Lifeway Farmer Cheese vs. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese may be more familiar in name and product, however, Farmer Cheese is its better-for-you cousin. Both kinds of cheese offer a soft curd texture, an excellent source of protein, and a good source of calcium, but that is where the similarities end. Learn more about why Farmer Cheese has the upper edge over cottage cheese on gut health, and nutrition, and see how to use it in all our delicious recipes!

Lifeway Farmer Cheese vs. Cottage Cheese: What You Need to Know


Lifeway Farmer Cheese is made from Lifeway Plain Kefir, giving it the 12 live and active probiotic cultures most cottage cheeses on the market do not have. Probiotics are good bacteria. They are live microorganisms similar to the ones already living in the gut microbiome and may offer health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Eating fermented foods that contain live and active probiotic cultures such as Farmer Cheese, Kefir, and other fermented foods can help support a healthy microbiome which works to support our overall health. This includes immune support, keeping inflammation at bay for disease prevention, aiding in digestion, keeping harmful microorganisms in check, helping with nutrient absorption, and offering mood and neurological benefits.


Thanks to Lifeway Kefir’s long fermentation process that is used to make Farmer Cheese, it’s a natural source of postbiotics. Postbiotics are inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confer a health benefit on the host, as defined by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP). This means they are byproducts produced by probiotics during fermentation or, for example, fermenting soluble fiber to produce short-chain fatty acids in the gut. Postbiotics can include microbial cells, cell constituents, and metabolites. In Lifeway Kefir, lactic acid, organic compounds, and beneficial peptides are known postbiotics. They are being studied for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune-supporting, and antimicrobial properties.


With its distinctive, tangy flavor, one cannot even tell that Lifeway Farmer Cheese is a low-sodium product. It contains 85-90% less sodium than most cottage cheeses on the market, with only 45 milligrams of sodium per serving size (1/2 cup), all of which is naturally occurring from the cheese itself, not from added salt. A key recommendation of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, is to reduce sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day. Lifeway Farmer Cheese is a perfect low-sodium substitute for cottage cheese while still being creamy in texture and perfect for a variety of uses.

Lactose Intolerance Friendly

Many cottage cheese options still contain moderate amounts of lactose, unless specified that they are lactose-free. Because Lifeway Farmer Cheese is cultured from Lifeway Kefir, it contains a unique set of cultures and a longer fermentation process (14-18 hours) that breaks down the lactose into galactose and glucose, two simple sugars naturally occurring in lactose that makes it easier to digest. This longer fermentation process essentially “eats” the sugars and makes Lifeway Farmer Cheese up to 99% lactose-free and suitable for most people who are lactose intolerant. Once the lactose is broken down, the cultures then react with glucose and turn it into lactic acid in a process known as homo-fermentation. Lifeway Farmer Cheese has a fantastic tang that makes it perfect to use in so many ways.


Both Farmer Cheese and cottage cheese are equally good sources of protein. And while there is no difference in quality and amount, consuming the fermented variety could be easier on the stomach for some. Again, thanks to Lifeway Kefir’s long fermentation process, the probiotic cultures produce enzymes that help in the breakdown and absorption of protein, making it easier to digest along the gastrointestinal tract.


Lifeway Farmer Cheese is a more spreadable and drier cheese than cottage cheese, lending itself to more recipes and general use. It does not need to be drained and can easily be whipped to a smooth consistency. It makes a great spread on toast, as a base for dips, an addition to salads, and it’s perfect for creamy salad dressings, smoothies, and pasta sauces. It also has an incredible flavor! It’s tangy, low-sodium, and makes an excellent substitute where you might normally use ricotta or cottage cheese.

Want to learn more? Give some of our favorite Lifeway Farmer Cheese recipes a try – toasts, salads, pasta, smoothies, ice cream, dips, dressings, and more.