Is TikTok’s Cottage Cheese and Mustard Diet Healthy?

Is TikTok’s Cottage Cheese and Mustard Diet Healthy?

Mustard, cottage cheese, broccoli, carrots, and sausage.Share on Pinterest
People are claiming the viral TikTok food trend has helped them lose weight and increased their energy level, but nutritionists say there are pros and cons to consider. Illustration by Ruth Basagoitia
  • The mustard and cottage diet has gone viral on TikTok with more than 380m views on the #veggieswithmustard hashtag.
  • It includes meals made up of mustard, cottage cheese, raw veggies, and sausage.
  • The diet is high in calcium, protein, and fiber and may lead to weight loss.
  • Nutrition experts note the diet fad is high in sodium and could encourage disordered eating and recommend following a balanced eating pattern for overall health.

Mustard and cottage cheese might not sound like the tastiest of combos, but this foodie trend has been taking TikTok by storm.

Started by influencer Tiffany Magee, the trend sees people using copious amounts of mustard and cottage cheese as a dip for sausage and raw vegetables.

Not only are they claiming that it’s incredibly tasty, but many are also saying it’s helped them lose a significant amount of weight — and improved bloating and energy levels too. Magee herself said she’s lost 80 pounds by eating the meal every day.

The #veggieswithmustard hashtag has racked up more than 380m views, so just how healthy is this meal? And can it really help with sustainable weight loss?

Pros

Let’s start with the good stuff. The mustard and cottage cheese trend actually has quite a few redeeming qualities, nutritionally speaking.

“Cottage cheese is an excellent and convenient source of protein and calcium,” points out registered dietitian at Top Nutrition Coaching, Danielle Smith.

“The sausage also provides protein which is crucial for sustainable weight loss and supports stable blood sugar levels, more steady energy levels, and focus throughout the day.”

Meanwhile, the veggies provide fiber which contributes to a feeling of fullness. They also support liver function and fight inflammation.

Even mustard has some plus points. “Mustard can be a great way to add flavor to foods (like cottage cheese) without adding a lot of calories or unhealthy fats,” Smith said.

“As well as that, mustard seeds contain various antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds and flavonoids, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and protect cells from oxidative stress.”

So far so good, but don’t reach for that tub of cottage cheese just yet.

Cons

Smith has a few words of caution. “Cottage cheese and sausage are both typically high in sodium,” she points out.

Long-term, Smith said eating this way may not be sustainable either due to the low carb content.

Registered nutritionist Jenna Hope voiced similar concerns.

“If the diet is restricted to vegetables, mustard, a sausage, and cottage cheese, there may be a risk of nutritional deficiencies due to a lack of variety,” she explained.

Additionally, she said consuming the same foods daily can contribute to poor gut health due to a lack of diversity.

While the nutritional benefits of eating mustard and cottage cheese on the regular are questionable, many people are claiming online that they have more energy, are less bloated, and are feeling generally better since eating this way.

Why might that be?

“This could be because they’re no longer consuming other foods which contributed to bloating, rather than the beneficial impacts of these foods themselves,” Hope said.

“For example, if an individual’s diet was high in salt, sugars and refined carbohydrates and they start consuming more cottage cheese, vegetables and mustard they’re likely to be feeling better due to the reduction in salt and sugars.”

Smith agreed and said it depends on what your diet looked like before.

“If you went from eating a highly processed lunch (think burgers and fries) or an incomplete meal like a bagel with cream cheese, then eating protein and antioxidant-rich vegetables will absolutely make you feel better,” she explained.

Additionally, veggies tend to be high in fiber which promotes more regular bowel movements, and in turn, a decrease in bloating.

So the mustard and cottage cheese trend isn’t all bad. It’s high in protein, calcium, and fiber.

It probably shouldn’t be used as a weight loss aid and should only form a small part of a balanced overall diet. Otherwise, it could encourage restrictive eating patterns.

“This is an odd trend which has some underlying irresponsible messaging,” Hope said.

“It seems as though mustard is being used to mask the taste of lower calorie foods and is encouraging people to consume a more restrictive diet.”

If a person eats this concoction daily, Hope said there is a risk of placing these foods on a “safe” pedestal and making other foods feel less “safe.”

Consuming the same foods every day can increase negative attitudes towards other foods, she reasons.

In short? Consider the mustard and cottage cheese meal an occasional option, rather than the basis of your overall diet.

There’s no doubt that part of the appeal of the mustard and cottage cheese trend is that it’s quick and easy to throw together. So, what other low-effort healthy snacks and meals could you have instead?

Smith said a hearty salad is a good choice.

“You could use a pre-cooked bean blend either from frozen or from a BPA-Free can, pre-cooked quinoa or brown rice, sliced avocado or a small handful of nuts for healthy fats, leftover veggies from the night before, dressing of your choice or a little olive oil and vinegar,” she suggests.

A chicken wrap is another quick and healthy option she’s fond of.

“Opt for a sprouted grain tortilla, leftover grilled chicken (rotisserie or pre-cooked grilled chicken strips work too!), mixed greens, hummus, and a little feta, with veggies on the side,” she advised.

These options take minutes to make and include a good balance of proteins, fiber, complex carbs, and healthy fats.

When it comes to eating well, particularly when eating for weight loss, many times, people fixate on one food or quick fix. But restricting your diet in this way isn’t the best approach for your health and could create an unhealthy relationship with food.

“It’s really important to find a balance when it comes to nutrition and healthy eating,” Hope said.

“Try to ensure that you’re adding in a wide range of whole foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, fruits, and vegetables alongside some high quality protein, like chicken, fish, eggs, and good quality dairy,” she advises.

Smith agrees. She warns against trendy diets and recommends asking yourself whether you see yourself eating this way five years or even six months from now.

“If not, don’t do it,” she warns. “Instead, think about your end goal and then gradually make realistic changes that will help you get there.”

The mustard and cottage diet has gone viral on TikTok with more than 380m views on the #veggieswithmustard hashtag. It includes meals made up of mustard, cottage cheese, raw veggies, and sausage.

The diet is high in calcium, protein, and fiber and may lead to weight loss However, it’s also high in sodium and could encourage disordered eating.