Kidney Diet Tips

Food Facts Friday: Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is thought to be the first cheese to be made in America. It has become more popular recently as a lower calorie and high protein snack. This food has been promoted as an aid in weight loss and muscle building. It can be eaten in a variety of ways to help boost protein intake.

Serving Size and Nutrition Facts

A serving of cottage cheese is a 1/2 cup. Depending on the fat content of cottage cheese (whole milk, 2%, or skim), one serving provides:

  • 90 to 120 calories
  • 6 grams carbohydrates
  • 12 to 15 grams protein
  • 1.5 to 5 grams fat
  • 90 mg calcium
  • 110 mg potassium
  • 170 mg phosphorus

It is high in sodium, up to 400 mg per serving.

Cottage Cheese and a Kidney-Friendly Diet

Since cottage cheese is a dairy product, it is often limited in the kidney diet. This is because it is considered moderately high in potassium and high in phosphorus. However, it is also high in protein. A half cup provides about the same amount of protein as 2 ounces of chicken breast (14 grams protein and 133 mg phosphorus). It can be a great option for a high protein snack or part of breakfast.

The high sodium content is a concern. However there are low sodium or no salt added versions. If your blood pressure or fluid gains are an issue, it would be best to get the lower sodium options. When including regular-sodium cottage cheese combine it with lower sodium foods like fruit or fresh vegetables.

Ways to Eat

Cottage cheese can be served as a sweet dish or a savory dish. Try it with a variety of berries for breakfast or a snack. Eat it with vegetables, such as celery or carrots like a dip. You can use it in lasagna recipes and other Italian dishes with cheese. Mix it with your salad or put some on toast with berries or cucumbers on top. There are lots of  ways to eat cottage cheese. Experiment until you find ways you enjoy it! Recipes


  1. USDA Food Composition Databases: Cottage Cheese.
  2. Cottage Cheese. California Dairy Press Room. Accessed May 15, 2019.
  3. Arlene Semeco. Why Cottage Cheese is Super Healthy and Nutritious. Healthline. Accessed May 15, 2019.

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

DaVita Food Analyzer

DaVita Dining Out Guides

Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks

DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes

Diet and Nutrition Articles                                                      

Diet and Nutrition Videos

Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Sarah Alsing, MS, RD, CSR

Sarah Alsing, MS, RD, CSR

Sarah has been a dietitian since 2016 working in acute care, including transplant, and currently works in dialysis with in-center and peritoneal dialysis patients. She loves staying up-to-date on the latest nutrition research and discussing it with her patients. Sarah also has a passion for fitness and cooking healthy meals, as well as baking sweet treats for family and friends.