the word. So let’s take the opportunity to scratch the surface of dairy controversy…
Let’s cut to it: Is dairy really the devil?
The answer is NO! In fact, dairy products can be super nutritious! Milk is high in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, B vitamins, potassium, and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are vital for bone health, and dairy happens to be one of the best sources of them. Dairy can really be a great low-calorie, high protein meal or snack. But of course, as anything else, you have to be wise about the dairy products you choose to consume.
One of my all-time favorite dairy products (if you haven’t already caught on) is Muuna cottage cheese. I love this brand especially because 1) their products are DELICIOUSLY creamy, without being high in fat and 2) I trust the ingredients. I always keep a container of their plain cottage cheese in my fridge so I can easily spread over a whole grain toast or fiber crackers and top it with drizzled honey or homemade fruit compote. I’ll also use it as a healthy ingredient for a larger meal, like my cottage mac & cheese.
I especially love their individual cottage cheese cups available in eight creamy flavors. At 5.3 ounces they are perfect for portion control and they’re an easy snack for when you’re on-the-go. Yes, I said on-the-go! Throw it into your bag with a spoon, and it enjoy it on your way to work, when you get to work, or wherever your destination may be! The individual cups come in several different fresh fruit-on-the-bottom flavors, so I don’t have to worry about topping it with homemade compote. I’m especially excited about their new Vanilla, Raspberry, and Black Cherry flavors!
Let’s take a closer look at the Muuna nutrition label
Each individual cup has between 15 and 19 grams of protein, which is super important! Protein helps us actually feel full when we eat meals or snacks. Each 5.3 oz cup has only 9 grams of sugar (less than your average Greek yogurt!) and 130 calories or less. Yes, that includes the fruit flavors too! Oh, and Muuna uses ZERO artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. Basically, all you need to know is that it’s totally Tovita-approved.
What about lactose intolerance?
As we get older, many of us lose that lactase enzyme that normally breaks down lactose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk. If you are one of those people who can’t digest dairy, you do have to be careful with the foods you choose to fuel your body. As with any food allergy or intolerance, if you have it, you have to honor it. The good news is that certain dairy products like cottage cheese or hard cheeses (parmesan, swiss) have less lactose than milk or creamier cheeses, meaning many people who are typically lactose intolerant can still enjoy these products.
If cottage cheese is your thing, I’ve just introduced you to your new favorite brand (you’re welcome). If you’re skeptical, give it a try. It might be best to start with a familiar flavor like vanilla, or a sweeter fruit flavor that you already love.
Some of my favorite ways to eat it are:
With oatmeal, for protein and flavor
With sliced apples and cinnamon, for a filling snack
On top of whole grain crackers
Plain! It tastes delicious on its own and has enough protein to stand alone