Healthy Dairy Breakfast: Yogurt vs. Cottage Cheese vs. Quark?

In the past, there has been a lot of noise concerning the health benefits of dairy products. Daily dose of calcium, protein bomb… you name it. Even if I was not so much a dairy fan myself, I still wanted to try this trend, especially breakfast-wise (the everyday oatmeal was getting dull and a bit heavy for a summer meal). I decided to look into the different types of these “lighter” products.

Many nutrition posts on the internet boast the benefits and advantages of greek yogurt compared to simple nature-flavored yogurt. I won’t be continuing this discussion, as even though greek yogurt does have more proteins, it is just too heavy for me and you really must find the correct one (I insist on this, as there are many yogurts that pretend to be  “greek” but really aren’t). The attention, in my case, was focused on cottage cheese and quark. Both are types of soft cheese that come with many health benefits and recipes. As a huge breakfast/brunch advocate, I tested to see what would be the healthiest option for a perfect summer breakfast.


Yogurt 

Yogurt is the sweetest and probably the easiest to combine with other ingredients. It feels light and is probably the one for you if you aren’t feeling too hungry (more sugar and less protein). I take and would definitely recommend the nature flavour (and sometimes even probiotics) as it contains much less sugar and can be easily completed with colourful mix of fresh fruit.

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Nutrition Facts (for 100g):

KJ/Kcal: 294 kJ/70 kcal

Fats/Lipids: 3.2g (2.1g saturated)

Carbs: 5.8g (5.5g sugar)

Proteins: 4.5g

Salt: 0.16g

Calcium: 155mg


Quark

Quark is supposedly a soft cheese, the texture is similar to greek yogurt and the taste might be a little bit bitter and off for the first time. However, one may take different flavours that hide this taste (I would not recommend this as there is a vastly high amount of sugar added). Adding some fresh fruit, a teaspoon of honey and some chia seeds is the perfect balance. This type of breakfast is for post-workout mornings (alert: quark has the highest protein!) or for when I’m feeling the hungriest (minimum of calories for highest feeling of satiety).

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Nutrition Facts (for 100g):

KJ/Kcal: 258 kJ/61 kcal

Fats/Lipids: 0.2g (0.1g saturated)

Carbs: 3.7g (3.7g sugar)

Proteins: 11g

Salt: 0.10g


Cottage Cheese

Compared to quark, cottage cheese is easier to associate with a soft cheese. The taste is saltier and the texture is in small lumps. This dairy product is great for late mornings/early lunches. It goes perfectly with an avocado toast or accompanied by slices of juicy watermelon. Even though, many nutrition sites blog about the many qualities of cottage cheese, I would still watch out for this one and the serving quantity as it still contains a consistent amount of saturated fats and salt.

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Nutrition Facts (for 100g):

KJ/Kcal: 360 kJ/86 kcal

Fats/Lipids: 4.0 g (2.5g saturated)

Carbs: 2.5g (1g sugar)

Proteins: 10g

Salt: 1.2g


In summary, even though yogurt, quark and cottage slightly differ in their nutrition facts, all three options are pretty healthy for a hearty breakfast to start the day. Yogurt has the most sugar and less ‘healthy” nutriments and cottage cheese has the most saturated fat. Quark is my personal favourite, as it has a huge amount of protein for less calories than the previous two discussed. This leads a higher satiety and the perfect complement for my morning pilates/yoga workout. Of course, many of these nutriments facts can vary from brand to brand, flavour or even country but these are general observations found in my Swiss fridge and originating from my morning boredom.


(title page source: http://weknowyourdreams.com/cow.html) 

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