Food Showdown: Cottage Cheese vs. Black Bean Soup

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Both low-fat cottage cheese and black bean soup are nutritious, high-protein snacks. But most processed foods contain high levels of sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure. The average American adult consumes about 2,500 to 5,000 milligrams of sodium a day. But most experts now recommend that adults cap their sodium intake at 1,500 daily milligrams. When monitoring your sodium intake, which snack would you choose?
The Winner: Black Bean Soup!

Neither of these is a "low sodium" food, which is defined by the FDA as containing less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving. In fact, whether eating the soup or the cottage cheese, you'd ingest about 36% of your daily sodium recommendation!  One cup of cottage cheese contains 918 milligrams of sodium, while the black bean soup contains slightly less at 900 milligrams. Look for low-sodium versions of your favorite foods (and soups) whenever you shop. If you're watching your blood pressure, avoid cottage cheese altogether. 

Did you guess correctly? What is your favorite low-sodium snack?

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RYCGIRL 3/16/2021
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Thanks for the great article! :) Report
How much of the soup would be considered a snack? I've often had half cup cottage for snack when needing protein or calcium but hadn't thought of the soup. Report
thank you Report
I like cottage cheese but not the lumps, so I like the idea of the black been soup but not eating it? What's a girl to do? Report
Good tips! Report
The photo of cottage cheese looks more like a pile of salt. Report
When I was in my early teens I went on a fad diet of cottage cheese and bananas for 2 weeks I ate only that and I got so sick of cottage cheese I was never able to eat it again. I love black beans being Cuban born its in my genes. I make them from scratch with olive oil bell peppers onion, garlic, cilantro base and a bay leaf, when it is almost done I add a splash of balsamic vinegar or sherry instead of high sodium cooking wine depending on what I have on hand. hands down black beans win! Report
I tried the no salt cottage cheese and I'm sorry but it was absolutely horrible. Adding raisins & cinnamon didn't help much. I don't have high bp and therefore don't worry too much about salt. Report
I make my own black bean soup from dried beans. When I use canned, I always rinse them first.
Cottage cheese is one of my husbands favorite foods. Luckily, he doesn't have blood pressure problems and drinks lots of water because for him, a serving is at least 1 cup/day. Since he doesn't drink milk, this is his main source of calcium. Report
I try not to salt my food, figuring there are better ways of improving flavour (fresh foods, using herbs and spices). I look for low-salt or salt-free, low fat cottage cheeses, but they're naturally a bit difficult to find. Report
Are the beans themselves high in sodium or is just the canned variety? I know most canned foods are high in sodium do to the canning process but I would imagine that black bean soup made from dried or fresh beans would contain far less sodium. Report
Instead of eating a cup of cottage cheese, I eat only 1/2 cup. If I could get it with no salt added I would. One solution to high sodium in beans is to get them dry and make your own dishes rather than buying canned. Report
Anything with black beans (rinsed) sounds like a great snack or light meal! Report
I didn't realize cottage cheese was a high sodium food. Need to read those labels more closely!
Thanks for this showdown. I love the format - it reminds me this journey is one good decision at a time. Report
All of my beans are cooked from dry beans with NO added salt, so I can make bean soup with very low sodium. Report
I chose the black bean soup. Report
Ever made you own cottage cheese? Best flavor and you can regulate the salt. I do make my own soup. In fact, I never buy any OTC soup or package products. This in itself saves lots of salt consumption Report
I rely on no salt cottage cheese which is available in my area. If you live in upstate NY, try Friendship no salt cottage cheese. The flavor and texture is very good. If it wasn't available, I would not eat cottage cheese at all. I do enjoy black bean soup too and have it on occasion, but homemade of course! Report
What is the source of your black bean soup? Make it yourself (starting with dried beans) and it doesn't have to be high sodium. Mine isn't. Report
There actually is no salt added cottage cheese available - at least in some places. I've bought one from Lucerne. As I usually mix fruit with my cottage cheese, it's not bad at all. The real shocker? It has less than 100 milligrams of salt in 1 cup of cottage cheese. Yeah, they seriously add around 800 milligrams of salt per cup. Report
I too soak my black beans to make soup and I hope that means that I don't have all the excess sodium! It doesnt take any effort only a bit of preplanning....soak the beans the night before in lots of water. Report
I can make my own black bean soup without the sodium. I cook my beans from dried beans so it won't add sodium. As for cottage cheese, I can't stand the salty taste of it. Report
I rarely eat packaged foods, don't use salt when cooking and never salt my food. I do eat cottage cheese regularly and never thought to look at the sodium content. This was an eye opener for me, I will eat more greek yogurt which only has 105 mg sodium. Report
I don't cook with salt (except in baking where the chemical reaction is probably important). I use only fresh and frozen veggies where possible; don't add salt at the table (in fact, I have to go searching for the salt shaker when we have guests.) I use a lot of spices in an experimental fashion.. and just discovered a Penzey's store in Tucson, so life is good. And more and more I avoid pre-made or pre-packaged foods or at least seek out low-sodium versions. When I was pregnant with my first son 34 years ago, I had sodium and blood pressure issues, so my doctor kept me on a diet that was under 500 mg of sodium daily, and there were very few low sodium products available then, so I learned a lot of avoidance... it's easier now! Report
We buy low sodium whenever we can. I have heart failure and therefore need to watch my salt intake due to water retention. But since I've cut down so much on my salt, I can taste the salt in everything and therefore have no need now to salt my food. Report
I do salt my food. I eat few processed foods and those that I do eat are low or at least reduced sodium versions. Besides, my blood pressure is consistently at the low end of normal. This seems to be a genetic trait, since I'm not the only one in my family, but my food choices must help. Report
I never add salt to my food either. I love cottage cheese, but may now have to rethink it. Report
In some of stores you can buy no salt cottage cheese. with fruit its good Report
I never add salt to food I eat. Enough in what you buy that is processed. Report
I do not cook with salt - have always had a problem with water retention. Have never understood why so much salt (and sugars) is added to so much of what we eat!
barb Report
I make my own b-b soup, and I don't use any salt. Then I add 1/4 cup of cottage cheese when I heat it--plenty of flavor, and a better 'cheesy' effect than with most hard cheeses. (Even without the c.c., because I use spices, there's no need for the sodium) Report